Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Posts Tagged ‘personal’

HURT

Posted by samatwitch on March 18, 2013

Hurt permeates our lives

Physically through injuries or chronic conditions,

Verbally with words of shame, bigotry or taunting,

And emotionally through death or loss.

I can’t understand why people delight in hurting others.

I know they must be in pain themselves

But does it really make them feel better to belittle another,

To rake their souls as easily as they would rake their skin?

 

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Posted in Personal, Writing - Poems | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

MOTHER’S DAY – PART ONE

Posted by samatwitch on May 15, 2012

Yesterday was Mother’s Day – at least in North America.  Twenty-five years ago, I was sharing a ‘picnic’ supper of bread, meat, cheese and fresh strawberries with my mother, (step)father, sister and the man she married the following weekend, in the rooftop garden of St. Paul’s Hospital.  It was the last food my mother ate as she didn’t want to eat anything and actually only had very tiny amounts that night to please my sister and me.  My mother had leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, to be exact.  As it turns out, the kind of leukemia my father had died from 35 years before was a subset of AML, although there is no way to know for sure if it was the same strain that just lay dormant in my mother for all that time.

When doctors say ‘acute’, they know of which they speak.  It was seven weeks from the day my mother went in the hospital in Duncan and was tentatively diagnosed with a form of chronic leukemia, until she died in St. Paul’s.  I was lucky, I had a little voice that told me it was going to be seven weeks so I sat down and decided on what I needed/wanted to say to her or things I wanted to share, questions I wanted to ask and, most importantly, what needed to be left unsaid and unsolved but let go.

At the time, I was working on an on-call basis and so I was available every day for at least part of the day and for the final four and a half weeks, I slept and mostly lived at the hospital.  The one thing I could do for her was to type (and I mean on an only semi-correcting typewriter) the final draft of the book she had spent the past few years researching and writing about the women who came to the coast of British Columbia as teachers, nurses, missionaries and helpmates to their husbands.  They Also Came is the title and she spent many hours interviewing women or their families about the lives of some of these brave women.  One of her close friends who was included in the book insisted that my mother should also have a chapter as she and Dad plied the waters of the Pacific Northwest on the Thomas Crosby V, the United Church mission boat that visited lighthouses, fishing villages, and isolated people on the coast.

My mother didn’t live to see her book in print but she did know it had gone to the printer.  All the money raised went to the Crosby mission fund to support the ship’s journey up and down the coast.  Right to the end – and beyond – my mother was giving.  She died as she had lived, with dignity and courage and love for her family.

Posted in Personal, Writing - Non-fiction | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

POEMS: TIME, A Series

Posted by samatwitch on December 22, 2011

I wrote these poems one night a few weeks after my mother died in July 1987, when I couldn’t sleep.  I started out in generalised terms and by the third poem had gotten down to the heart of what I was feeling.

TIME I

This can’t be all there is.
These years we call our life on Earth.
The microspeck of time.
In the vast eternity we know as forever,
The tiny dot that we call Earth
Is just one of billions in infinity.
Are we forever chained to this sphere?

I think not.

There are other worlds and times to explore,
Constantly changing, as are we;
Our knowledge of the Universe and ourselves,
Growing every day.

Can we ignore our inner yearnings for more?

To know we are not alone,
Set down haphazardly
As the only intelligent life
In a vast expanse of stars and suns.
Our inner senses tell us differently.
But until we learn to live
In peace and love on this planet,
We cannot expect to know others.

TIME II

Time flies by on winged feet
Or crawls at a snail’s pace.
It stands still when you most want it to hurry,
And stretches a moment like elastic.

Time can be friend or foe,
Not lingering to let us savour the moment,
But speeding by
To try to trap us in the here and now.

So let us enjoy each moment,
Tasting fully of its fruit,
And planting seeds which will
Sprout in our past and futures
As full-blown reality.

TIME III

Seven weeks.
An infinity or a brief moment.
Joy and love,
Pleasure and pain,
Hope and fear,
Laughter and tears.

A lifetime compressed into seven weeks.
Strength I didn’t know I had
To continue living
As my last link to childhood
Crumbled around me.

No longer would my mother tell stories of our growing up –
Or hers.
No longer would she disapprove of my decisions,
But love me anyway.
No longer would her smiling face and open arms
Greet me at the door of their home,
Always glad to see me.

Time has stolen my mother, even though her spirit lives on.

Posted in Writing - Poems | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »