Grief #atozchallenge #elderly #haiku #photography

spider lily

final song

head fell against the pillow

flowers wept

***

I don’t need to explain what grief is in a time when the flowers in so many gardens are weeping.

One of my patients, before she was put in isolation, told me that she thought about her husband every day.

“He was a good man. Always looking for ways to make me happy. It was unexpected- His heart just failed.”

I saw the tears in her eyes. They expressed gratitude as much as grief.

 

These times are hard. I wonder if my clients will survive this pandemic. When I said “goodbye” when the lock down started, I didn’t know what to expect. (I had to make a hard decision to call off until Covid is under control because I have a high-risk family member who I could not put at risk daily.)

The last quarantine I was part of I was locked in not out of the hospital.

I’m also missing Uganda very much. The weeping flower above is a spider lily from Uganda.

How about giraffes? They are so beautiful and graceful. The spots on that mama are one of a kind. I can watch these animals all day.

what’s your favorite animal to watch???

And thank you A to Z challenge for a day in the key of G

G also stands for grateful. Thank a healthcare worker. Here’ s blog of a pathologist doing his part for Co-Vid 

Alzheimers and Old Butcher Knives Part 2 #atozchallenge #elderly

“Millie came to visit…

The RAT never suspected. Never suspected a thing. Extra sugar can hide almost anything. The one thing my husband enjoyed was my home baked cookies.”

“Oh well. Thanks for your candor and for the cookie. I need to go now. Have a good day ma’am.”

I tried not to run off the unit as I spit into a hand-i-wipe what I could retrieve of the cookie.

***

“I was on a social call with your mother at the memory care unit.” I absently rubbed my hand through my cropped hair.

“How was mama today?”

“Uh, She was good. She gave me a cookie.”

“That’s nice. She changed her recipe; I stopped eating them.”

“Ahh well yes.” I felt my pulse and looked at my tongue in the mirror. ” Your mama mentioned Miss Millie. ”

“Aunt Millie… she and mama… were very close. They would always laugh about granmama’s favorite butcher knife. They said it was perfect for chickens. It hung in Millie’s kitchen.”

“Chickens??? Can you give me her contact information?”

“Millie’s? She’s in Raleigh.”

I sensed something stilted in her voice. Maybe she knew something.

“She’s in Mount Hope on Prospect… She’s been gone 7 years.”

I had started writing the address down. My eyes bugged out in surprise that my witness or suspect was dead. “How long?”

“7 years.”

“When did her husband die?”

“6 years ago from a heart attack.”

“Was she married before?”

” Umm, yes, but I don’t remember him. He ran off; no one ever saw him after that.”

I ripped the page out of my notepad. I realized people can say and think some mighty far fetched things.

Case Closed / Accidental Death was stamped on my report of a dead husband/ caregiver

 

 

Here’s a link to the first part of this post 

 

Today is day 2 of the A to Z challenge. The letter B

Most of my blogs will be info and anecdotes about the elderly.

I’d apply the letter B to elderly care this way:

Be kind

Be yourself

Be there for your family member

Be honest when you need a break.

Are you participating in the challenge?

What is your theme?

Any writing goals this year?

Be Still… #covid19 #faith #poetry

Dawn is breaking

spring’s storm is calmed

peace’s moment

***

“Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

Mark 4:39

 

In turbulent days, we can always trust in the one who calms the sea and our hearts.

How is the CoVid-19 virus impacting you and your family?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gravel Tears #sorrow #hospice #tears #elderly

I caught up with a tear today

it was from old despair

in attempt to grasp at it

it ran away from there

*

pain’s etched upon a heart

at death we cannot grasp

it leaves on wind before we know

our hands one final clasp

*

I caught up with a tear today

mingled with old despair

again I tried to grasp at it

it ran away from there

*

no more wrinkles from this life

we smooth your silver hair

behind you it is over now

beyond all time and care

*

I caught up with a tear today

it fell with yours you see

when I tried to grasp at it

it ran away with thee

 

Hospice a word that says so little of the days the slip through our fingers as we say little goodbyes each day. Each goodbye takes a piece of my heart that I give lovingly and painfully.

