for our children... page 1 of 6
music playing: AUTUMN LEAVES

Lucas Christopher Ross "Luke"
October 31, 1979 - April 3, 2001
Acute Bronchopneumonia


There is a tree that stands alone
With branches bending low,
Holding on to Autumn leaves.
Never wanting to let go.

The branches love the Autumn leaves
And embrace September's winds.
Laughing in the sunshine
Thinking this will never end.

Hold on you golden Autumn leaves
And orange and red and brown.
Please don't loose the branch's grip
And tumble to the ground.

But sometimes there's a sudden gust
And the branch is unaware
That the wind has blown so harsh
And sent their leaf into the air.

The branch thought it was holding tight
But the wind was much too strong
And took away the branch's grip
Making everything so wrong.

And sometimes it's a gentle breeze
That takes Autumn leaves away.
The branches watch them tumble down
And wonder why the leaves can't stay.

The barren tree stands all alone.
Empty twigs whisper "goodbye".
A wind lifts up the fallen leaves
And sends them floating through the sky.

The leaves gather above the clouds
Waiting for their special branch
To meet them at the "tree of life"
Where "forever" has a chance.

So listen when the wind blows,
As it howls through the trees.
You can hear the lonesome sound
Of a branch that lost it's leaves.

2007 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


Once there were two aspens
Standing tall against the sky,
Taking in the warmth of breezes
As their leaves just fluttered by.

Then from those two tall aspens
Two more little aspens grew
In a grove there in the forest
Touched by the morning dew.

They gathered in the sunshine.
Then they quenched upon the rain.
Four aspens playing in the wind
Sometime before the winter came.

In the springtime how they glistened.
They had the warmth of summer winds.
Little did the four trees know
This would never come again.

Autumn gave them golden leaves
As they stood so proud and tall
Then suddenly a cold wind blew
And their leaves began to fall.

The wind was blowing violently
With a howling lonesome sound.
Then with an eerie silence
One tree fell to the ground.

The youngest tree lay cold and still
As the sky released the rain.
Then drops of sorrow trickled down
From the three trees that remained.

Raindrops quietly turned to snow,
Just as the barren aspens feared.
Autumn, spring, and summer... gone
And a long, long winter... here.

2008 - Christine Ross
In memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

Published in
Fall 2009, Volume 24 No. 3
Bereavement Publications, Inc.


The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall


.....Plain White T's

I'm sittin' here all by myself
just tryin' to think of something to do
Tryin' to think of something, anything
just to keep me from thinking of you
But you know it's not working out
'cause you're all that's on my mind
One thought of you is all it takes
to leave the rest of the world behind


.....Green Day

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

like my fathers come to pass
seven years has gone so fast
wake me up when september ends

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when september ends

summer has come and passed
the innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

ring out the bells again
like we did when spring began
wake me up when september ends

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when september ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

like my father's come to pass
twenty years has gone so fast
wake me up when september ends
wake me up when september ends
wake me up when september ends


.....written by Neil Diamond and Gilbert Becaud

Stay for just a while
Stay, and let me look at you
It's been so long, I hardly knew you
Standing in the door
Stay with me a while
I only wanna talk to you
We've traveled halfway 'round the world
To find ourselves again

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf
is a flower.

Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)

If winter is slumber and spring is birth,
and summer is life,
then autumn rounds out to be reflection.
It's a time of year when the leaves are down
and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone.
Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year
and it's time to reflect on what's come before.

~ Mitchell Burgess 1992

There is a harmony In autumn,
and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be,
as if it had not been!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)

Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all.

~ Stanley Horowitz

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.

~ John Donne

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.

~ Emily Dickinson

falling leaves hide the path so quietly

~ John Bailey, "Autumn," a haiku year, 2001

Youth is like spring,
an over praised season
more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.
Autumn is the mellower season,
and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.

~ Samuel Butler

All those golden autumn days the sky was full of wings.
Wings beating low over the blue water of Silver Lake,
wings beating high in the blue air far above it . . .
bearing them all away to the green fields in the South.

