Friday, 26 March 2010


I am a loosely connected member of a nomadic tribe of perhaps a thousand former and current travelers. ( ) Recently, Judy, a much loved rving lady, died suddenly while doing her chores---far from relatives but not far from her tribal friends who mobilized to help the relatives driving in from California. Our special challenge is to complete the entire process in a few days, leaving no loose ends dangling as is often the case when settled folks die. In just a few days our people assisted the family in unloading her rig, holding an impromptu garage sale, taking the unsold stuff to a thrift store, returning the just-purchased car to the dealer (no easy thing), arranging the sale of her motor home on a commission lot , . and preparing a meal and ceremony to celebrate her life, The task was completed. Folks from every corner of this nation were present. Celebrities would hardly command such geographic diversity. A picture board of photos spoke volumes about her good times with us and the entire event was more laughter than tears as we recounted special memories of her. (Once she could not find her phone anywhere and was frantic that she had lost it. Joey offered to call her and perhaps the ring would reveal its location. When the call was made Judys' bosom began to sound off)

I wrote a poem for the event and my friend Brenda graciously read it for me:

Judy has departed our caravan
while she still had the will to roam.
She died enroute to somewhere;
Not in a nursing home.

Surrounded by friends, appreciated;
With destination and agenda;
living with gusto and vigor
in a mobile hacienda.

I think it is a kinder fate
when death comes from our blindside;
while focused on the task of the day,
to drop from our camel mid-stride.

Her death will not drag us to sadness
but remind us to remember
that time is a bird on the wing,
swiftly flying toward December.

Soon our caravan will up and away,
we've paused to celebrate and grieve;
respectfully cover her body with sand,
mount up our camels and leave.

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