Forgiveness & Freedom

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Forgiveness is the door through
the wall of separation
allowing us to exit
our bitter cage of choice.
Grace is the understanding
that frees us from ourselves,
opening the door of restoration
replacing bitterness with love.
Offering forgiveness to others
comes with no guaranties.
Forgiveness is the door we walk through
…to free ourselves

***

Today is open link night at d’Verse. The inspiration for this poem came as a spin-off from a post I read earlier this week. You can read it here:     https://essenceandlife.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/forgiveness/

Join us at: https//dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Waiting to Die

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Waiting with my wife’s mother as she came to the end of her life stirred many strong feelings. She had been diagnosed with a  terminal brain tumor ten months earlier. As I sat and reflected on her life and my life, I began to ponder the end of life. Some die quickly and others live on sometimes in chronic pain, while for others the pain may come from the emotional part of our being. This poem looks at the end of life stages and how they affect us.

Waiting to Die

Becoming obsolete is one of life’s most difficult burdens

It is not something that comes on quickly

But rather happens over a few years

When things once held dear are no longer valued by the next generation

It raises a turmoil of the soul that at first kicks and screams

But gradually subsides into a churning rumble

Only to be followed by a great dull ache

*

Becoming physically challenged only adds to the burden

Our bodies slow down, wear out, won’t co-operate, get repaired,

Bounce back at times only to slowly head back down the slippery slope of time

That waits for no one but seems to careen wildly toward the cliff

This too raises the turmoil of the soul that at first kicks and screams

But gradually subsides into that churning rumble

Only to be followed by a great dull ache and a swell of physical pain

*

Becoming physically and/or mentally disabled increases the burden even more

When one can no longer care for himself

Or have the strength to move about

Losing the memory to recall life’s joys and sorrows

Or that unwanted friend and companion arthritis moves in and out

One begins to wonder why he continues to go on living

Now it’s just a long dull ache, for the inner kicking and screaming now subsides

*

Becoming totally dependent, sometimes unable to speak or function

Is probably the biggest burden of all

Long hours of little change of position or surroundings

Struggling for life with each difficult breath

Simply sitting or lying, waiting day after day

For the edge of the cliff to appear

Must make one wonder why some leave this world like the drop of a hat

While others continue on and on simply waiting to die

*

But what of heaven and the future life to come

Surely that should make it all better

Surely that should ease the pain of separation and loss

*

When all you know is the life you are living and the pain you are feeling

It is difficult to focus on what will come

In the present suffering one may understand what lies in store

But only feels the last pains of separation

From this earthly body into an immortal one

Safe in the arms of God

Sweet Baby Boy

Being adopted must be a traumatic experience for a little boy who started the first year of his life with a foster parent. This was  the experience of my grandson. He was adopted into a family who spoke a different language, ate different food, and had other children.  You can understand why he did not want his new parents to leave him at night. I wrote this as a lullaby that expresses some of the feelings that I imagined occurred  during this time. He has since grown into a well adjusted little boy.

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Sweet Baby Boy

Sweet baby boy just close your eyes

Go off to dreamland with a sigh

Sweet baby boy fly away

To worlds unknown beyond the eye

*

Sweet baby boy come to me now

With all your tears a crying

Sweet baby boy I’ll ease your fears

And soon you’ll be a sighin’

*

And when you wake I’ll be right here

Near you I’ll be lyin’

To keep you safe and let you know

This is your home where I am

*

Through tears and fears throughout the years

I’ll always be your Mother

And though you might not understand

There’ll never be another

Painting by Dwight L. Roth

 

Black Holes in My Brain

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One of the most difficult things one can encounter is losing control of your life. This poem is an account of the anxieties and feeling of loss that occurred when my father-in-law realized he could no longer remember what was happening in his life. His wife was diagnosed with brain cancer and he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. We were waiting for a facility to open where he could receive the care he needed.  During that interim period he experienced great anxiety which is depicted in the sometimes word for word dialogue poem below.

Black Holes In My Brain

“I have come to discover that I now have black holes in my brain.

Spaces of emptiness that never get filled.

Like the holes in my pants pocket the memories slip out…”

“Oh, you are here? Well I didn’t realize! When did you get here?

You have been here a few weeks? Well I didn’t remember.

Tell me something I should know…

What shall we talk about…”

“Can I do something for you… do you need a light on?

Would you like to watch the News if I turn it on?

Do you want me to set the table for breakfast?

Can I help you in some way?

Would you like a piece of chocolate? Go ahead have one!”

“Is this Sunday? Are we going to church today?

Where is Mother & when is she coming home?

She won’t be coming back home? Oh my!

These are things I should remember.

When will we go to see here again? Can we go today?

We were there today?

Why can’t I remember? Were we just there today?!”

“I remember my grandmother was just like this.

She would apologize for her poor memory all the time.

I hope I never get that way.”

“By the way, where is Mother?

Do you know when she will be back?

She’s at the home!!? I didn’t know.

Somebody should have told me!”

“When will she be coming home?

You say she won’t be coming home!?

Oh my, I will have to learn to cook!

Perhaps you can show me how to cook…”

I will have to take care of myself.

“I just discovered I have no money in my wallet!

Can you take me by the bank tomorrow to cash a check?

I should pay you something for your expenses.

You are keeping the expenses on a tab?

Well, I should pay you.

You will take care of me? But you can’t keep coming to stay with me?

I should pay you something to help with the expenses.

You are using a debit card… from my account?

Well, I wonder why the bank didn’t notify me about this.”

“Tell me, Where is Mother?

Oh yes, she is at the home… up on 104th Avenue…

near Hollyrood close to the church.

Have I ever been there? I have… I don’t seem to remember.

Will she be coming home this evening?

She’s Living there… all the time? For how long!?

She won’t be coming home again? Is she sick? What is wrong with her?”

“Can you take me with you when you go to see her?

Can we go this evening to see her?

We were just there this afternoon? Why can’t I remember that?”

“Good night, I must check to see that the door is locked.

I just came back out to see if I had locked the door.

Well it looks like all the doors are locked.

Is anybody there…

Oh, I just came back out to check to see if the door was locked.”

“Good Morning… Where is Helen?”