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

I saw old autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence,
listening To silence.

~ Thomas Hood

I trust in Nature for the stable laws Of beauty and utility.
Spring shall plant And Autumn garner to the end of time.

~ Robert Browning

Tears, idle tears,
I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair,
Rise in the heart and gather in the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps-
does anybody know where it was borne?
Yes, there is a rumor
that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud,
and there the smile was first born . . . .

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Gone are the birds that were our summer guests.

~ Longfellow

"One day you turn around, and it's summer
Next day you turn around, and it's fall
And all the winters and the springs of a lifetime
Whatever happened to them all"

~ Frank Sinatra

"'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone."

- Thomas Moore, The Last Rose of Summer, 1830


The Autumn leaves of September find their way from a clear blue harvest sky and land exactly where destiny takes them, residing in harmony with the beautiful landscape of fall. Miracles of fate can also find their way from Heaven and land exactly where destiny takes them, residing in harmony with the forever changing journey of life. When fate comes into our lives it can arrive abruptly and sharply while bringing much pain with it, but it can also arrive slowly and gently while bringing comfort to help ease the pain of the journey.

I collect very old Bibles and the oldest one I have is from 1811. It was my most favorite bible because of all the things that were between the pages.... pressed flowers and clovers, a lock of braided hair, and hand written notes. But recently on a trip to Louisiana I received a bible that has become my most treasured bible of all.

I stayed with my aging 87-year-old mother, who knows all about my bible collection. She asked me if I would like to have her mother's bible. Mom's eyesight was failing and she had said that she could no longer read it. I also knew in my heart that Mom probably was thinking that her time on earth is coming to a close because of her recent cancer diagnosis. I graciously accepted this treasure that had Grandma's name engraved in gold on the front cover. The old bible looked very well used and worn. Just looking at the cover of that old bible brought back memories of how Grandma would look at me with such a mysterious smile, as if she knew something that I did not..... and she did. Little did I know that the time had finally come for me to find out the meaning of her smile

One of those nights in Louisiana when my husband was gone to visit with his family I got out Grandma's old bible and began flipping through all the pages as I read out loud to my Mom notes that Grandma had written as early as 1937. Between the covers of that bible I read how she fell in love and how she married at a young age. It revealed how she worked in the church and had helped so many people along the way. Reminiscing with Mom, we talked of Grandma's life. Grandma had given birth to five children. But, there tucked between the pages was a newspaper obituary of Grandma's baby boy who had died when he was 18 months old. Between the pages of that old bible I discovered that Grandma was born in April 1901, exactly 100 years before my son Luke died in April of 2001 at the age of 21. Grandma died when I was 11 years old on August 27th at the age of 63..... a date that would also be a fateful date more than once in my future.... slow and gentle, then abrupt and sharp. Years later when I met my husband-to-be I gently learned that his birthday was August 27th. Then many more years later it abruptly became the death date of our nephew.

After Grandma's death mom would share special stories about Grandma to help keep her memory alive. Mom would tell the story of when her baby brother died and how Grandma would get out the old leather satchel and take out all of his little clothes and shoes and would sing the song "Put My Little Shoes Away" while Grandma cried and cried and while all her four remaining children cried along with her.

All through my life I used to think about Grandma and feel sad that her baby boy died. I thought how awful that must have been for her. But, much to my surprise, I was stricken with that same pain and I finally knew how awful it was for Grandma. Fate had sharply and abruptly found me when my son Luke died in April of 2001 at the age of 21.... 100 years from Grandma's birth,

Fate had brought me back to Louisiana. That night as I set on Mom's bed and read to her all those things that she hadn't been able to read for years and years, I felt Grandma's spirit released from the pages of that old bible. My mom and I sat up very late that night and talked about days gone by. She spoke of her mom and her brothers and her sisters, all peacefully gone to Heaven ahead of her. I listened to her stories and I told some stories of my own about Luke. I knew that night would become a very special memory that I would forever cherish.

