That Is Not Turned Off
Elita Sohmer Clayman
A dear friend of mine passed away suddenly a few weeks ago.
He and his sweet wife took the day off from their business
and spent a fine day together sitting on their deck and
watching the flowers and the birds on a nice spring day.
That evening they went to their business which happened to
be a dance hall-studio. After a few hours there, they were
leaving when one of the teachers made a comment about a
prominent older dance teacher who had just passed away. He
said to them something like we have to appreciate every day
and be happy to be alive. They did live their lives that
They came home and he dropped with a severe heart attack and
died a few minutes later.
Everyone was shocked and dismayed and it makes one wonder at
this thing called life.
Some days we are bored, some days we are exhilarated, some
times we are tired and some days we yearn for something
exciting to happen. We never know what is in store for us or
our loved ones. We often say we will start smelling the
flowers and we will stop dwelling on bad things with bad
thoughts. We do not always adhere to those thoughts.
It is easier to say than to practice. After an experience
like mentioned above, then we do really start to be happier
and more content with what we have or been dealt.That surely
lasts maybe a short time like a week or two and then we go
back and act and live the way we always did before this
happened. We get bored, we work too hard, we envy others who
have more than us or we just plain are dissatisfied with
things. We should be counting our blessings.
We forget that this awful thing happened to a good person
and his family are still grieving and will be for a long and
even longer time. They will go back to their work, to their
daily routine and miss him so much. They will remember the
happy times and the good remarks and special moments that
all had together. A word, a phrase, a thought and even a
special food will remind them of the deceased. They will
laugh at something they remember he joked about and they may
have not laughed then when it was said. They will recall a
piece of clothing he wore that they loved or did not care
for and may have made a comment on. They will remember the
trips they took together and enjoyed each other’s company.
They will think about when they had family and holiday
celebrations and everyone ate to their heart’s content and
everyone was tired from all the holiday preparations.
They will remember tender moments and sweet gifts given to
each other for anniversaries or holidays. They will
reminisce about funny experiences and going to restaurants
to eat together a simple meal or an elaborate meal. It did
not matter because they were together. My own mom used to
say after my dad died, that one of the hardest things was to
eat alone especially at home. She would sit at the kitchen
table and could still hear his words complimenting her on
the dinner even if were a light dinner. He got pleasure out
of everything she cooked and applauded her with verbal
thanks. From an elaborate holiday meal to a modest cup of
soup or a scrambled egg, he thought it delicious. He had
been poor growing up and mealtimes were happy and together
moments when the whole family sat and ate together. He
equated us all eating together every night to a festive
occasion. That is why she missed him so much at dinner time.
Every meal was a feast of food, of talking and mostly of
I bought at Barnes and Noble bookstore an inexpensive book
of Shakespeare writings. It is called No Fear Shakespeare
and explains in easy language interpretations of
Shakespeare’s writings. In Sonnet 97 it explains Sonnet 97
My separation from you has felt just like winter, since
you’re what makes the year pleasurable. We should all
remember that when our loved ones are with us, we should
tell them daily that we love them and not think that oh I
will say that next time.Sometimes, we are not lucky enough
to see them next time. Take the moment in hand and say it
now because now is here and we never know when the here is
My friend mentioned above who passed away suddenly always
shared his love with his love. They had a second marriage
each to one another and even though their time was short,
about eight or nine years, they filled each day with love
and rememberances.They showed each other that now is here
and here is now and they did not wait for the separation to
happen suddenly to express those thoughts. Those thoughts
were ever present and ever spoken and that is what love and
devotion to one another is. Their names are Cindy Sumida and
Ed Timmerman and they own the Promenade in Baltimore,
This is the inheritance of the remaining person, having the
spirit and the days past engraved on one’s heart forever.
That keeps us alive in someone else’s heart and that is our
legacy-being remembered with devotion, love and our self.
Someone once wrote
“Spirit is an inward flame; a lamp the world blows upon but
never puts out.”
My late friend and his wife will never have their lamp blown
out or turned off. Their lamp is lit forever in their hearts
and in their souls.
Elita Sohmer Clayman