Thursday, November 26, 2015

Poetry Friday - Gratitude

Carol Wilcox hosts Poetry Friday at her blog, Carol's Corner. I'm grateful for all those who share their love of poetry on this day.


          Being grateful for people, for their deeds, for the life I have is something to contemplate especially in this week of our Thanksgiving. A list would be long if I named specific things. It would be even longer if I thought of the goodness in all my life. At  Today's Little Ditty, Michelle H. Barnes invites guest poets to share insights into their writerly lives, and then offer challenges, sometimes in theme, sometimes in form, or both. This month, Rebecca M. Davis, a senior editor for Boyds Mills Press and for WordSong, asked everyone to write about kindness, a specific act or moment. If you go to Michelle's post, you can read the varying ways different poets chose to respond. I chose to write of a part of my life that was very tough, yet made easier by people new to me at that time, although we became close through a common goal, caregiving. Thanks to Michelle for offering the inspiration, becoming words that felt good to say in gratitude.

                        Witness  

         Here was a prescription of hugs.
         My husband, in a closed place,
         with dementia,
         among others the same.
         They all missed loved ones,
         yet didn’t know what they missed.
         They wandered, always searching.
         The staff touched,
         patted,
         hugged,
         smiled
         along with the meds, spilled trays, angry words.
         I was there every day.
         They gave me hugs, too.
          It’s not a desk job -
          changing beds,
          giving baths.
          singing songs, talking,
          walking to the garden,
          walking down the hall, walking up the hall -
          no step-count, but I bet it was more than ten thousand.
          Those smiles, the soft words,
          meant I could go home to sleep
          till the next day.

           Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

30 comments:

  1. Thank you for your poem of kindness, Linda! I have to wonder if it was a struggle to write or if it came flowing out of you like a healing balm. However it happened, it's honest and beautiful, and shows not only the loving character of the nurses, but of the author herself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am fortunate to have many kindnesses happen during that time, Michelle, but these particular people were so important to me, and it was easy to write about them, wanting to emphasize their tireless kindness. Thank you.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much, Linda, for sharing the poem on your site, along with some wrap-around prose explanation. When I read the poem on DOM, I wondered if the narrative were real or imaged. Now I know. So when I read it a second time, I did so with goosebumps. God bless you for living the Serenity Prayer...I sense such peace within your words, knowing, without fully knowing (except for the very brief time I experienced my mother's not knowing who I was) how gut-wrenching living the truth behind the poem was. I'm so glad that you had caregivers who buoyed you up. God bless them and you! Thank you for sharing your gratitude. When medical events happen, we're particularly vulnerable and particularly in need of kind caregivers who, though doing their jobs, realize theirs is a particular call to ministry beyond the paycheck. I'm sure your gratitude paid them tremendously. (And I bet if you mailed them a copy of the poem, they would proudly post it on their staff bulletin board!) God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it was a blessing to have them with me, and I will be forever grateful to this profession, their patience and constant kindness.

      Delete
  3. I am thankful for your honest and heartfelt words, Linda. I think caregivers are unsung heroes until now, with your poem. Thank you for sharing your experience and singing the praises of people who deserve it. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Bridget, they often do work unsung, but I did share my gratitude to them often during that time and after.

      Delete
  4. I know this is a difficult time in your life to write about. I love that you see the kindness, the compassion shared with you and with your husband. That compassion is necessary in this world. Thanks for this beautiful message.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be lovely to see such patience and compassion everywhere, wouldn't it? Thanks, Margaret.

      Delete
  5. Yes, I know what it must have meant for you to know that Arvie was in caring hands when you couldn't be there. Beautiful poem, Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tara, and yes, it meant everything.

      Delete
  6. Such a beautiful poem Linda. Twenty years ago, I hugely appreciated the kindness of the nurses, and specifically one young nurse named Christy, that worked with my grandmother, and now, with my mom's health challenge, we are experiencing those same kindnesses all over again. I'm so grateful that those medical personnel so graciously pour kindness into the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I keep repeating myself, but I will be forever grateful. Happy for you that you've had those experiences, Carol, and are having them now. Thanks!

      Delete
  7. So like you, Linda, to reach beyond your own heartache and offer such gratitude to those who quietly serve - both then when you were with them, and now, in writing this lovely poem. We are all blessed to read your words in every post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you Robyn, your comments are nice to hear, yet it is true that those caregivers are to be noticed an thanked over and over.

      Delete
  8. Linda, I'm sharing your poem with my good friend whose father is suffering from dementia. She cared for him as long as she could, but ultimately had to reach out to others for help. I remember when my mother spent her last few weeks in nursing care. Those sweet men and women meant the world to me. I hope you'll share your poem with the center. It belongs on the wall there. Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ramona, for sharing about your friends and your own appreciation too. This profession is full of loving people.

      Delete
  9. A beautiful poem for people who follow a beautiful calling to serve. I am thankful every day for the staff at mom's assisted living facility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a good thing to know that people are taking care. Thanks, Mary Lee. Best wishes to you and your mother, too.

      Delete
  10. I can relate to this as I visit my mom in her nursing home, where the care givers really do care, not just for the residents, but their families, too. Thank you, Linda, for this poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Jane. It's not an easy thing, but made easier with the care that our loved ones receive. Thanks for sharing about your mother.

      Delete
  11. You were certainly fortunate to have found such a caring and kind place for both of you! It isn't always so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I was, Donna. It wasn't a fancy place, yet the care was outstanding.

      Delete
  12. Blessed at those who can care for others without a familial connection. I'm so glad you found them when your husband needed them. I hope they're still around when it's our turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too, Diane, a lovely thought. I was fortunate to have such a caring staff to help. Thanks.

      Delete
  13. They are so deserving of notice and praise, aren't they, Linda? Such stamina.
    You reminded me of those folks who volunteer to hang around the morgue, just in case someone needs to identify a body. I should have written a poem about that. For some reason, writing about kindness leaves me flummoxed. I'm glad you were able to do it so beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I didn't know about the morgue volunteers. How wonderful that there are people who do that. I did struggle a bit finding what to write about, FYI, and this is what came about more than once. Thank you.

      Delete
  14. Linda, this is such a moving poem. Thanks for sharing this behind-the-scenes glimpse into your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Violet. It captures a special time of gratitude.

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!