It was getting very late but I only had a few more pages left to read, so we stayed up a little while longer. When I turned to the very last page of Grandma's bible and as I read her very last note written in her bible from so long ago, I knew that fate had once again found me. Grandma had written in pencil something that with the passing of another 100 years may slowly fade from that page, but with the passing of my time on earth it would never, ever fade from my mind and my heart and my soul. When I read what Grandma had written I knew then that life had come full circle and that the leaves of Autumn had fallen where destiny had led them. But, this time fate arrived slowly and gently bringing comfort for my pain. Somehow, all those years ago, Grandma's soul knew that fate was to find me, a Granddaughter that wasn't even born yet, a Granddaughter that destiny would deliver that same pain to. For there at the end of the very last page Grandma had written that very last fateful note in her bible..... Luke:21

2012 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


(a true story)

Old age quietly found my Mom.
Her eyesight was failing fast.
She asked if I would like to have
A treasure from the past.

Mom gave me Grandma's Bible,
Grandma's name engraved in gold.
A Bible that had been well used.
It was tattered, frayed, and old.

Grandma was born in April
Of nineteen hundred and one.
A haunting hundred years would pass.
Before fate would find a new home.

She fell in love and married young,
And was blessed as a mother of five.
But her boy of eighteen months
Became greatly ill and died.

Grandma kept his little clothes
In a satchel tucked away.
She'd take them out and sing to him
While tears streamed down her face.

The life she lived was filled with pain
As she walked those weary miles.
No matter how tired Grandma was
She always gave me a smile.

Her life was met with burden.
She went to church and prayed.
She worked from dawn till sunset
While helping those in need.

She died when I was eleven
With stories left untold
But Mom would share those memories
From those days of long ago.

I cherished those old stories
Before, Grandma went away.
I hoped she saw me smile at her
When I bowed my head to pray.

I grew up with her memory
And I yearned for those lost years
When Grandma could have smiled at me
And I could have shared her tears.

Through all my life I thought of her
And the pain she had endured.
Grief somehow found its way to me
And Grandma's pain I understood.

Luke, my son, died in April
In the year two thousand and one,
One hundred years from Grandma's birth.
Gone at the age of Twenty-one.

I held her Bible in my hands.
I felt her spirit in those pages
As I read those scripture notes
She had written though the ages.

Grandma's Bible found its way to me.
Destiny had finally come.
Her last note on the last page was
..... Luke: Twenty-one.

2012 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
& Mary Rogers Tullier 1901 - 1964


Mother dear, come bathe my forehead
For I'm growing very weak
Let one drop of water, Mother
Fall upon my burning cheek

Tell my loving little Schoolmates
That I never more will play
Give them all my toys, Mother
Put my little shoes away!

I am going to leave you, Mother
So remember what I say
Do it, won't you please, dear Mother?
Put my little shoes away!

Daddy, he gave them to me
With a lot of other things
And I think he brought an angel
With a pair of golden wings

Then I, too, shall be an angel
By, perhaps, another day
So will you, then, dear Mother
Put my little shoes away?

Soon the baby will grow larger
And they will fit his little feet
And he will be nice and cunning
As he walks upon the street!

I am tired now, dear Mother
So remember what I say
Do it, won't you please, dear Mother?
Put my little shoes away!

~ Words & music by Samuel Mitchell and Charles E. Pratt


When Luke was a little fellow he wanted a tree house. We were living in Louisiana and had a big Oak tree in the back yard. I insisted that Luke wasn't old enough for a tree house. A few years had passed and he was old enough for school and as he expressed, "old enough to have a tree house." So Robin (Luke's Dad) began constructing the tree house with the help of little Luke. Emily (Luke's sister) and I watched from the back porch swing as Luke handed boards to his dad who was up the tree with a hammer and nails. Finally the tree house was complete. Luke spent many happy hours in that tree house. He would invite his sister to join him, and they would read books, or bring teddy bears up, or just stare out into their new world in the sky. Sometimes I would pack a lunch in a box, attach it to the rope which hung from a branch, and watch as they pulled it up. Oh what a feast it was for them to share lunch in their tree house.

