Written by my father, the comments below were read by Kat Carrol at the funeral of my mother, Maggie Geib.

I want to acknowledge this community for the sustained, loving support given Maggie, me, Katie, Tom and Richard over the past thirteen months. Your caring has made bearable an otherwise unbearable journey. I have seen God in each of you as you have ministered to us. Without you, I fear, my own faith would haven been shattered. Thank you. Thank you especially for lightening Maggie's burden.

I also want to acknowledge and honor Maggie. I am grateful for the chance to do so publicly.

Poetry was for Maggie and me one of many shared delights. Especially poetry read aloud early in the morning at the beach. For our thirtieth wedding anniversary in September of last year [1995], I tried something new: I wrote a poem and gave it to Maggie as a gift. In writing this poem, which I entitled "An Anniversary Poem," I drew inspiration from Archibald MacLeish's "Poem in Prose," a poem which he dedicated to his wife. I adapted my poem to MacLeish's structure while substituting my free-spirited Maggie for the solid, unliberated housewife of the MacLeish poem who apparently spent her days baking bread, making candles and sweeping the house. In any event, Maggie loved the poem, perceiving at last what her own gift to me had always been.

I revisit this anniversary poem this morning at a time of great personal sadness. It is fitting that I should do so: the poem contributes to the celebration of Maggie's life and of Maggie's irrepressible spirit which we began last night at the vigil and have continued at this funeral mass; more importantly, the poem acknowledges publicly and most solemnly Maggie's great gift to me.

by Dick Geib

"In all that becomes a woman
Her words and her ways are beautiful."

This poem is for you, dear wife.
I have written it plainly and honestly,
Trusting my words may fashion a wedding cup
To hold the sparkle and tonic of love.

I have not written it to praise you.
You have no more need of praise
than the flowers of your garden
Or the sensate joy of fragrance and color.

In all that becomes a woman
You are beautiful
Of heart and hand and mind,
A home for my wandering soul.

Wherever you are there is movement,
Dancing to the music of the life
Which flows in you so passionately,
Your shy, smiling babies held close.

Where you are there is laughter.
Not the tepid laughter of the meek
(which surely you are not)
But the full-bodied laughter
Of a woman sure in her self,
Warmed by discovery of another's heart.

Your spirit when it sings is a voice
At sunrise by the ocean's shore
Making my own spirit leap with delight
As if lifted by the wind and the waves.

Wherever you are, you are in the moment.
It is now, after all, where the roses are.

Here in the moonlit room
Your breathing soft and rhythmical
Your darkened form profiled in loveliness,
Emotions run too deep for words.

Then, with the dawn, I know.
I hold you and I know.
You have given me the greatest good --

The gift of myself.

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