March 10, 2004

Abigail Hayo

A poem to Ray, written by his loving wife Sophie. I, Abigail Hayo, Ray's sister, had the privilege of reading this at the memorial for Ray.

My Ray

Once a man walked the earth
A tall man, and good, all good
His stride was long and firm
His shoulders wide
Heavy burdens he could carry with ease, without complaint

His smile was sweet, his laugh came easily
His eyes, ears, heart and mind were open
Attuned, attentive to the joy, the possibilities, the wonder, the adventure
To be found in the world and in the lives he crossed

He was fascinated by all people
Endlessly asking questions
Truly interested in their stories
Truly delighted to share
Loving to learn

He was so generous, giving freely of himself,
His energy, his hands, his heart
Never concerned that he'd give too much away---
He was boundless, endless, overflowingly Ray

He led, naturally, but not through ego
Instead believing that he was simply helping others

He loved to teach, to partner, to mentor,
He was so patient. He took an honest pride in the student's gain,
Even in their trying, happy to open new doors for others.

He was proud to work
To work hard
To work with his hands
To work side by side
To create, to build, to restore
To be proud of a job well done

He love to play
To roll around on the ground giddy with delight
To be one of the kids
To share the joy and magic of being alive

He loved strongly, blissfully, happily, loudly
Unafraid to say it, show it, shout it

Now we have lost him
For such a tall man he got lost easily

But please, let us not let him stay lost

Let our stories entice him
Our love and laughter call him back to us
So our memories stay sharp and sweet and bright

Please share with us all
His touch on your life, his presence,
His effect on you and on your world

For all of us left behind
In a world grown smaller, duller, quieter, colder
We need his warmth

And mostly for his daughter
Let her grow in this reflected light, like moonlight once the sun has set
Let our stories, our remembrances, our love of Ray
Help us keep some of the goodness and sweetness and wisdom and joy alive
for the Rosebud he so adored