Several years ago when Robin and I traveled back to Louisiana for a visit we decided to go by our old house and see if anything had changed and how big the trees had grown. I had hoped to peek in the back yard and see that old Oak tree that had kept those memories of long ago within its leaves and branches, and maybe see some small remnant of that old tree house. But much to our disappointment that old oak tree that Emily and Luke played in for all those years was gone..... just as Luke was.

Although that old Oak tree was gone, in the corners of my mind I could still hear the rustle of the leaves, I could still feel the wind as it passed through the branches, I could still see the autumn leaves as they gently drifted to the ground. The sound of my children's laughter resonated in my ears. That old Oak tree wasn't gone after all!

The appearance of life is gone, but the memories of life..... will live on in my heart and mind forever.

2013 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


See the tree, how big it's grown
But friend it hasn't been too long
It wasn't big
I laughed at her and she got mad
The first day that she planted it,
was just a twig
Then the first snow came
And she ran out to brush the snow away
So it wouldn't die
Came runnin' in all excited
Slipped and almost hurt herself
And I laughed till I cried
She was always young at heart
Kinda dumb and kinda smart
and I loved her so
And I surprised her with a puppy
Kept me up all Christmas Eve
two years ago
And it would sure embarrass her
When I came in from workin' late
'Cause I would know
That she'd been sittin' there and cryin
' Over some sad and silly
late, late show

And honey, I miss you
And I'm bein' good
And I'd love to be with you
If only I could

She wrecked the car and she was sad
And so afraid that I'd be mad
But what the heck
Though I pretended hard to be
Guess you could say she saw through me
And hugged my neck
I came home unexpectedly
And caught her cryin' needlessly
In the middle of the day
And it was in the early Spring
When flowers bloom and robins sing She went away

And honey, I miss you
And I'm bein' good
And I'd love to be with you
If only I could

One day while I was not at home
While she was there and all alone
The angels came
Now all I have is memories of Honey
And I wake up nights and
call her name
Now my life's an empty stage
Where Honey lived and Honey played
And love grew up
And a small cloud passes overhead
And cries down on the flower bed
That Honey loved

And see the tree how big it's grown
But friend it hasn't been too long
It wasn't big
And I laughed at her and she got mad
The first day that she planted it,
was just a twig

~ Words & music by Bobby Russell
~ Performed by Bobby Goldsboro


September 1982 drifted in with its beautiful falling leaves and for the first time I had a child in school. Emily (my daughter, Luke's older sister) was in kindergarten. Emily just loved her Kindergarten teacher and talked and talked about her everyday when she got home from school as Luke and I sat there and listened. Luke took it all in and asked me..."Momma, when can I go to school?" I would tell him..."Soon, Luke, very soon." But, I was not looking forward to both of my little angels being in school, although I knew it would be great for them.

Every day Emily would bring home a little drawing or a page of letters she was learning with her little autograph in the corner. We hung every one of them on the refrigerator and when the refrigerator became covered we would remove the oldest one and replace it with her newest work of art. She was so proud and couldn't wait for her dad to get home from work to show him her special artwork.

Emily's Kindergarten teacher was one of those special teachers that we would ALWAYS remember fondly. Once when Emily was sick from school, her teacher stopped by the house on the way home from class just to see how Emily was doing.

Finally after two years of anticipation it was Luke's turn to go to school. He was so excited and proud! I'll never forget how cute he looked standing there in the driveway with his little book bag, all dressed and ready for school with a huge smile on his face.

His first day of school was a proud and happy one for him but a sad one for me, because now BOTH of my children were in school and I knew I would miss them so much. But when Luke came home from school that first day his smile was bigger than it was that morning before he left. He reached in his little book bag and pulled out one of his drawings that he had done at school. He asked me...."Momma, where is the tape?", because he knew it was now his turn to display his school work on the refrigerator. So there right in the middle of the refrigerator we placed his work of art with his little autograph in the corner.

Emily and Luke both told me about their day at school, but Luke just couldn't calm down. He talked and talked and talked about his teacher, the same teacher that his big sister had when she was in Kindergarten. Emily and I sat there and listened as he told us how much fun he had and how many new friends he had made..... over and over and over.

