My family’s poet laureate, Harris Gardner, presented the following at the 2020 birthday party held in honor of my sister, Elizabeth Tan.
To Elizabeth on Her
When you were four
That bump on your head
At the bottom of basement steps
Must have been the kiss that unlocked
The old soul stirring within.
They found you giggling and grinning,
According to family lore.
Your serenity and smile have illuminated
The lives of those that share
Your eventful timeline
And the wider world, as well.
Your singular calling began in early youth
As you evolved into a seeker of wisdom’s truth.
You have continued your course in life,
Exploring worlds, both internal
And beyond normal horizons.
In the realm of academe, student multitudes
Entered your classes as tabula rasas
And departed marveling at your awesome acumen
And the power of their own reflections.
You are a partner at home and in health,
A nurturer, researching a wealth of healing;
Apostle of wellness in home and community.
Aficionado of the arts, you have performed
Many roles on the largest stage of many curtain calls.
For all this and more, it is my notion
That you fully deserve a standing ovation.