Chandler W. Gilbert — Born Sept. 18, 1926 on the Tuck-Wo, a British river steamer, Yangtze River, China, Died May 15, 2018, Peterborough, New Hampshire
My friend Chandler Gilbert died.
Most people called him “Tuck.”
There are so many profound thoughts
I would love to share. Others will –
this is just my pausing to say his name.
Tuck is the boat where he was born,
the boat of his life’s sadness
on which he heard, “peace be still,”
the church boats of his pastor-steering,
and from which he climbed
against all worldly logic
to walk on water.
OK — it was Jaffrey,
but it was certainly stepping out
on the very sinkable new.
Tuck is a sewing term
for repairing things that are torn,
no longer fit as they once did,
or have too much or too little fabric,
the way he and Bobbie
could lay the two frayed edges
of a life or a marriage together,
and help people – like they did for us –
do their own mending.
Tuck is how we put a child to bed,
or snug something warm
around an old friend or a sick one –
and so he turned his energies to elder care,
and collected his stories
in two books
that we can all read at bedtime.
And tucked in now himself by love –
a sweet last family day,
and then a rising bright – all
ship’s mast, humble stitch, gentle hands.
*Tuck’s two books: “When I Open My Window: Reflections for the Living of these Days” and “Seed Pods and Periscopes: Stories and Reflections about Living Deeply and Well”