When Luke died at the age of 21, Luke and Emily's kindergarten teacher wrote the following letter to all of us.....

"My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you for our Lord's comfort, healing and peace to be with you. I can not imagine what it must be like losing a child and a brother. Know that Luke will not be lost in my heart or my remembrances. I can still see the big eyes always watching, taking it all in and not being able to hide his feelings. I also remember the twinkle!" Luke was a child one always remembered. I do so wish I had had the privilege of reconnecting with him as a young adult. I know in my heart he was a fine, gentle and caring young person. This I know because I knew the adults who reared him and know he could not have become someone too different from them. He had tough shoes to walk in, following you Emily. As a young boy he looked up to you so much, so I know he followed in a good many of your footsteps voluntarily. I know your relationship was close. Hold tightly to your precious memories --- ALL of them for they create the total picture of Luke! May our Lord continue to hold you all close to him as you each grieve Luke in your own individual ways. He was a light in this world and will continue to light many hearts as they remember who he is. With much love."

We will always cherish this now tear-stained letter. There at the bottom of the letter was her autograph. But just as Emily and Luke's autograph, it was so much more than just a name, it was a remembrance of someone who had touched all of our lives.

As the leaves of time drift down this September they will carry those memories of kindergarten, of little drawings, and of a life that drifted away too soon, each leaf etched with .........Autumn's autograph.

2014 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


Your name was etched upon my heart,
When you first journeyed down this path.
You came into my life to live.
You touched me... with your autograph.

And then with crayons on the wall,
So secretly you placed your name.
No famous artist's works compare,
Although your autograph was plain.

Home from school with special papers,
So proudly placed upon the fridge.
Your writings and your works of art.
Your autograph along the edge.

Then came the essays and reports,
Employment and applications,
Greeting cards that you signed with love,
Your autograph, your foundation.

Your name, still etched upon my heart,
Again you journey down that path.
You left my life for worlds unknown.
You touch me... with your autograph.

2004 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


Here I am closing my eyes again
Trying so hard not to see
All the things that I see
Almost willing to lie again
I swear that it just isnt so
It just isnt me

We are never alone
Even though wed like to be

Then I go and open my eyes again
Love in your eyes is the thing
That Id most like to see
Id be willing to die again
To know of a place and a time
Where it always could be

To be always with you
And you always with me

This is my autograph
Here in the songs that I sing
Here in my cry and my laugh
Here in the love that I bring

To be always with you
And you always with me

Say a prayer and open your heart again
You are the love and the life
That we all need to see
Always willing to shine and then
Peace on this earth is the way
That it always can be

To be always with you
And you always with me

This is my autograph
Here in the songs that I sing
Here in my cry and my laugh
Here in the love that I bring

To be always with you
And you always with me



It was an early morning in late September, and the leaves were just beginning to change. I was at home and the kids were in school. Emily was a big girl in the 2nd grade and Luke was a little fellow just barely getting adjusted to being in school. I received a call from the school, and the lady on the phone identified herself as Luke's teacher. My heart dropped as my mind began to think of all the awful reasons that she could be calling. Had Luke hurt himself? Was he sick? Had he gotten in a fight? Then, she began to speak and told me that Luke had a 'little accident'. Again, my heart dropped. She then said that he had diarrhea and it was all over his pants. My heart was filled with happiness to know that the 'little accident' was only a little poop.

So I grabbed my car keys and drove over to the school. It was recess, so I looked for Luke through the fence before going in. There he was, standing by the brick wall, holding his little head down, looking at the sidewalk. He didn't even know that I was at the fence. But I did notice that his pants were darkened from the 'little accident'.

