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The Strength Of A Mother

The Dragon Beside Me

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read

This story is a tribute to my friend and cousin Julia. A tiny peek into a life filled with joy and compassion. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of her life, as we journey back to family.

As children we were always together. A built in playmate and friend, my cousin. A true testament to the generation that raised us.

Back when family was everything. Weekend cookouts, camping and years of family reunions - gatherings at the swimming hole, or playing on the farm, any excuse to be together.

That was how we were raised.

However, as families do, we grew apart. Our families moved away and started new lives with families of our own. And like so many of us experience, it became weddings and funerals bringing us back together with the promise, “we need to make sure we get together more often.”

Spoken with the best of intentions, but without follow through.

Sitting here today in this auditorium watching as hundreds of people stand in line, filing in to pay their respects for her loss. Each one hoping for a glimpse, a small taste of the morsels she lovingly created and nurtured in her life.

Each of us longing to give her some peace, that small piece of ourselves that has escaped the intense depth of pain she is enduring.

Watching and realizing just what an unbelievable magnetic force she is.

Gracefully energizing her entire family. A solid cornerstone of strength and grace keeping their entire world in line.

The example they all needed and the presence they craved on the day they said goodbye to their baby brother.

I watched in awe as they surrounded her, getting as close to her as they possibly could, soaking up the grace and warmth that escaped her being, like air.

I listened as her husband and their children as they poured over her their gratitude and love, each one repeating the same sentiment. Stories and memories of the love and connection she surrounded and covered them with.

Time and again mentioning that she is the glue.

Her daughter spoke through her tears, “everything that is my mom, encircles our lives making us all that we are. Our needs, dreams and desires became her mission, and she loved us into success. “

I experienced her being lifted without hands in love. Refueling and igniting her spirit and she selflessly poured out her heart over those of us in the room.

I sat surrounded by an energy unlike any I had ever experienced. Her entire universe running parallel with mine, and as I ached for her loss, I began to realize mine.

Here is a poem in honor of the life of her baby boy, a loving tribute to the woman I knew as a child. I am blessed to have the opportunity to become reacquainted with her and the family she holds as dear as the generation that raised us.

Moments captured in a photo

A lifetime Frozen in a frame

Wounds preserved and held in escrow

places we long to be again

The sun will rise and set on this life

Leading us through our expiratory

Jagged and beautiful the knife

As thousands of pixels reveal our story

Life is potentially unkind

During even the best of times

Blurring the ties that loving binds

Severing the precious fragile lines

But nothing and no one can steal the hearts joy

Cemented deeply in our soul

A gift the father graciously employs

Filling with love the empty void

New days will come, bringing us wonder

The past will blend making them shine

And once again we’re held here under

The mercy of his grand design

fact or fictiongrief

About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

or facebook

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • ROCK about a month ago

    You reflect the same sense of amazement and strength as the cousin you respect and love; albeit an agonizing reunion, it's good to read you are in touch with this important person in your family.

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    So sorry for your loss and what a beautiful tribute!!

  • Her baby brother? I have no words. But the ones you share here bear marvelous witness.

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