As Only She Knows: A Tribute to Amazing Women of Strength, Courage, and Wisdom Caregiver's Companion Journal

Just off Highway 53, in the small town of Lynchburg, South Carolina stands a white house down a long unpaved lane on one's way to Shiloh. To the left of the front porch's cinder block steps once grew a nice rose bush groomed by the diligent hands of Mrs. Ella W. Gibbons. Like its budding, unfolding, displaying and falling petals, Keesha stood growing and examining her southern surroundings, enduring all seasons.

Keesha, as only she knows, conveys through poetry, her recollections of growing up with Ella, as only she knew, forewarning of a readiness for transition that would arrive some twenty-five years later. She lived through the processes of listening, caring, denying, and ultimately letting go. The reader is privy to a poetic journey through the forest of grief by her sharing of the perceived thought processes, considerations, and endurances of Ella and other courageous women who made impressions on her life.

She knows that total preparation for the inevitable-death-is impossible; however, accepting the reality that beginnings render endings, make the losses less agonizing. She knows that out of the most grueling circumstances derive the most beautiful experiences. She knows that when coping with loss is the toughest, pen and paper can become one's dearest friends. Readers are encouraged to experience the grief process without making apologies and to write intimate thoughts while wiping away the tears, maintaining sanity. The crying will not last always, but the precious memories will sustain. Remember the facial expressions! Remember the favorite things! Remember the holidays! Remember delightful times! Remember praying times! After the pain subsides, come out on the other side of the forest ready to drive a little farther up the road. Embrace the new day that is daily replenished with God's tender mercies. Great is His faithfulness and sufficient is His grace!

(Lamentations 3:23 KJV)

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--Keesha Gibbons Caldwell