Living and Giving

Will You Be On My Shoulder…Or Whispering in My Ear?

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I spoke to my Oma in true candor
Tears came down I strained to hear
As I asked
Will You Be on My Shoulder, or Whispering in My Ear? 

Dearest Oma show me how to carry you forever near

So Stay your spirit with me
Day; day, connecting our shared spiritual soul way

I am graced by your activity example compassion-correspondence
Balanced laughter hard work love life no preponderance

What will the day be without Omie   I cried to you across a line. 
You just spoke to me in the normal, same, loving tones…
darling I will always be with you in every and any time

But where?  Do you promise?

Darling I have heard my own mother speak to me clearly
About treating myself at our once-shared lunch at the St. Francis hotel

When you need me you will feel me fearlessly

I promise
Do you hear?

Messages of “Somebody loves you”
Run through my mind memory
“Guess who?”
Oma I do loveyou

This may be a stream of jumbled unpoetic phrasing
But it embodies truest soulmate grandmother-daughter adoring
My heart pours pure grateful unsparing

Once more where will you be? 

On my shoulder
                                or whispering in my ear?

O darling I will simply be looking over your shoulder…

I wish you continue to live life with the same love, only trust
Love you must –

I am, take you with me in my heart wherever I go
There is no far or near

O Darling, I will simply be looking over your shoulder


March 8, 1999


Dearest Omie, show me how to carry you forever near…what an incredible bestest friend I have in her.

I cried and cried on the phone to her, even though that afternoon I just saw her (She was not  feeling well, and Opa just lost his driver’s license.)  Oh, Omie, I cried; and she was in the calm.  How fortunate for me to be able to love her openly, intensely, so unconditionally.  I wanted to not grieve some day when she is not earthly present,

but instead to get my love and need for my Omie out to her, out to her, so she could share it with me, help me though it, while she is here. 

And she was so calm, and peaceful, and her same self. So standardly calm and strong, telling me, she would be looking over my shoulder…

Oma also told me of Mahetty, her beloved mother, and how they used to go to the St. Francis Hotel for lunch.  And one day in San Francisco, after Mahetty wasn’t here, she was thinking about whether to go to a regular sandwich bar or the St. Francis. 

“Sometimes I have heard Mahetty talking to me, and this was one of those times. 

Mahetty said to me: “Oh Franny, go to the St. Francis!” 

And of course, Oma said this with her joyful vigor and exuberance, a beautiful fist raised midway in the air.  “And on we go,” she’d say to me.   And so I must, with love and trust.

Frances Blaisdell Williams was the first woman woodwind at Julliard School of Music in 1928.  She was a pioneer for women and women flutists all over the world.  Most importantly, she was Pamela Hawley’s grandmother and one of her best friends.