I walked onto the playground and then headed for the brick wall. I squatted down in front of Luke and said...."Hey sweetie, did you have a little accident?" Still holding his sad little head down, still looking at the sidewalk, not wanting to make eye contact, he shook his head from side to side and said..."No Momma." It was then that I realized how devastating this so-called 'little accident' was to him. I gently placed my hand on his soft little chin and slowly pulled his chin up until my eyes met with those big sad beautiful green eyes of his. I said: "I didn't think so, but I was at home alone thinking about you and wondering if you would like to come home so we could play together." His sad little mouth turned into a huge grin and he said..."Yes!". So I took his little hand as I stood up and we walked together to the car, both of us ignoring his soiled pants and the smell that accompanied them. I suggested that we roll down the windows to feel the wonderful September wind.

When we got home I said..."Hey, why don't you go take a bath and put on some play clothes so we can go out into the backyard and play." He immediately ran off to the bathroom. I stood outside the door listening. I could hear him undressing, and I could hear the bath water running. When I heard the water draining and heard the swoosh of the water as he climbed out of the tub, I tiptoed back to the kitchen, not making my presence known. Soon he walked out of the bathroom all dressed in his play clothes and sparkling clean. I took his hand again and said.... "Let's go play!" We headed out the back door. He ran to the swing underneath that beautiful oak tree. I pushed him high into the air as his giggles were captured in the welcoming Autumn wind. After that he headed to his favorite spot.... the sandbox under the huge oak tree. We both sat down in the sand with shovels and buckets and dug, and laughed, and played and played and played. As we sat there in that sandbox under the big oak tree, he reached over and put his little arms around my neck and said..."I love you momma." And just as I replied with "I love you too sweetie," an oak leaf tumbled down from that old oak tree and settled between us in that sandbox.

From that day on every time I saw an autumn leaf falling gently to the ground, this wonderful memory was resurrected. As the years passed this memory was recalled every Autumn as the leaves turned and floated one by one to the awaiting ground. This memory was always followed by a few tears because my little boy was growing up, and I knew that someday those hours in the sandbox would be a distant memory.

The echo of his laughter, the innocence of his love, and the radiance of those big green eyes still resonate within my mind. It is a moment in time that will always be captured in that special place in my heart reserved only for him. Autumn still brings that fond distant memory, followed by tears, not tears because my little boy is growing up, but tears because my little boy grew up, and then he died. But those memories of that September day did not die with him, and they will forever hold the honor of being one of my grandest days with my son, all because of a 'little accident'.

Someday soon on a glorious September in Heaven I will take his hand under a huge oak tree, he will put his arms around my neck and tell me that he loves me as another Autumn leaf falls. But this time it will be much more than a fond distant memory because in Heaven memories become reality again.......and not 'just by accident'.

2011 Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


September winds
Blow in a song
Of summer days
Now come and gone

The sunshine brought
Memories of you
Fall remembers
Those days too few

A chilling wind
releases thoughts
of when you left
And all was lost

A falling leaf
drifts through the sky
As if to say
A long goodbye

A bright blue sky
reminds me that
You're far away
Not coming back

An autumn sun
That warms my face
While telling me
that you are safe

September nights
bring shining stars
And let me know
just where you are

Oh September.....
Please stay awhile
Bring me closer
.....To my child

2015 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001


September, and there is a feeling of fall in the air. Ahh Autumn..... with its beautiful display of color, it's alluring fragrance swept in by the whispering winds, and it's first gentle chill of coming winter. Children are back in school, and the long awaited experience of summer is just a memory. The reflections of love, and fun, and excitement, and sadness still linger on in our hearts and in our minds as the days of summer fade.

I remember a remarkable September, when summer had barely faded away. Our 20 year old son, Luke, moved back home with us, with his Halloween birthday just around the corner, and for what would be his very last Autumn. He would soon be 21, the age that the world called him a man, but that I knew had already taken place awhile ago. Oh but having him back home was such a wonderful thing and a blessing that we will forever be grateful for. We welcomed the added "life" he brought into our house... that "life" that had quietened with both of our children living on their own. But now one of them was back, but briefly, and for the very last time.

We had an adorable little Basset Hound of 4 years old. As a family we had all taken a vote to name her when she was a puppy and the name BLUE was chosen because her little face looked so sad and blue. Never did we imagine how much sadness that sweet little dog would encounter.

