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Joyce L. Rapier

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Books by Joyce L. Rapier
Treasures of the Heart (c) 2002
By Joyce L. Rapier
Sunday, April 27, 2003

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In loving memory to my Grandson Beau

By: Joyce Rapier
All rights reserved 2002

Itís not unusual to find many items sitting on a shelf garnered by dust begging to be touched by a passerby. For many of us, treasures accumulate over years, simply because of a passion to acquire a trove of ob-jet díart. The quality of such treasures range from ornate bells to antique automobiles. Thereís no question that we all enjoy a conquest in seeking just the right item to display on our mantelpiece or delight in showing off our newest pride and joy; just to be displaced by a newer and more seductive find. Itís what we do with those items or how we view a treasure that sends the heart spiraling toward fulfillment.
Treasures hold different meanings; a lock of hair can transport a mother to her first childís haircut, a picture can send the mind racing toward the past but most importantly itís what we do with those treasures that count.
My treasures are truly magical. They not only hold my spirit together; they bind my soul with unforgettable experiences.
The first day of school: pencil and paper, erasers leaving a reddish mark on a smudged dog-eared work sheet, chalk screeching down a blackboard, the aroma of mashed potatoes and gravy, my two cents for a carton of milk.
There is a scent of learning in the air beckoning the mind to expand in vast directions. What a glorious experience; a day filled with anticipation.
A fresh fallen snow on a winterís day evokes pleasures within my mind to remember a childhood snowman. Plodding through wet snow: shoes caked with a grassy mixture of dirty snow, encases my mind with the taste of hot cider to warm the shivering body and nudges my memory with the gentle touch from my beloved mother as she brushes my cheek with a kiss.
The first date: a reminder that the body is growing in proportions un-controlled by the rate of the mind. Dressing up in the best clothes, sleeking back the hair in a pony tail only confirms that this is a test of wills and that better things are on the horizon.
So many treasures are found in unexpected ways. A marriage blessed with children, wonderful grandchildren, a first bicycle, the smell of crayons pressed against coloring books, seeing an old barn deluged with mossy overgrowth, gnarly trees bent by years of wear, a paper airplane soaring through the air, freshly brewed coffee on an open campfire, wet grasses clinging to the pant legs, rain soaking the parched ground, a lonely empty dog collar, smoke drifting in cascades from a chimney, baby birds in a nest, cinnamon and orange rind on Christmas day. All of these things, and more, are treasures to be looked upon as tangible parts of our lives.
One treasure in my chest far surpasses anything tangible. It is the memory of a loved one, my wonderful grandchild whose life ended in such a tragic way. At birth, he was the picture of pure innocence; completely formed as he should be and loved beyond comprehension. Growing in the fashion of a small child with run of the mill tantrums, dirty face and learning how to pull a grandmotherís chain, he was the sunshine of my life. As he learned to form words, he began to create syllables for my chosen name. Unable to say Grannie, he used two letters, short g and long e. To wit, I became Ge. I delighted in hearing that special name and it resounded loudly in a crowded area. In an instant, it was gone.
Beautiful memories of my grandchild encompass watching him prance around in my go-go boots in an unexpected deluge of snow, gouging the heels downward as though he was on stilts and making angel wings with an oversized coat, too large for his small body. His penchant for spiced orange tea leaves me breathless when I smell the aromatic aromas waft through my mind. His smile could melt the heart and soothe emotions as if it were in liquid form, floating gently as a butterfly and soft as a cloud. So many memories, so many treasures; gone with a blink of an eye.
Twenty years of pleasure was shattered as he placed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Why? We can only speculate. Incidents leading to his death began with a downward spiral. At age nineteen, one year prior to his death, he had open-heart surgery. A metal valve was inserted to correct a birth defect. The constant tick from the metal valve was overtaking him physically and depression gradually forced him toward his demise. There were no red flags, no signs indicating intervention was needed, nothing! His outward appearances and demeanor to his family seemed to be as happy go lucky as the day he romped in the snow. Pure, smiling, eyes aglow, gentle and loving. Perhaps this detail of my grandsonís death may seem somewhat graphic but it is to let you know: hold on to your loved ones, as beloved treasures disappear.
Our loving grandson is gone from the trials and tribulations of this earth but the legacy of his memories remain: as treasures of the heart.

See poem in his memory: I Will See Your Face

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Reviewed by 4/29/2003
Joyce, you carried us along as in a boat down a river of gentle, warm, peaceful and beautiful waters; then in the last paragraph you seemed to be thrust suddenly along, with your readers, into the treacherous, wrenching turbulance of abrupt discovery. Painful to write, I know, but a loving tribute we all need to read.

Thank you for sharing it.
Reviewed by Jessica Stanfield 4/28/2003
Joyce, your words leave me speechless. I have never been through this kind of thing. I have been very blessed, but I hear your pain and sorrow in your beautiful words and I pray that getting those feelings out is helping a little bit. But on this piece itself, great job, very well written.
- J -
Reviewed by Linda Pannett 4/28/2003
Joyce, this is beautiful. I share your pain, I know what the treasures of the heart mean since I lost my two daughters. Your Beau is now watching over you, as you had watched over him. Another beautiful Angel. God bless you and your family.
Reviewed by Mary Erickson 4/27/2003
Joyce, what a way with words. Every thought of being a writer? LOL. I lost my son at 35 so this piece had a lot of meaning for me. I can feel your pain.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 4/27/2003
beautiful tribute to beau! god bless you, joyce! :( (((HUGS)))
Reviewed by Marcyle Taliaferro 4/27/2003
Joyce, what a beautiful tribute to your precious Beau. And what beautiful treasures you hold in your heart.
God be with you and your family,

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