Tag Archives: death

Mountain Man

Today I attended the funeral of my brother-in-law, Jerry. He was married, had two sons, worked for 30 years as a self-employed building contractor, and loved nature. He climbed all 46 of the Adirondacks mountain peaks. The room was packed with friends, neighbors, and family who came to say goodbye. There was a tremendous outpouring of love for Jerry. My mind is so full of all of the beautiful reminiscences, quotes, anecdotes, stories, and descriptions of the man that I am at a loss as to what to say on this page tonight. All I can do is tell you a little bit about him through the following poem that I wrote for him.

For Jerry

When I think of you, Jerry,

I think of mountains

and oceans,

your arms and hands

gentle yet well-suited

for climbing

and fishing

and building.

I think of your smile

and of fatherhood

and of sticking with a plan,

and of your interest

in our family

and in many things

other than yourself.

I’m so sorry you are ill

but I’m thankful that you feel no pain

I hope for your recovery

and yet I know that you are climbing

the steepest mountain of your life.

(Is it number 47?)

And we are here with you

calling out to you,

steadying your feet,

handing you a rope,

but we don’t need to do that

you can handle it

you with those mountains in your eyes.

Some of us are up ahead,

and others of us, well,

we aren’t too far behind

we’re keeping our eyes on your light

shining like a beacon on the mountainside.