Vale Nono. A Long Life. Well Lived.


This morning our grand father and great grandfather slipped away peacefully in his sleep. A gracious, handsome and always humble gentleman. Closing his eyes on a long and happy 101 year journey. Next week our family will be gathering to bid him a  poignant farewell. The last time we all were together was a joyous and happy occasion. The celebration of his hundredth  birthday.

Not long after, this poem was penned by my then twelve year old daughter. A reflection of a long life. Well lived. In honour of her great grandfather. Vale Nono. Sleep Well. You will always be remembered for your courage, dignity and grace.

A Long Life. Well Lived.

In this my hundredth year I know
my fleeting destiny
my borrowed time on earth
is but a precious gift.
An infinitesimal moment
burning brightly, briefly
flickering, fading finitely
into oblivion

I personify
the simplicity of a life well lived
in the moment.
An ordinary existence
extraordinary in its longevity
interceded by the spinning wheel of fortune,
buffeted by the lustering winds of change,
humbled by the capriciousness of fate.

Felicitous Fortuna
Smiles on me.
With wide eyed wonder
I soar high on angel’s wings
bearing testimony to all that is great and good,
awestruck by the world’s majesty and grace.

Fickle faithless Fortuna
abandons me.
With a heavy, ponderous heart
I plunge headlong into a valley of tears,
bewildered by mankind’s destructiveness,
uncomprehending of the cruelty of the universe.

I am blessed.
I have endured
the vagaries of a lifetime.
Vanquished by the mellifluous passage of time
I am content.
My legacy.
My self.
Courage. Dignity. Grace.

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9 Responses to Vale Nono. A Long Life. Well Lived.

  1. Such a well-written poem by your daughter. I’m sorry for your loss. But how wonderful to have your grandfather for so long and for your daughter and other family members to have a great grandfather to learn from. I imagine there were many wonderful stories shared over the years. We learn so much from the past generations don’t we? Wishing you peace.

  2. Your daughter is very gifted – what a poet she will make! It is not too often younger generation get to know their Great-grand-parents, your family is very blessed. One hundred-one year is a very long and fruitful life, but loosing a loved one is very difficult no matter how long that person lived…I am sorry for your loss. Just know that you have a wonderful angel up there looking out for you and your family.

    • I totally agree. I”ve told my children he is in heaven having a wonderful reunion with our dear Nana. I like to think of them restored to the prime of their lives, holding hands and looking over us.

  3. My French Heaven says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! My grandma passed at 101 a few years back. I know what you must feel… Beautiful poem!!

    • Thank you. We keep reminding ourselves his passing was not too unexpected . But its still a shock. How lucky we were to have him for so long. We will miss his wisdom, dignity and grace. I think he will be kept very busy up there in Heaven looking after us.

  4. Marianne says:

    A beautiful tribute to a wonderful life. Our thoughts are with you. Xox

  5. thehungrymum says:

    so sorry for your loss. What a handsome, dignified looking man.

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