Once upon a time…

Once upon a time,

a long long time ago,

there was a little girl.

Her age isn’t important, you know?

She climbed trees,

she busted walls,

waiting for the day

she would get big and tall.

She bided her time,

planning and plotting, you see,

for the day SHE would set the rules

and have adults bend the knee.

Days, months, and years passed

and she stayed the same age.

The body had grown,

but not her–only her rage.

She tried and she tried to get bigger,

but she just couldn’t grow.

Then one day her mama told her,

“I love you just like you are, don’t you know?”

So the little girl smiled,

she’d rather be loved.

But told her mama that some day,

she’d be a fire-breathing dragon, flying above.

They laughed together,

and inside the little girl smiled.

She had a dragon inside her–

she could wait awhile.

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Different

“You’re different, aren’t you?” curiosity in a voice.

If you only knew we answer inwardly.

“Why do you have to be so different from other kids?”

Why do you have to be like everybody else we wonder.

“Can’t you be like your sister? Why are you so different?”

Maybe because we are not her?

Then, “You’re a different type of teacher! Cool!”

And we think you are one cool kid!

“You have different ideas about how you see things.”

You’re smiling so we hope that’s good.

Different doesn’t have to be bad.

Different puts a twist on things.

Different means you are you and unique.

Different means great things are in store!

Different means we open our minds and embrace all–

not hate and fear the differences.

WE are glad we are different

and that those we love are too.

What Do You See? Hear?

Do you see the crow, alone, flying overhead?

In the stillness, do you hear the wings slowly beating the air?

Do you see the sun rising, slowly spreading light?

Do you hear the world slowly stretching and wakening in the sun’s rays?

Do you see the coffee dripping into the pot, hot and rich?

Do you hear it plop, plop, teasing you to snatch it before it is through?

Do you see your dog stretch on the bed as you stretch to wake up?

Do you hear the yawns that come with the stretching?

The world wakens with you, offering a new day.

The crow, the sun, the coffee, the yawns,

all beckoning, asking you to join them.

What you see, what you hear

opens the new day for you.

Will you see?

Will you hear?

Nelson

You tried to run over us with your chair

that first meeting we had.

You said you didn’t like laughing people,

especially those with dogs.

We laughed, you cursed,

and for some reason, we liked you.

Time went on, you fell in love with our dog.

We visited, we talked–

we became fast friends.

We discussed many things and

you had so many wonderful stories.

You consulted us as we did you,

listening to each other, growing with knowledge we shared.

You moved into a home,

but still we talked on the phone.

We heard sadness in your voice as

others, doctors, reminded you you were getting old.

Yes, you are 86 but aware, fighting

to stay with the world and hold your place.

But again, they didn’t listen to you

and your complaints were valid.

Now you are in hospice.

We know your frustration and pain

but still we love you, dear Nelson,

and we respect and revere your 86 years.

You will never be “just an old man”

to we who love you and hear you.

We love you.

Your soul is linked with ours.

Dying

“How are you doing?” we ask.

“I’m here,” she responds, not meeting our eyes.

“Yes. So HOW ARE YOU DOING?” we insist.

“I’m tired. I have headaches every day. I have to have another scan…”

We look into her eyes and see pain and despair as she now looks at us.

She speaks and we listen, with our hearts.

Oh, how we want to ease her pain from the cancer,

from a family that won’t deal with it, discounting her.

We rage with her at doctors that will not answer her questions,

lying and evading and prescribing without caring.

She’s dying–the cancer spreads–the professionals have given up.

Will she leave this world soon?

We remember another friend gone from cancer.

Deep conversations about death and the question,

“What are you most afraid of? The pain? The unknown?”

Her eyes looked into ours then, too.

“I’m afraid of being forgotten,” our friend says softly.

Her words strike our hearts.

We want to shout, “YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!”

but we know they will ring hollowly right now, right here.

We nod, tears overflowing, words choked silent in our throat.

“We who love you will never forget you. Never. Promise,” we say just as softly.

She reaches for our hand, squeezes it, smiles through her tears.

“Thank you,” she says simply, but with a powerful gratefulness and belief in our truth.

Remembering her, the one we love talking with us today,

we realize they both wanted simply to be acknowledged–

and remembered, not forgotten.

We commune with the one already gone,

as we will commune with the one slowly moving towards her demise.

Our hearts cry but in joy we know, KNOW,

they will neither ever be forgotten.

The one already gone left a legacy of love in our hearts,

the other likewise and still can and does.

How can anyone forget what is anchored in the heart?

Never forgotten–never really dying.

You’re Holding My Hand

You hugged me, okay.

Hugs are a cultural friendship thing.

Hard to get used to–but okay.

But then, not looking,

You held my hand.

No, you can’t do that.

First, you take away my defenses.

Second, my hand will taint you.

No, you can’t do that.

John Denver, in a song,

“Take my hand and say you’ll follow me…”

No, you can’t do that.

No one takes my hand, no one follows me.

You say with eyes and words,

“I love you. I care.”

I pull away, afraid for me, for you.

And yet, you reach out.

I wonder. I tremble.

Do you know what this means?

Maybe…maybe… because…

You’re holding my hand.


Heart Cries

So many things touch hearts–

a smile, a shared tear, one hand placed on another’s.

Music that was once shared with another,

pulls the heart back to a peaceful place.

Smiles from those who have naught but a smile to offer,

a wink of an eye, settles in the heart.

And then the pictures of children crying,

behind a fence, eyes holding more sadness than bearable.

Friends and families hugging each other as bodies are pulled

from the scene of yet another mass murder.

Eyes that watch, scared, fearful for self and others

haunt the one whose eyes they look into, questioning why?

Action can be taken, “boots on the ground”

to do what can be done to ease fear, pain, heartache for others.

But what was seen cannot be unseen

and the heart never can shut out the pain.

Remembered forever

the Heart Cries.

Peace over Happiness

We THOUGHT we wanted happiness–

Happiness of fun, roaming free, no bad news.

Then our old man, our protector,

told us he loved us, just didn’t know how to show it.

He told us he had felt our love for him,

our strength in that love.

He told us we mattered to him,

no matter how much he railed at us.

We realized he meant it,

he was trying to share his heart.

And we felt Peace, knowing he knew

we loved him

and he truly loved us.

We realized that was what we wanted all along–

Peace over happiness.

Peace in loving and being loved.

Floating

To float between realms requires much,

as in a willingness to traverse time and space.

One must be willing to let go of the present,

yet be part of it.

One must let go of the past,

yet be part of it.

Floating means remembering,

the good and the bad–

Taking each for what it is.

The head will ache as will the heart

no matter which realm pulls one in.

Once you float, there is no

going back to the linear time line.

One can learn or lose.

Time becomes a labyrinth be traveled

and all realms are open to you.

Choose wisely when you float because

floating leaves you open and vulnerable

to everything and everyone–

past and present.