Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Abby's grandmother passes

June Hilma Lindberg Koebensky Ramponi

a life that stretched
from her birth at the Summer Solstice of 1914
to her passing away at the Winter Solstice of 2008,

growing up and living her life
where the heart of the country reaches toward Canada,
where the land is rich with potential for farm and mine,
where the Father of Waters births,

there in the Iron Range where industry found substance
to give form to builders’ dreams,
and life was both hard and rewarding,

Scandinavians of country after country were drawn there:
June’s roots reaching back into Finland
though the present and the future were more important to her
than the past,

June was a matriarch yet she would lie low,
she would feel the power of her connections
yet defer so much to others
and seek to serve and not be a bother,

nevertheless, consider her will
and how stubborn she was to endure,
losing the great love of her life,
and then the next great love,
and losing what no parent should have to lose,
a son who passed on before her,

and she continued on, delighting in her daughter and her family,
and moving four hours south to live near them
and also near her sisters and son,

her independence, her will, her stubbornness so strong
that she had her own apartment till the end,
and relied only on some help to do
what she could no longer do by herself,
trips to the grocery store, the doctor’s,
even near the end she still lived by herself,
with family checking in every day,
two days before she died
she still checked ads in the paper
and made a grocery list for her granddaughter
so that when she came home from the hospital
she’d have the yogurt and all she wanted in her apartment,

she never wanted anyone to worry about her,
to go to any trouble,
so sweet, so loving, so caring--
she was stoic, in the best sense of what that can mean,
“it could be better, it could be worse,”

and when it no longer “could be”
she released herself,

though she preferred to not be noticed
how right it is to notice and appreciate
the quiet power of the life of
June Hilma Lindberg Koebensky Ramponi.

by Henry H. Walker
December 22, ’08

No comments: