Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The post where I say, Thank You

Do you ever wonder what drives a hypochondriac? Are you a hypochondriac? I could be a recent convert to the church of “Notice me I’m dying.”

A few Saturday’s ago I read a heartbreaking story of a family mourning the loss of their fourteen year old son, picked off before his prime by a small, microorganism that gave him a headache, stiff neck, and blinding pain, before his death. The culprit – an amoeba.

An Amoeba; that itty dividing organism that I once pondered under my high school microscope. The fourteen year old victim had done nothing more heinous than swim in a lake of warm, still water, where happy feet churned up the silt and mud where the Amoeba slept, crept, and waited. Now every time I get a headache and stiff neck I think of that dear departed teen.

No, I know my headache and stiff neck have nothing to do with an Amoeba Nagsomthing or other. And No, I don’t want to make light of this child’s death. I am haunted by the child and a quote in the article from the grieving father, “He asked me if he was going to die? And I said, no.” Of course he said no, even if he’d known I imagine he’d say no. My answer would have been no, because like the father, his loss is an outcome I can’t accept before the end.

A parent should never have to out last their child. I can’t remember if fear that my daughter would be taken from me choked me during my prayers, held me paralyzed in thought, but I know the terror that something might happen to my grandson. The thought alone during my prayers will rip sobs from my chest. God doesn’t do things to us. I know some people and religions believe that, I do not. But I still pour my fears, pleas, longings, and wishes for his wellness, peace, and protection into my nightly prayers. Burp is both mine and Ducky’s light and joy.

For the parents of that young man, now departed, I wish you peace. I know you will never read this, but I wish you peace. For those of you who have touched my life, I wrote this poem. Yes it does especially target some more than others. But it is mean for you all. And I hope it makes more people realize we might not have our tomorrows to appreciate those who have touched us, taught us, loved us, and even not so much liked us. They have all meant something to me, helped create who I am. So please indulge me this poem and read it with your heart, and know I mean this for you.


More than Names

I saw your name today.
Did I remember to let you know,
what you meant?
How you touched my life?
Made me think?
Who I am today
is in part because of you.

I cried your name today
posted in section C
a column over
three postings down
You were so much more
than letters in black on white
in just fifty words or less.

Before my name is no more
Please know you changed me.
The laughing gales,
tearful furrows
lessons learned, together,
your friendship and love,
helped in making me, me.

There I am, just a name
on line ten, in column five.
I was so much more
than words in black on white.
No picture captures what should be seen.
But before I leave, you should know
You were so much more to me.
© 14 September 2007 Calista Cates-Stanturf


JulieAnn said...

Gave me chills and tears...I'd better go read Sid's post so I don't cry more.

Thank you for sending light to these people and into the lives of all of us, your friends.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

What a great poem! You touched me with this post, Cele.

Cele said...

JulieAnn, chills, girlfriend you honor me, but yeah Sid's a million laughs, especially today.

Mary Lisa, thank you so very much. And hey you can join Jazzy and myself any Friday night for workshop...JulieAnn misses it because she is acckkkhmmm "sleeping" yeah sure.

Sideon said...

Hey - humor keeps me sane and manageable. Selfishly speaking, I spend a lot of time amusing myself. I'm glad when others can share in the mirth (and wackiness and zaniness).

Cele, thanks for letting me read this earlier - the line "you were so much more to me" haunts me.

An Enlightened Fairy said...

Beautiful poem, Cele. You have me sobbing here and I am trying to type. Excuse any typos...
What a tragic story. Like you, there is one tragedy that weighs on my heart.
A little over a year ago, a young woman in my area neglected and eventually starved her young daughter. In the woman's statement to police she said that her two year old daughter was crying one evening, feverish and weak. The child had been neglected for some time and the woman knew that if she took her to the doctor or hospital, they would surely call CPS. The woman decided to lay the baby in her crib. She opened the window (this was the middle of winter) and left her child there, uncovered. In her mind, this was a good idea. The following day when the woman got around to checking on the little girl, she found her little body balled up on the floor of her room. She was dead.
The woman placed this baby inside a box filled with garbage and dirty diapers. After taping the box closed she placed it on the porch.
Then the woman went on with her life. She attended Thanksgiving dinner, she did things with her friends, all the while making excuses as to why her daughter wasn't with her.
The woman's husband was in the military and on deployment. When he came home, two weeks later, the woman finally confessed what she had done and directed him to the box on the patio.
Everytime I think about that little girl, I just sob. I know there are other children out there that have gone through similar things, but this hit so close to home for me. I knew where this child lived, I had driven past her home on several occasions, but I never knew about the horrible things that went on inside that house. It weighs on my heart and I find myself thinking about this little girl even though I never met her or her family.
I dreamt once that I met her. I took her away from her abusive mother and I cared for her. In my dream, I kept telling her that I would love and care for her.
Stories like this just tear you up inside. It's so hard to imagine, but it happens.
Ugh. I better go get myself some tissue now.

Cele said...

Sid, you were so much more. are are

Fairy, there is that saying that goes, "into every life some rain must fall..." some times it is a torrential monsoon. I think it is incidents like the one you related that are so heart rending that it serves as a remind to the rest of us to love, to honor, to cherish, to communicate, validate, and appreciate those we love, those around us, and those we've never met.

And for another great saying,
"But for the grace of God there go I." In truth I don't think God has anything to do with it and what we do of our own free will and accord, but the saying serves as a reminder of the folly we can wreak upon those we should love. around us, we don't know, and ourselves.

Soap box anyone?