“A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Open Letter to My Body -- When It and Hope Fail Me

 You have betrayed me.
I regret feeling this way.
It is a fact though.

I lament knowing
I cannot depend on you
to ease me through life.

I grieve at being placed
in a Me versus You stance.
Divided we fall.


Judy at Peace Be With You said...

Coming on the heels of my last poem (about faith in renewal anchoring my spirit in hope my life will be blessed), this week's open letter poem may disappointment some readers. However, occasionally losing hope and confidence is also part of the roller coaster reality of this disease. There are good days, both emotionally and physically, and there are bad days. This week's open letter poem is representative of where I might be on the not-so-good days. That's when I have to tap into the spiritual and grounded roots I also mentioned in my previous poem. But it can be a struggle.

Muffie said...

Your poems never disappoint. I still struggle with the concept of hope, but I'm trying. I definitely relate to this week's theme. I've been there too many times!

xaidw B said...

The struggle is beyond understanding, especially for those who do not have MS.
I do not know if it is denial, self-protection or ignorance, but unless one is in your place, there is not real understanding of the moment to moment agony.

Your honesty is so valuable, especially for those who read many blogs and are tired of feeling like they have a spiritual or emotional lack in rising each day with hope and enthusiasm.
As you know, I watched my son, George, go from fight, hope, determination, sadness, depression, disillusionment, lonliness and finally forced acceptance of his MS. You know his final decision, not one many would choose.

Know that your truth is accepted with empathy and respect.
Few are brave enough to expose their thoughts as you do.


Robert Parker said...

Ah, this is ever the way of such things...

The body goes through what it does. It gets old and fails.

I have a 19-year-old cat. She squalls a lot, but she still purrs. The web says that's 92 in human years... a 92-year-old that still smiles. Who wouldn't take that as a victory?

I'm also living in a world of "Well, THAT sucks..." and yet I can pet the cat.

And in its time, that's plenty good enough.

Gail said...

Hi - and thank you for freeing me to be authentic. I so miss my ole self, the body that cold ride a horse, walk on the beach, walk alone!! I miss my freedom to just 'do', 'go;, as in spontaneous - there is none of that, in fact, even planned outings are a challenge. It is all so discouraging. My husband and I cried together today - that trembling shaking cry while embracing - both heart wrenching and heartfelt
Love Gail

Karen said...

Oh gosh Judy, this brought tears to my eyes. Such an eloquent poem, but from my point of view, so sorrowful. We differ greatly on the whole chronic illness issue. I don't feel that my body has betrayed me, MS invaded my body, and my body is just as pissed off as I am. In my mind, it is not a "me versus you", but rather, we are in this together, body, mind and soul as one, not divided.

I celebrate what I can still do, rather than lament on what is no longer possible. I rarely have a "bad day" anymore. I have chosen to wake up every morning and have a "good day", in spite of my physical/health challenges. For me, the time has come a time to say, enough, it is what it is...and as Robert said "I'm also living in a world of "Well, THAT sucks..." and yet I can pet the cat."

I am looking after my granddaughter weekdays for the summer. I am not doing well with walking, I have to use a cane. I have intention tremors, and thus have trouble while teaching her to sew. My eyesight is failing, and it's difficult to focus when we read together. But I am blessed, because at the end of every day, she hugs me and tells me that she had a wonderful day. She told me yesterday that one of the reasons she loves me so much is because she is learning such valuable life lessons from me(she is 10, going on 20). I was astonished. I asked her what life lessons she was referring to. She said, you are showing me that there can be joy in everything we do, and life can be fun, even if you are sick.

I can relate to your poem Judy, but I hope that you can turn those bad days into good. At the end of the day, it isn't so much what happens to us in life, but rather, how we react to it.

Travelogue for the Universe said...

I Read Your Poem
And Knew just how it all feels,
Then paused to comment,

Feeling the Haiku
Feeling Pains from the MonSter,
Do Words heal the wounds?

Bad days are the Bad,
Good days likewise are the Good,
May your days be Good.

Best wishes, mary

Judy at Peace Be With You said...

Your responses confirm what I most love about having a blog -- the feedback I get from my readers. First, though, I'm sure you recognized it already, but I had a typo in that I had disappointment instead of disappoint in the sentence reading, " this week's open letter poem may disappointment some readers."

Muff, I'm so sorry you have to understand what I was talking about in my poem.

Hilda, you have come as close as one can come, without experiencing it firsthand, to knowing what the MS experience is, and what its cost could be. I, too, remember George moving from one feeling to the other. Through it all, he displayed such courage. Which obviously was of no consolation to him or to you. As for my being brave in exposing my thoughts, I'll agree because I am always nervous about presenting anything other than the "be positive!" perspective. That only works for me part of the time. Though I aim for it most of the time.

Robert, I can always count on you to make me look at things with a slightly different perspective, which leads me to deep thought and evaluation of what my assumptions and their consequences are. Thank you.

Gail, I am so glad my poem gave you the freedom to feel authentic. Because that's part of what I was trying to achieve with this poem. I know you well enough to know you don't wallow in this challenge's woes. To hear that your husband and you broke down together is heartbreaking … at the same time that it demonstrates how wonderful it is that you have each other as support.

Karen, like Robert, you have achieved the ability to see the good and joy available to us. I mostly can do that, too, but there are days when what I expressed in my poem takes over. I know from these comments and others I have heard that many MSers will also have days like the one expressed in my poem. For me, it is never a permanent thing, and I usually try to move on to where you and Robert have arrived. To say, though, that I never have days or even seconds where I feel my body has betrayed me would be a denial of my truth. It happens. Then I work on moving on from there.

Mary, it gave me special delight to read your comment in haiku. Yours seems to be an eyes wide open viewpoint, in that you acknowledge the good as well as the bad because it is what it is. Thanks for your good wishes. I wish the same for you.