Blue went everywhere with us, and she especially like to ride with Luke in the Jeep Wrangler with the top down and her Big Blue Dog ears flapping in the wind. When Luke would play his guitar he was always accompanied by Blue Dog howling to the sky. Luke and Blue had a very special relationship. Blue always knew ahead of time when Luke had turned off of the highway onto the desert road, headed for home. She would wait anxiously at the front door for Luke's arrival, even though his car was no where in site. I would say..."Luke must be coming home"..... So when Luke drove up I would open up the front door and she would bound down the sidewalk to greet him. As soon as they both got just inside the front door of the house Luke would drop to the floor and rub Blue's belly saying..."fat dog, fat dog".... and he would laugh while being swatted with that ever wagging tail of Blue's. When night time would arrive, Blue would sleep in Luke's bed with him, but she was so short she wasn't able to hop up there by herself, so he always gave her a little boost. Some mornings I would go in Luke's room and there he would be curled up in the corner of the bed, Blue sprawled out across the middle of the bed, one of our cats in the bed at Luke's head, and our other cat in the bed at Luke's feet. A sight my heart and mind will never forget.

When Luke died that spring, Blue found her a grieving spot right on top of a pile of Luke's laundry on the floor of his room. She slept there for days, and would not leave even to eat or drink. We had to hand feed her in that very spot. As the days passed we would slowly remove one piece of Luke's clothing at a time. Finally we were down to just one of Luke's favorite pieces of clothing, which we transferred to Blue's bed. She slept on that shirt for a year until we removed it and washed it and put it away with all of Luke's special things. Somehow Blue had learned how to sleep without Luke.

As the years passed Blue Dog became older, and weaker. But through it all she had a very special connection with Luke. We could say..."Where's Luke?" and old Blue Dog would turn her head towards Heaven and howl, and howl, and howl. She even made a special angel from heaven in the snow, a story that you can read in a link below.

Luke and Blue were both born on the 31st of the month (17 years apart). Luke and Blue both died in the the morning. Luke and Blue both died in the month of April (7 years apart). Luke and Blue both died from Bronchopneumonia. There is only one letter difference between the names Blue and Luke.

When that old dog died.... it hurt so much. She was a wonderful friend and a very special part of our family. She was also an amazing connection with Luke on the other side.

That shining light of Luke and Blue has been obscured only to eyes that are blinded by disbelief. The glow of their memory, the radiance of their spirit, and the luminous reflection of life will continually illuminate the distance from here to there, until one day we are bathed in that same Heavenly light of forever.

The light of summer may be fading, but the light of seasons to come will illuminate our path to those places that our mind chooses to visit. We may be surrounded by the darkness that comes with the sadness of someone gone on up ahead..... but if we look up ahead we will find the brightness of their spirit shining through, warming us with the radiant memories of a life well lived.
2011 - Christine Ross
~ in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001

# 12 of published poems
SEPTEMBER 2010, Volume 25 No. 9
Bereavement Publications, Inc.


Their eyes meet in the distance
Both running fast towards the gate,
Knowing who is on the other side,
No longer do they have to wait.

Blue dog's eyes begin to sparkle.
There's the one she's missed so much.
Flying through that portal,
To that old familiar touch.

That old dog is full of energy,
Her tail wagging back and forth.
Jumping right into his arms
Just beyond that heavenly door.

It's like they'd never been apart,
Not even for a single day.
Old Blue dog is young again
And ready to run and play.

They walk together in the sunshine,
They nap together on the clouds,
He plays his guitar like old times
While Blue joins in and howls.

They've found that place in heaven
Where a boy and his dog can roam.
In the clouds are two sets of footprints.
At the end of that journey home.

2008 - Christine Ross
~Bringer of Light Poetry

In memory of Luke and Blue

September 2010, Volume 25 No. 9
Bereavement Publications, Inc.


(no more names can be added)







Last Entry in Luke's Journal:

"When there is love in my heart and a smile on my face,
I need nothing else." ~ Luke Ross


Music playing: