I don’t really know what cancer is, but mom’s in the hospital having surgery because she has it. I think that’s what Aunt Barb had and she died. I hope mom doesn’t die, too.
We’re visiting her today. She might be ready to come home, but I’m not sure. I hope so. She’s in a nice private hospital. Her room is almost homey with wood trim and soft lighting, not sterile like a typical hospital room. She’s sitting up in bed, propped up with pillows behind her. Her noon meal sits half eaten on the portable tray; she was always a slow eater, but this hospital food seems to have caused her to pick even more than usual. I climb up on the bed next to her and eye what’s left. “Can I have your Jello?” I ask. A half smile crosses her lips as she reckons I can help her clean her plate. “I have to eat it all before I can go home,” she says.
I wasn’t there the last time she went into the hospital. That time it was colon cancer. No one called to tell me she’d been admitted again or how bad it was, so I wasn’t there to eat her Jello. Maybe if I had been she could have come home again.
Rays of summer sun
Overshadowed by dark pall
Cancer beckons death
It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and guest host Lady Nyo is calling for haibuns involving a childhood memory. If it was May or August, I might have conjured up a happy memory to share. But it’s January and I’m missing my mom so this is what I’ve got for today.
Filed under Family, Life, Poetry
It never leaves
the pain, the heartache
of losing one so dear
Or one who should have been dear
but for youth and shame
that kept me
from truly knowing
and being known by you
I hid so much from you
I didn’t let you be there for me
as a mom should be
It’s not your fault
I know that now
but then I was afraid
I would disappoint you
Even at 23 your love
but was only hidden
behind my own doubts and fears
If you were here today
I would tell you how much I love you
I’d share the love of Jesus with you
tell you how He opened my eyes
to your love that I could never see
I would celebrate with you
I’d make you your favorite pecan pie
with fresh whipped cream for your birthday
just as you always made my favorite
lemon meringue for my birthday
We’d marvel that you made it 90 years
But you didn’t, so we won’t
I’ll just miss you like I always do
Shared for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub. Head on over and see what others have to share.
Green leaves burst forth
heralding spring, summer to come
Basking in sun amidst blooms
bright pink, yellow, orange
It never lasts long enough
Tears fall as blooms fade
Leaves turn red, then brown
Crisply dying on the ground
For Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub De Jackson is tending bar. She’s calling for poems that include the word leaves “in honor of the season many of us crave.” As you might be able to tell from my poem, I am not among that “many.” I am not even close to ready for summer to be over. Not even close.
Tears spilled from my eyes
Anger the apparent trigger
He wouldn’t listen
Then I realize the real trigger
This series of events:
Writing of Dad’s death
Hearing of Aunt Dot’s passing
Trying to save a few bucks
on airline tickets
De is running the bar at dVerse Poets Pub today and calling for us to write a 44-word Quadrille using the word “spill.” Come on over and join the fun!
Filed under Family, Life, Poetry
I’m green with envy
Hearing you complain
About having to care for
Your aging father
It’s such a burden you say
What I wouldn’t give
To be planning my daddy’s
95th birthday party today
But there’s no party
Only wishing him near
The prompt today at dVerse Poets Pub today is to write a Quadrille (44 words exactly) using the word “green.” The prompt isn’t live yet in my time zone, but I peeked at some other poets who have their poems up already to find out what the required word is.
My dad would have been 95, but he died 23 years ago so this is as close as I’ll get to celebrating his birthday.
My dad was the best.
I remember when I was a kid how with gloved hand he would take each bullhead off the hook so I wouldn’t get cut by their spiky fins.
I remember how he taught me to shoot a BB gun in our backyard.
I remember how he let me play in the stacks of tires in his shop and then give me money to go get a Mister Misty at Dairy Queen down the street.
I remember how he would drive me to church and Missionettes and youth group meetings every week in middle school.
I remember when he took me shopping to buy my first pinstriped suit for speech and debate class.
I remember him saying he was going to buy me that Dodge Charger for sale on Main Street then bringing home a Ford Maverick instead because he got it for the price of the tow bill and a new engine that he put in.
I remember opening my mailbox at college and finding a card from him with the note “Here’s a little mad money for you. Don’t tell your mom.” and 20 bucks inside.
I remember that he came to my college graduation but not my wedding 4 months later because my mom was too sick.
I remember the huge smile on his face when he came to my baptism when I was 23.
I remember his last call, when he said “Come see me,” but I didn’t hear the urgency in his voice so I bought a plane ticket to Palm Springs for 2 weeks later.
I don’t remember who called to tell me he’d died a week later but I do remember the darkness that followed.
I remember the turbulence on the puddle-jumper from Portland to Palm Springs and wishing it would just crash.
I remember listening to “Indifference” by Pearl Jam and wondering if the pain of losing him would ever go away.
I remember many more things about my dad, but most of all I remember that he loved me and he died far too young.
The prompt at NaPoWriMo today is to write an “I remember” poem.
January is the cruelest month
despite it’s shimmer of hope
It’s when cancer took you
I was twenty-three
Hadn’t yet made amends
for the pain I caused you
Still drowning in my own
Your death only added
to the shame
of not measuring up
This quadrille is doing double duty today. It includes the dVerse Poets Pub word prompt from Victoria and offers my thoughts on the cruelest month for the NaPoWriMo prompt.
It was murder, pure and simple
He was an innocent man
the perfect spotless Lamb
and they murdered Him
If it weren’t for Nicodemus
and Joseph of Arimathea
His body would have been
devoured by a murder of crows
The Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today is “for the birds.” De wants us to write poetry using one or more of the many names for flocks of birds. I decided to write about a murder, a murder of crows, that is.
Filed under Faith, Jesus, Poetry
A forced grin
a false I’m okay
are all I’ve got
It’s been three years,
three years today
since you left
with me not knowing
not for sure anyway
where you have gone
Heaven or hell
those are the choices
Which did you choose?
At dVerse Poets Pub today we’re writing Quadrilles with the word “grin.” Because today is the third anniversary of my sister’s untimely death-by-cancer, I knew I wanted to write something about that. Then Bjorn threw me for a loop with the word “grin,” which is generally a happy thing. But sometimes grins aren’t what they appear.
Preparing to attend today
the burial of a dear old friend
And by old I mean she was 43 years my senior
Still, I loved her like a sister
and at the same time she was mentor,
prayer warrior, confident, and encourager
I thought of the many friends I have
who are so much older than me
who will also likely be heading home
to be with our Savior before me
This is not likely to be the last funeral
that I will attend to honor
a sweet and dear friend
And then I pondered some new friends
Women who are younger than me
who are newer in their faith
and I realize I want to be
for them like a sister
But also a mentor, prayer warrior,
confident, and encourager
I want to be for them
what Norma was for me
What Carol, Lin, and so many others
still are to me every day
When it is my time to go home
and be with our Savior
I hope and pray that
there will be women like me
who will attend my service
feeling blessed by having known me
because I pointed them to faith in Jesus
and was His hands and feet in their lives