I'm Walt. And I'm Marie Elena.
This is the collaboration of two kindred spirits; partners in rhyme;
"the best friends we've never met."
All "Across the Lake. Eerily."

Friday, January 28, 2011


Psalm 139:16. … all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

James E. Powers, Sr.
April 21, 1931 - January 28, 2011

On August 7, 2010, I wrote the following to honor my Godfather, Uncle Jim.
At 12:45 this morning, he lost his battle with leukemia.

My parents and I went to the hospital as soon as we got word, where we found a room filled to capacity with his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
Noticeably present was Jim, Jr. (“Punk”), his only son, business partner, and best friend,
who left us on November 19.

Written on the patient whiteboard was Uncle Jim’s goal for today:
“Golf with Punk.”
That brought a smile to my face. Goal met.

Thank you, Blessed Father, for allowing Punk to be there to escort Uncle Jim into Your presence.

Link to "Crossroads,"  A sonnet for my cousin:  http://aleerily.blogspot.com/2010/11/crossroads-sonnet-for-my-cousin-with.html

(Originally posted August 7, 2010)

Generosity, personified
Outstanding uncle

Honest businessman
Respected by all

Uncle Jim is a man to be admired. In 1977, he bravely started his own precious-metal plating company here in Toledo. It was a 1200 sq. ft., father-and-son business. Once business took off, he employed many over the years. He offered free education through a tuition reimbursement program, full healthcare coverage, and respect for everyone from part-time housekeeper to chemist. As is the case for too many small businesses, the economy has taken its toll, and he has had to downsize severely.

He is a loving father to his own children, and father-at-the-ready for me. When I was a little girl, I feared nearly everyone … including (unfortunately, and for no reason) my own father. When I was approximately four, I decided my dad was an okay guy after all. One day in our kitchen, I decided I was going to tell him how I felt about him. I climbed up in his lap to give him the very best compliment a man could ever be given: I told him that of all the "men" I knew, I loved God first, Uncle Jim Powers second, and him third. Poor Dad. I was such an evil child. Sincere, but evil. I've never lived that one down.

Too often, we wait until it is too late to express our love and admiration for people in our lives. On this side of the Lake, I have many.

And I’m not waiting.

Marie Elena


  1. Marie Elena - I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is for those of us who remain afterward to face the hole left in our hearts and our lives.

    You did your godfather proud by this tribute, and by being the person you are.

    I'm keeping you in my thoughts today. (((Hugs)))

  2. Oh, Marie...I'm so sorry you have to go through this heartache. What a touching tribute. The "golf" story brought tears flowing down my face. A truly bitter sweet moment. May God bless you and your family, and give you strength.

    Hugs, and a gentle zerbert.

  3. Agree with Shauna about the tears, Marie Elena. What a year this has been in your family.
    These are the days when the embers of your faith keep you strong--I read it in your words.
    Take care on your side of the lake,

  4. Dear Marie, I'm so sorry about your loss. And I love "golf with Punk," as well as your third-place dad! You have such a wonderful family... smiles through the tears.


  5. Hi is a hero, indeed, with a beautiful, kind smile. You're in my thoughts, Marie. Much love.

  6. Marie, between the two of us, we have a lot of similar heartaches in the short time we've known each other. And now again with Uncle Jim. This one pains me more than the rest in that I have come to know Uncle Jim through your wonderful words and your compassionate heart. I guess Jim and "Punk" are back in business watching over the family from a more blessed vantage point. Know my thoughts and prayers continue for you and your family. Go do, and I'll keep us afloat here on "the Lake".

  7. RJ, Shauna, Patricia, Kate, Boo, and Walt: Well, I THOUGHT I posted a thank you to all of you. It apparently didn't "take." You guys are the BEST, and I love knowing you are out here.

    Walt, we really have had similar heartaches. I love your sentiment, "I guess Jim and Punk are back in business, watching over the family from a more blessed vantage point." That truth makes me smile.

  8. Glad I have that magic to bring about "Hannah" smiles. Thanks for that, Pard.

    On the subject of heartaches, just got finished watching "Serendipity", one of my favorite movies. If you know the story you'll know why I have a partiality to it. Enhanced by the fact that my youngest, Andrea, came home with her hair colored Auburn and bearing a striking resemblance. Just says those things never totally vacate our lives. Memories are blessings.

  9. I've never heard of Serendipity, Walt. Keith and I might need to have ourselves a movie night. ;)


  10. Marie,

    Thank you for broadening our understanding and making our hearts a little bigger by sharing some of you and your family with us.

    I'm right there with Kate and Shauna about the golf story.

    Your tribute and memories are priceless. I'm very sorry for your loss... I love the verse you put at the top. And I pray that through the sadness of losing your godfather you'll feel that hope we have through Jesus.

    Love you.

  11. He was a great guy. I'm very sorry for your loss. Endearing story about what you told your daddy! ;D