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                                                         The Never-Ending Waltz                      

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 


 

The conductor raised his wand and tapped, then led the waiting band,

In a chorus of angelic harmony, guided by Maestro's hand.

One universal heartbeat, swaying bodies, three-quarter pulse,

Couples promenading round the floor to the Never-Ending Waltz.

 

From across the room he caught the gaze of a pretty Irish Lass,

And with nerve in hand, and fluttering heart, he asked her for a dance.

Her green eyes sparkled as she took his hand, her smile lit up the room,

Then with bodies meshed and arms entwined, they were swept up by the tune.

 

In unison they whirled and twirled, lithely stepping, dipping, swaying,

On a cloud of billowing melody, and the band continued playing.

Percussion, woodwind, brass, and string, and ivory piano keys,

And they drifted high above the crowd, on a gentle choral breeze.

 

Far below the universe hummed, faceless shadows in the mist,

He was sheltered in her embrace and she was safe in his.

Seeds of romance took root that night at England’s Purley Hop.

Two hearts were forever bound in love, and the music never stopped.

 

Soon after they were wed, though it rained fire from the sky,

And when he was sent to Italy, she remained behind.

A nurse's oath she had sworn, to care for life and limb,

But as she tended London’s ill she was filled with thoughts of him.

 

War was ended and peace proclaimed in the spring of Forty-Five,

And she boarded the ship Scythia with hundreds of other brides.

She fixed her gaze on England's soil til no longer could she see,

Then with uncertain heart, and firm resolve, she faced her destiny.

 

From Galway City and London town, to Lintlaw and Kelvington,

From Ireland’s ‘forty shades ‘O’ green’, to Saskatchewan’s scorching sun.

No water or electricity, with long days of prairie drought,

Choking wheat fields red with blight, and a future filled with doubt.

 

When he joined her he could see that she pined for home and kin,

She longed for green grass and trees, and for life as it had been.

But she met each challenge that she faced; the hard times that were rife,

And without complaint the city girl became a farmer's wife.

 

He raked and hoed, ploughed and tilled, and tended his garden plot,

He planted tomatoes, peas, and corn; anything that could be bought.

She watched him lovingly tend the animals, trying to keep them all alive,

And not one to be outdone, she soon yielded a crop of five.

 

On a meager wage he fed his crew, but his heart was sick with worry,

Jobs were scarce and times were tough, and a heavy load he carried.

When he spoke to her of going out West, to the land of ‘milk and honey’,

She told him she would follow, and they gambled their hard earned money.

 

They crammed the Woody Wagon with their belongings and their brood,

But with few dollars in his tattered wallet, he was quiet and subdued.

She saw his angst, the troubled look, for his fear he could not hide.

And she gently stroked his worried brow and said, “God will provide”.

 

Life in British Columbia was all they hoped it would be,

She minded the children and tended the home, he worked on the P.G.E.

They saved some money, traveled some too, and health was on their side,

Until the day she had a stroke, and their lives took a downward slide.

 

She fought for life, and beat the odds, and in the ensuing years,

He cared for her with undying love, though he fought back bitter tears.

Her body failed to do her bidding, and she was no longer able to walk,

But her wit was sharp, her laughter joyful, and faith was her steadfast rock.

 

As he remembered the way things were, he mourned what might have been,

Yet honoring his vow ‘til death do us part’, he cared for his fragile colleen.

And though he loved her as much as before, sadness invaded his soul,

In his heart the music died, and her illness took its toll.

 

Though pain was her constant companion, she bore it with dignity,

And she looked forward to the future, though that was not to be.

Her body grew tired, too weak to fight, and she closed her eyes to sleep,

But while she lay in peaceful slumber, the angels in Heaven did weep.

 

They saw the pain of those she loved, and they knew his heart was breaking,

And while they rejoiced at her eternal life, his anguish was excruciating.

So they sent an angel from Heaven above, one of their very own,

A companion to comfort his grieving heart so he would not be alone.

 

With Joan’s love and tender care, his heart began to mend,

His smile returned, and with a spring in his step he laughed aloud again.

Once more he saw the good in life, and was grateful for another chance,

To explore the prairies of Saskatchewan and to rekindle his first romance.

 

But time and age had taken their toll; his body was worn and frail,

And though he struggled to hang onto life, his fight was to no avail.

He drew his last breath, and gave up the battle, with his angel at his side,

Then he crossed the bridge to eternity into the arms of his waiting bride.

 

And the conductor raised his wand and tapped, then led the waiting band,

In a chorus of angelic harmony, guided by the Creator’s hand.

One universal heartbeat, swaying bodies, three-quarter pulse,

Couples promenading round the heavens to the Never-Ending Waltz.

 

Across the distance he caught the gaze of a pretty Irish Lass,

And with outstretched hand and gladdened heart, he asked her for a dance.

Her green eyes sparkled, she took his hand, and in the glow of the eternal moon,

Their bodies meshed, their arms entwined, and they were swept up by the tune.

 

In unison they whirled and twirled, lithely stepping, dipping, swaying,

On a cloud of billowing melody, and the band continued playing.

Percussion, woodwind, brass, and string, and ivory piano keys,

And they drifted high above the earth on a gentle choral breeze.

 

Far below humanity bustles as faceless shadows behind the veil,

Glide rhythmically among the stars on a shimmering celestial trail.

Freed from the burden of human form, perfected in the image of God,

Two hearts are forever bound in love, and the music will never stop.

 

By Karen M. Snodgrass

  

IN MEMORY OF OUR PARENTS

 

Clarence George Killian, September 14, 1919 – January 21, 2003,
and
Brigid (Fennell) Killian, December 18, 1919 – May 12, 2002


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