 

Sands Of Time #life #hospice #poetry

I draw an endless line

I’ve forgotten where’s the start

fingers know the texture

lines drawn upon my heart

*

countless beyond measure

the sands beneath my feet

a child’s toes remember

sea memories so deep

*

I’ve drawn an endless line

forgotten where’s the start

at times I’ve lost all hope

those lines have etched my heart

*

a hand full of grains

unbidden do they fall

a place to return to

changeless after all

*

I’ve drawn an endless line

forgotten where’s the start

dreams to the four winds

poetry is my heart

*

today I sketch a new life

the dawn is just ahead

new hope in the making

the sand my faithful friend

*

I draw an endless line

forgotten where’s the start

fingers know the texture

lines drawn upon my heart

A dear patient passed two years ago today. Hospice is a hard world. Each caregiver/nurse gives a piece of heart. Thankfully like the sand there are many pieces. Thank you for reading…

Images Sand Meet Wave copyright  2015 & Alone at Dawn copyright 2019

 

 

Not Under a Tree #gifts #children #Christmas

Please enjoy this montage of poetry over the next several days. These true vignettes represent what I believe the true spirit of Christmas to b:

Generous the soul that gives

what little he possess

in such a manner shed a light

a heart the greatest gift

***

 

There was a boy not old nor young

of two sisters he was glad

He wasn’t strong nor was he weak

protective heart he had

There came a season barren, cold

his family had but little

warmth  abundant at the hearth

holidays always special

I’d known this boy a little time

a leader in the making

challenges were plenty big

cleft palate, one of many

bad was the year for all

our work was in the past

my children knew Christmas joy

in friendships that would last

gathered underneath our tree

bundled what we had

took shiny gifts and things

Merry, joyful, glad

love came too

that Christmas Eve

Six children

danced with glee

That little boy looked to my son

“like you someday I’ll be”

into his hand he placed his trust

“it’s Christmas time you’ll see”

what we learned that Christmas year

is hard to put to words

smiles tell a thousand things

with stars they sing the verse

 

Joyfuljoyfulwe adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before thee, Opening to the sun above.

 

Lens of Yesterdays #poetry #memories

 

“Who is that?” My daughter asks as she filters through 100 year old snapshots.

“I never heard their story. I was only a child when I looked at these photos last.”

“Which side of the family are they from?” She looks for any family likenesses.

“They look like dad’s family. I’m glad these didn’t get thrown away.”

“Who is this?”

“I think it’s my great-grandfather. I don’t know much about him. I think he was a grocer. That’s your grandfather when he was a little boy and this is your great-grandmother. I think you look the most like her.”

My daughter squints her eyes to see some resemblance.

My family and their past is in a black and white capsule. Much of what remains is in a shoe box. The family farm is gone and all the antiques burned up in a fire several years ago. I want to carry forth their past but there is so little that I know.

***

 

Box of sepia prints

few faces recognized

memories lost

*

little hands

smile covered with icing

I still hear that voice

*

brush away tears

people long gone

puddle in kodachrome

*

One of things that we do with family is look at old family photos. There are so many dialogues. One thing is a constant we continue to make memories even as we look at the past.

Enjoy the memory making with family!!

 

 

 

 

Slipping #elderly #hospice #photography

her fragile skin

fall crackles beneath feet

blue eyes question

 sky hidden behind clouds

your arms reach out for emptiness

wind blows yesterday’s away

our fingers grasp each other

another good day

***

Working with the elderly is filled with joy and tears. Little bits or progress are a victory. Laughter and friends heal many of yesterday’s scars.

 

Restored #forgiveness #poetry #uganda

They curse the dry unyielding ground

stubble from impotent crops remain

toppled huts call out in anger

“we will never be whole again

they have maligned our children

destroyed our spirit”

only bitter weeds grow strong

***

lovingly they pour water on hardened ground

fingers soiled with ancestral dirt

music filters through new huts

golden maize dances to life’s song

children’s laughter reaches blue expanse

“we are known as the place of the light”

Pasqual’s face radiates hope

***

The LRA displaced the Acholi tribes in Northern Uganda. Not one family was untouched. “I was abducted as a child.” “My wife was raped at 9.” “We ran over the bodies of dead family members.” “Our village was destroyed.”

For the Acholi there are two choices – bitterness or forgiveness.

In no way is the forgiveness easy but only through it can life begin fresh and new.

Only in love can a new song be written in the heart of these strong people.

 

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:31 & 32
Poets United has an awesome community of poets/writers. Read the words of these fantastic folks here.