When They Slip Away



There are people we come in contact with throughout our lives that make a significant impression on us, be it good or bad.  Those that ignite our sleeping flames and make us think.

The ones that impact us in a positive way are the ones we marvel at.  They talk the talk and actually walk the walk.  Be it their attitude toward life, their values, the way they treat others or simply, their smile.  We look to them in admiration and wonder what made them so remarkable.  We ask ourselves how we can change and vow to mimic them from that day forward.

When They Slip Away.

I mourn the loss of two such people, today.  Two acquaintances that impacted my life when they were living and even more, after they slipped away.

A 45 year-old mother of three adult children.  Head cashier at the local market where she was like a ‘mother’ to most.  Beautiful red hair put up in a bun, sparkling eyes to compliment her welcoming smile.  A laugh to remember and a heart of gold.  My children worked with her and adored her, as did all of her co-workers.  I saw her weekly as I waited in her line at the check-out no matter how many customers were ahead.  Her kids were her source of pride and she reveled in the fact that they had all moved back in with her and were once again, a family.  

A brain aneurism.  No warning, no sign.  Gone, just like that.

When They Slip Away.

A 55 year-old avid educator who was happily married with three children, also gone.  Someone whose children I gave Spanish lessons to, who was father to my daughter’s friend and school trip travel partner of my husband’s.  

Gastroesophageal cancer kicked his ass for three painful years, ultimately taking his extraordinary life.  It robbed him of his plans, his goals his explorations and his dreams.  His thirst for knowledge was insatiable.  He devoted his life to inspiring, encouraging and motivating the people in his life as well as those he came across. Everyone and anyone who interacted with him was touched and felt the magic-like effect of his presence.  You knew your life had been enhanced by the mere fact that you had met him.  An undeniable gift to all.

When They Slip Away.

These two people were not members of my family nor were they close friends of mine, yet here I sit today mourning them as if they were.  That my limited interaction with them while they lived inspired me immensely, speaks volumes about who they were.  That upon their death, they leave me with immeasurable lessons about how I should live my life going forward, is absolutely mind-blowing.  These two souls have undoubtedly changed me.

When They Slip Away

I leave you with a poem read by a relative at one of the memorial services I attended: 


To laugh often and love much;

to win the respect of intelligent persons

and the affection of children;

to earn the approbation of honest critics;

and to endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty;

to find the best in others;

to give of one’s self;

to leave the world a little better,

whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

to have played and laughed with enthusiasm

and sung with exaltation;

to know that even one life has breathed easier

because you have lived,

this is to have succeeded

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

40 thoughts on “When They Slip Away

  1. Oh my goodness, I hope their families read this. If not, if and when the possibility presents itself, I hope you tell them that their departed loved ones meant something to you, made an impact on you and are remembered and missed by you.
    I think that brings the most comfort & happiness to those left behind.
    Lovely post!


  2. Oh Maria, I am so very sorry for your loss of these two, such young and dynamic people, both of whom obviously impacted you profoundly. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to them with us, so that we can know them just a tiny bit. The poem is beautiful too. Big hugs to you my friend, sending prayers … ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always hard to read and experience deaths of those who are younger than us. When we’re younger, we assume we’ll live forever, though it can happen to anyone. But we don’t encounter it much. These examples are poignant reminders to live life, to hoard experiences, to take every opportunity to do that thing, because we never know when we’ll be done. I wish I were there and could give you a hug. You’ve been through too much this summer, my dear. Please, let’s schedule a FaceTime chat and virtually clink our gin-and-tonics. I’d love to see your lovely face. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Maria. I’m sorry for the loss of your friends. Knowing you, they were undoubtedly dear people. Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? Impacting people positively–that’s real success.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful tribute, we so often take life for granted. Both the impact we have on others and there impact on us, until… Love that Emerson quote, I have the last part as part of my about page as if applies to my own experiences. Thank you for sharing. May God bless and comfort you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to my site and thank you for reading, Mark. We do take so much for granted, don’t we? That’s great that you have that quote on your about page to remind you the true meaning of success. I have placed in a spot where I will look at it, always. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry for your losses. They are losses to you, even if you weren’t close-close. They mattered to you and it’s good to grieve for them, and good to evaluate, and good to connect.

    Take care Honeybee ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Honeybee. We have learned how true this is from the friendships we have made via blogging or social media. Very often we grieve for virtual friends and hurt for them as if they were family or close friends. That connection we make with others is such a gift. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Peg. We hear that all the time, that life is too short, but we don’t really take the words in and realize what they mean. I’m all about laughing as much as possible and am grateful for people like you who always put a smile on my face. 🙂


  7. I’m sorry for your losses, my dear Mrs. B. Both of your friends sound as if they were big winners in this game of life, no matter that for some reason the power above decided their finish down here had to come sooner than we mortals would ever have wanted. Your hurt goes to show us again that you don’t have to know somebody for long hours to appreciate them in the best minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful tribute to two people who are now gone from your life, but obviously will never be forgotten. We don’t have to be close friends with a person for them to have an impact on our life. Thanks for sharing the lovely poem, Brick.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Whoa! I just got back from vacation and my fingers are coordinating with my brain. I hit “post” too soon.

    It’s really hard to let go. I find it difficult to see my dad at 89 years old slow down and yet I know others who died as babies or teenagers. And look what I went through! Live life large, as I’m sure your friends did since they left an impression. You never know how much time you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the gravatar pic – you look so great with your many hats. I’ve been missing you. I’ve kind of been away from wordpress myself so I am not up on where you were vacationing. I hope you had a fabulous time!

      That is wonderful that you have your parents with you to enjoy although it is tough to see them age. You more than many know what it’s like to appreciate life and make the best of it. You inspire me all the time! xoxo


      1. Thanks Maria! That is my favorite summer chapeau. I desperately needed a gravatar update.

        I went back for my dad’s art show. I’ll blog about it soon. xo back atcha!


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