RIP Earth Angel


Kris Palmer; poet, author, mother, earth angel.

Kris Palmer; poet, author, mother, earth angel.

earth angel

there’s a glow about those
that are graced with a halo
your light before you goes
earth angel

there’s a recognition
our spirits know
we are of one another
i share your glow

our love is comfortable
our friendship old
conversation easy
when you share a soul

so rest assure
where ever you travel
i’ll be there with you
you are never alone

remember
earth angel

we share a soul

 

I wrote this in early 2011 for my friend, Kris, who was leaving Venice, FL and moving back home to Missouri, feeling apprehensive at leaving her grown children and the town she now called home. I hated that she was leaving us, her friends and poets who loved her so deeply, but she needed to be close to her family (parents, siblings, cousins) and for that, I couldn’t fault her.

Kris was diagnosed in her 30’s with Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease, a shocking life sentence to this vivacious young mother. Her life changed in ways in which I could never understand.

I met Kris in 2004 at a magnificent coffee house in Venice called Stir the Soul, oh, how I loved this space and those that drifted in and out of those doors.  I no more than landed in Venice and found my way into Stir the Soul in search of poetry, and it happened that the owner, Mr. Daney Jelley was looking for someone to bring poetry to life in his space.  This was synchronicity in all its glory!  So I began hosting open mic poetry on Saturday nights, and there was this girl (she looked so young) that had the sweetest spirit about her, who would get up and kill it at the mic. Her words were moving and real, inspiring and charged with emotion.  Occasionally, we’d pause, while Kris would tolerate some moments of several tremors, then pick up right where she left off.  Perseverance.  At that time I didn’t realize she had Parkinson’s since I wasn’t real familiar with it, just that I thought older individuals were more apt to have it.

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At poetry in North Port FL

Through the years, we continued as poetry buds. Kris was writing her book “Dancing with an Elephant”. She knew I liked to dabble in photography, so she asked if I would mind taking pictures of her for her book.  Of course I said YES.  That lead to me designing her book cover, but more than that, it lead me to an even greater closeness with this remarkable woman. She asked if I would mind video taping her preparing for an average day, in case she wanted to use that to promote her book.  I have several hours of video that leaves me speechless every time I watch them. Makes me thoroughly ashamed that I ever complain about anything!

Kris Palmer's book about Living a Full Life with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.

Kris Palmer’s book about Living a Full Life with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.

My Earth Angel passed away last week, with her beautiful daughter by her side, and her family nearby. A strange mix of gladness and sadness came over me. Glad that she is finally still, that she has shed the body that tried to trap her, but you see, she was bigger than any disease. Her spirit can finally soar.  But my human self is sad, for entirely selfish reasons.

So on the days when my body feels like its dragging behind me, when I want to lay on the couch and lick my wounds or satiate whatever whim I feel I need, I’ll look to Kris…to the woman that taught me more than I even know at this point, because it’s often not until someone is gone, do we remember the wonderful moments, the soothing and supportive words, the sheer physical and mental will to keep on going.

Fly high Earth Angel. Until next time~Rest in Paradise

At Kris's daughter's wedding.

At Kris’s daughter’s wedding.

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Kris sharing her poetry~