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June - No Me Without You!

Marie de France

(Marie de France)

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One of the great mysteries coming out of the Medieval times is the lady poet known only as “Marie de France”…her last name is unknown. Based on her literary works, she lived in the last half of the 12th century...Circa 1160-1199. Very little else is known about her... she has acquired this nom de plume from a line in one of her published works: "Marie ai num, si sui de France," which translates as "My name is Marie, and I am from France. 

Some of the most commonly proposed suggestions for the identity of this twelfth-century poet are Marie, Abbess of Shaftesbury and half-sister to Henry II, King of England, Marie, Abbess of Reading, Marie I of Boulog Reading  Marie I of Boulognes, Marie, Abbess of Barking, and Marie de Meulan, wife of Hugh Talbot.

Marie was thought to have been born in the Normandy area of France and later migrated to England…she wrote poetry for King Henry II. There is speculation that she may have been a half sister to the king...she was said to be well educated and very popular in the Royal Society among Barons, Counts and Knights.

What I  know about Marie is simple...this lady grabs at my heart strings when I read her love inspired poetry...and like June, she is a beautiful lady.

When I read the below beautiful and un-titled Marie creation, I could not help but think of June and weep…

I have added my own title by taking the last line of the last paragraph as the title or a name to the poem and made it my ode to June...

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"No Me Without You"

June 1994

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 “TOGETHER THEY CAN LONG ENDURE,

YET ONCE THEY ARE SEPARATED

THE HAZEL DIES ALMOST AT ONCE,

THE HONEYSUCKLE VERY SOON.

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“MY DARLING, IT IS SO WITH US!

NO YOU WITHOUT ME,

NO ME WITHOUT YOU!”

Stan

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 (Marie de France)

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Marie de France 

(Marie de France presents her book of Poems to Henry II of England)

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Marie's verified  literary works of her life time can be summarized as follows...Marie wrote in a dialect that indicates Normandy on the border of the Île-de-France. She used Breton contes and fabliaux as the source of her stories. The tales were synthesized with the love code of Poitou to create the lais which Marie dedicated to Henry II. The lais are done in lly in octosyllabic rhymed couplets extending to 100 lines or less. the lais were considered as entertaining private reading. Of the dozen or so lais acknowledged as Marie's, only one, Sir Lanval belongs specifically to the Arthurian legend. Later work (ca. 1180) includes the didactic Ysopet  based  on the fables of shrewd Reynart the Fox. Though the title refers her fables to Aesop, Marie claims that the collection she used was produced by "Alfred," presumably Alfred the Great. Marie's last known work is her La Espurgatoire de Saint Patrice.

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"Marie, I wish June and I could have met you and enjoyed your company on our many trips to London and a more modern England (1972-1999)…but then perhaps June has already met you in another world known as God’s "Heavenly kingdom."

Stan

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June and Stan - Marriage and Alzheimer's

Stan and June

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June’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis came in late January 1998. June was concerned about short term memory problems noted in  1997 and brought the matter up at her annual physical examination in December of 1997. .Subsequent examinations at the University of Minnesota, resulted in a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer's.

June in her role as a nursing home visitor, knew at a very early date, the blackness and the depth of the distant approaching Alzheimer’s storm clouds. June displayed a concern for me. I remember well that Sunday (Ca. 1999) when June brought home the “Care Notes” pamphlet from our church - “Handling Grief as a Man.” She said nothing; just left it out for me to find and to read. I also remember the time that she detected one of my episodes of emotional sadness as I watched her illness progress. She tried to console me by saying “Don’t worry, I will be alright Stan!” I am sure at the time, we both really knew otherwise.

Thereafter, I lost June slowly, tear drop by tear drop during her long and exhausting journey into the shadows of Alzheimer’s that lasted for almost 12 years.

For the first 8 plus years I took care of June at our home. The first 6 years of these years were relatively easy years that only required accommodation for her short term memory problems. We continued to travel extensively and did the many things we had put off in past years. We made up our "Bucket List" and we did them all. In Years 7 and 8 the disease started closing in on us as we saw June’s personality change and eventually hallucinations and behavioral changes. In year 9, June went into a nursing home. As the disease progressed she had seizures, lost ability to walk or talk, had difficulty swallowing, eating, and became incontinent. During the last year and a half, she rarely opened her eyes or even responded. Aspiration pneumonia, a common Alzheimer’s complication ended her life.

