Jude Genereaux / Leaving in April Breaks the Rules

22 04 2019

Norbert Blei / Portrait by Emmett Johns

Leaving in April Breaks the Rules

As if there are “rules” in life – my sensibilities are outraged when one we love takes that bridge in the spring of a year; it just seems ultimately UNFAIR! Especially those of us who live in the rugged North, through months of gloom and challenging weather, we cling to that time in spring to renew our zest for life. November 1st might be an appropriate date for leaving? Or maybe just after the holidays … but not, no never, in April.

What we thought we had on the horizon, that grim March of 2013, Norb & I “thought” we’d made it through not only the trough of winter, but also naively believed he was finally on the rise and road to wellness. The ugly “C” thing never returned. But we learned the hard way that sometimes the cure takes an exacting toll as well. The continuing challenges of “getting well” itself, became a hill too far … so late in April of 2013, after re-bounding and giving us weeks of hope, he let go, to wait for us in peace on the other side.

So much we wish he was here to share with us — and this 2019 winter brought an especially treasured renewal to his circle. Enter Norbert’s second grandson, fourth grandchild: Connor George Blei. O! how Norb would have treasured seeing his own son Christopher and his beautiful wife Nia cradling this beautiful little boy in their arms, in this rising, renewed spring … blooming and beaming in their love and the bounteous good fortune of new life. What could be more grand? a baby … the miracle of life, returned.

A baby. With Norbert’s broad forehead and brown eyes, carrying the name “George” for both sides of his family; such a precious gift insists that we honor the basic reminders of each day: life goes on. Treasure your days – and time with each other. Don’t waste it fussing or on frivolity: Live it! And mostly remember that: Love never dies.

For those of us who loved Norbert Blei – his family, his circle, myself, this is most true: our love for you will never die.

Remember to say his name out loud this day. Write on, Norbert.

“Even from far away, I still feel you smile
and my body reaches for you without
thinking, singing songs of love it knows that
you can hear.” ~Quiet Songs / Brian Andreas




7 responses

22 04 2019
Michael Farmer

Hey, Norb! Jude, safe travels. mf

22 04 2019
Chris Blei

Thank you , Klaus ! I really appreciate it! Chris

Sent from my iPhone


22 04 2019
Paula K

Congratulations Chris and Nia! And thank you, Jude, for sharing your thoughts once more. He is on many of our minds, and in our hearts, not just on April 23…or August 23…but often.
I was up in Door last week and had an opportunity to read my tribute poem to Norb at the Emily Dickinson Poetry Series open mic at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Felt great to remember him in a room in which he spoke and with people like Sharon Auberle and Ralph Murre.
My poem: https://poetrydispatch.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/paula-kosin-on-losing-a-teacher-losing-a-friend-norbert-blei-1935-2013/

Norb video at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship: One part of a 4 part series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usi6UBnwEII
So good to hear his voice again….

23 04 2019
Tom's Jude

Jude, thanks for your beautiful reflection. I can feel the love, the loss…and the “miracle of life, returned” in George. Wishing you special “signs” on this day.
Shantih, Tom’sJude

23 04 2019


24 04 2019
Bridget Buff

Such beautiful words Jude! Bridget xo

3 08 2019

This is lovely. I’m embarrassed I’m just seeing it now in August. Somehow I no longer get the notices from Klaus. You write beautifully and especially about Norb. He’s never far out of my thoughts.

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