Three years ago today, I lost a dear friend - Kristin Petrie Rocha - to cancer. After a prolonged battle with breast cancer, she passed away at the all-too-young age of 47. I wrote this poem for her shortly after she died.
As we welcome in a New Year with prayers for good heath, happiness and a global shift towards better days, may we also remember those from our past who made life wonderful.
ODE TO A PEACH
There once was a girl we called Peach
Who didn’t live too far down the street.
She was short, this is true;
And her eyes, they were blue.
Indeed, she was one you wanted to meet.
From Martin Place in Manhasset she did hail.
Child of Pete and Rosemary.
Mo, Jeanne, Jim and Mike
Enhanced the delight
Of her tortured grammar school and teenage years.
We met as kids, not more than 5.
By 13, we hit our stride.
So much fun we did have,
Laughing endlessly, never mad,
Along with a few others, we became the Hen Pride.
Many years she lived in New York City.
Some nights were not too pretty.
Drunky Monkey arrived,
Made us all feel quite alive,
Although the next day we all felt pretty shi**y.
In the day, she was teacher extraordinaire,
Leading the kindergarteners with great flair.
Antics in her class
Made us all laugh.
You simply wished you were sitting right there.
Time marched on, our lives did weave
Different paths, off she would leave
With her love from the North
She found her stride, she walked forth
Selfishly, many did grieve.
Love and marriage brought two great kids;
Keegan and Emma, fixed on our grid.
Many smiles they did bring,
Along with laughter, and other things.
‘Twas a mother’s love that could never be hid.
Amongst these many great joys
She had too many an “Oy.”
Meeting challenges with grace,
She defied the whole human race
Battling cancer with the strength of a boy.
She left this earth entirely too soon
Making so many feel stranded on the moon.
The high road she did take,
Singularly, she did make
Many feel that they’d lost their tune.
In this life, you meet a few
Who are honest and loyal, too.
Friends like that are unique,
The kind of people you should seek
As they will always be tried and true.
You are sorely missed by many, Peach.
Until we meet again.