June gave me a lifetime of unconditional love during our 56 year’s marriage and a life with only the regret that it is now over and that June has had to suffer the horrors of Alzheimer's. I owe June and God an unending debt for the many blessings of our marriage. For me, meeting June was like a "Divine Appointment." It was as if I had won the grand prize in the Lottery of Life. June's passing was as if a most beautiful symphony that played during our life together, had now ceased to exist!

Before June's Alzheimer's diagnosis, our world and her character and personality were represented by a vast sea of bright and beautiful lights. After her Alzheimer's diagnosis, these bright lights all begin to slowly dim. As June slowly slipped deeper into the shadows of Alzheimer's, the lights gradually flickered out one by one. Eventually the time came during the last two years of her life, when the brightness that marked our world and June’s life was replaced by one of darkness.

During the last year and a half of her life, a physically incapacitated June rarely ever opened her eyes to a world that was then alien and strange to her. June had become so tired, exhausted and weary that in the last year of her life she lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield. God mercifully took June home on the 23rd of October 2008.

June's passing leaves me with an emptiness that can never be filled! I am reminded of the words by John F. Nim:

"For should your hands drop white and empty - All the toys of the world would break."

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 Reader's Comments

Lynette Richards  - Hindhead, United Kingdom - (2 April 2013): "Heavenly lady and her portrait conveys this too..."What a beautiful discovery Stan! "

Peter Schottler  - Dusseldorf, Germany - (2 April 2013): "I love this...I finished my work in a senior residence in Wuppertal, tired and vulnerable. This poem goes straight to the heart. I feel with you, know what makes you weep..."

Alisa Carnall  - Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada-  (2 April 2013): "Thanks for sharing this, it is beautiful."

Kim Cherryhomes  - Galveston, Texas - (3 April 2013): "Thank you for sharing, Stanton. I am so sorry for your loss... June sounds so beautiful and absolutely amazing. I lost my sweet mother last year after a 13 year battle with Alzheimer's. Your beloved stories of June remind me of my beautiful mother... Thank you again for sharing your story. You will be in my thoughts and prayers..."

Mary Lou Jones Hughes - Spring Hill, Florida - (3 April 2013):I Love It Stanton!"

Simon Li La-Vigars  - Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom - (4 April 2013): "Thank you Stan for sharing."

Maxine J. Bailey  - Rotherham, United Kingdom - (4 April 2013): "Stanton... thank you...it's so difficult isn't it?"

Vicki Cadogan  - Limerick, Ireland - (4 April 2013): "Beautiful Stan, very touching. Thanks for sharing."

Dianne Cogar  - Springfield, Ohio - (4 April 2013): "This is so very lovely Stan....I can just hear your deep...voice utter these words aloud!...I knew you had a deep voice because I had seen your interview from a few years back taking place in an eatery that you and June once shared.  I had my hubby watch this touching interview with me... and reminded him at that time that I love a man's deep voice..."

Beth Ann Doucette  - Lino Lakes, Minnesota - (4 April 2013): "Very beautiful, Stan:-Thank you for sharing."

Anne Moghraby  - Solihull, United Kingdom - (4 April 2013): " Thank you Stanton for sharing also introducing us to Marie de France and her poetry, lovely words and touching."

Connie Lowers O'Brien  - Birchwood, Tennessee - (12 September 2013): "Aww, God Bless you!..."

Trudy Dillaway  - London, United Kingdom - (12 September 2013): "So sorry for your loss Stan. I often read what you write on here, although I empathise with you, I also think it's so touching, to see and hear, just how much you love June. Refreshing also. I hope in time, you find missing June a little more bearable to live with. I couldn't imagine being without my husband either. June will always be beside you."

Donald Hiatt  - Clovis, California - (12 September 2013): "You have impeccable taste in poetry.  I like the way you personalized this one.....Don."

Bryn Sineath  - Hot Springs, Arkansas - (12 September 2013): "What a lovely poem. I feel your pain, but know this: she's always with you in spirit, loving you...Sweet!"

Angie Blake  - Salem, Oregon - (13 September 2013): "Very nice."

Marsha McKneely Ault  - Nacogdoches, Texas - (17 January 2014): "Until you both are together again. . . then the hazel, the honeysuckle will bloom again in all of their wonder and glory."

Bridie Breen  - Manchester, United Kingdom - (17 January 2014): "A beautiful poetic blend that traverses history, love withstands all."

Jackie Irving - Liverpool, United Kingdom - (26 September 2016): "That's lovely Stan...no other words needed ...God Bless."

 

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June's Passing

June 1994

June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website under the "In Memoriam" label - Click on:

 

"June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"