The Trials of Jesse West 6- Words of Farewell

It’s a lesson too late for the learnin’

Made of sand made of sand

In the wink of an eye my soul is turnin’

In your hand in your hand.

  • Are you goin’ away with no word of farewell
  • Will there be not a trace left behind?

    Welcome Home!

    We attended morning hour chapel services every day together. We learned the sweet swaying harmonies and we were uplifted by the power of campus services. We would need all our strengths combined to face the paths set before us and to brace us for misfortunes. Our faith did not exempt us from anguish but instead instilled in us the strength for the trials ahead.

    Cheryl Ann lost her mother soon into our first semester. Meg lost her sister, in a later year. Their worlds turned gray at those moments and we could not help them find their way through the fog. It would take decades and the gifts of their own children to bring back the colors. At night, as we drifted off to sleep, I could hear their soft laments. I wondered then and now, were they grieving or questioning God’s choices? We had no words or songs for the depths of their sorrows. Their spirits were months in returning. They found it though, in expressions of art, music and the quiet genius that pulled some pain away.They were role models for the others, who would one day, too, suffer the insufferable loss of loved ones. We, too, would raise our eyes and cries to the sky in pain and in query.

    We survived it. The harsh Nebraska winters. The ten and twelve hour holiday drives home in blizzards and torrential rains. Tornado sirens screaming in the night during wild spring snows. Our freshman and sophomore years blinked themselves into oblivion. We began to lose each other during our junior year. We had each developed a painful secret and each failed to tell the group. Our finances were suffering. We all stopped eating in the dining hall to save money. We all slipped further into personal doubts. Half of the Six knew they would never become parochial teachers and slid into hypnotic dazes during the endless classes.

    In early December, on a cold midnight, I left Concordia before the fall semester ended, without completing my exams or my farewells. In misery, I completed my degree at a large, Colorado university. I felt I’d lost everything and everyone I loved. These 5 women had become my home. Their voices in the clear, open Nebraska sky-my church. I ached without their familiar words, songs, and laughter.

    We had it all for a few short months and didn’t realize it. It is with sheer luck, social networking, and time’s sweetening that we hold each other close in our memories. Knowing, we will meet again, at least one more time.

    So often did we hear this chorus in our improvised music class, it became our mantra:
    Would it were dawn
    for only an hour.
    Watching a fawn
    hearing a flower.

    Sharing the moment
    enriches the hour
    Learning what God meant
    In love there is power

    Soft speaks the rain
    Gently the dew
    Quietly we listen
    Two of us do

    Time on the mountain
    Fleetingly slow
    Tomorrow was yesterday
    Moments ago

    Time sep’rate jewels
    Lives bound as one
    Facets of mem’ry
    Mirror the Sun

    Then was the Dawn
    Then was the Hour
    Then was the Love
    Left with the Flower

    by Roger German

    Roger will be publishing a book of his finest works in the near future. Stay tuned.


    1. painfully true of growth and growing up and away from cherished friends. ahh yes to our peer group – death knows no boundaries. a lifetime to deal with death as a lifetime to live life!. hey rock on cuz, grand tome… and i hysterical here as it signs me off as MA. believe ive become discombombulated with son jason’s wordpress blog.

    2. And me with only 4 strings on my 6 string guitar……or I would be strumming and singing now. So I will just sing – and remember the flowers……

        1. This is my sister, Ginny. She lived in Steamboat Springs years back. An old haunt of Rog’s. It’s all eerily connected to the earth, water, snow, and sky.

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