Let me begin today’s blog with a poem I have shared with you previously but feel it is currently appropriate and perhaps unread by many who will identify with it.
YOU AND I
I know you are hurting,
I understand, I do.
You see, we walk together,
Because I’m hurting, too.
I don’t have all the answers:
Most days I have so few.
I do have blinding fear,
But is the sky still blue?
Some days I want to escape.
Could I be someone else, don a disguise?
Let me out. I don’t like it in here.
At the dawn will the sun still rise?
By the way, how did we get in this fix?
Was it genes, just bad luck, were we stressed?
I don’t know either, but tell me
Does the sun still set in the west?
We can’t always help it you know,
Feeling the way we do.
The good emotions and bad
Aren’t they all a part of you?
The greatest gift, I think,
Is self-honesty and truth;
Otherwise we’ll harvest self-delusion
And the taste of bitter fruit.
To know WHY is the question we ask.
Eventually, that has to stop
For we find more strength for the fight,
When we finally say, “Why not?”
Were we promised some sort of exemption?
Does one life mean more than another?
Don’t flower strewn paths quickly fade?
Aren’t we each a Mom, Pop, Sis, or brother?
We’re connected in so many ways,
Walking this path called life.
Why do we think we’re alone?
When we should be united by strife?
Is it possible our pain
Can form a bond of the heart?
Then neither of us will be alone,
I wrote this poem several years ago out of despair; not only from my own pain and frustration but also for my older sister, Leona. She suffered for many years, since her early forties with the same disease I have which is relapsing polychondritis. Her pain finally came to an end last week when she succumbed to her disease and its treatment. I pray she is now resting peacefully or chattting with my Mom and my eldest sister, Norma who died after years of fighting psoriatic arthritis.
Our disease, relapsing poly, we were told, is not inherited or familial. It occurs only four times in a population of one million. Maybe the doctors need to rethink this one. We also have a second cousin who has been diagnosed with this horrendous disease which causes havoc with cartilage throughout the body; ravaging joints, skin and organs.
Families are made to share but there have been times when I have wished we only shared love, children and the joyful side of life. We also have shared memorable fun times, holidays, weddings and funerals. Like most families we’ve had squabbles and then made up. As girls we shared clothes, giggled about boys and all grew in different directions. We’ve always been independent, opinionated and ornery. We have born and reared families who make us proud. Our husbands have born much from us Falkner girls not only from our personalities and traits but from each of us suffering chronic pain for years and years.
Our Dad who was a darling man full of kindness, humor and love also died after a fierce battle with another rheumatoid disease, giant cell arteritis among other like diseases. When he died, a couple who was close to Mom and Dad sent a sympathy card to my Mom which I still have and cherish for its sentiment. It touched me in my time of grief, so very deeply; I wrote a poem for my Dad, inspired by the art work on the card, after we lost him. Let me close this more somber blog than usual with that poem, if you think you can take two of my poems in one blog.
A cocoon is such an ugly thing;
So shriveled and dark, like a tomb.
It looks for all appearances
Like the world’s most absurd little womb.
It’s a morbid appearing package
That strange, obscure tiny shell,
Secretly holding the key to it all
With a secret it holds very well.
Remembering birth was a struggle
We resisted that expulsive move,
We continually do the same
Fearing each little new groove.
Change of any kind we resist,
Be it good or bad while
Wanting and seeking always
That which we wish we had.
When this embryonic stage is over
And it approaches time to move on,
The rhythm of life fades a little
As we cherish each sunset and dawn.
We struggle so often when leaving,
We’re sure there can be nothing more.
We knew the rules very early
Is it the unknown we abhor?
Suddenly when it’s most wretched
Through the isolated darkness of night,
The cocoon expels the eternal,
The bright wings of the soul in flight.