Wordsmith

My tools are not shiny or sharp, nor do they have serrated edges.

Like an arrow, with its crimson target, breath aligned with skill, I pursue.

Your heart and soul is my target, threading my bow of words with purpose.

May it pierce your heartstrings and render you breathless…vulnerable to the utterances of the heart.

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Love;

to abandon the shore, plunge into your ocean and discover the glistening treasures beckoning from within your depths.

In Darkness, Light

Bound and dulled your desires may be. Lulled and dampened by emotions undeserving. Lost or hidden fears may mysteriously reply. Unsteady, unsure your confidence may seem.

Damaged, broken or unyielding it may all appear to be. Resigned to only maintain and not to thrive. Huddled; seemingly protected from all the uncertainties that may carelessly intrude otherwise.

From this hollowed crevice…a crack, light will appear. Allow yourself a glimpse. For with just that, it will resonate despite it all.

The truth, the light, that is safely cradled within us all. And, as with all the other moments before, welcome the possibilities of its warmth and its comfort. Rediscover the undeniable strength, the glowing intentions and the endless loving gestures forever streaming from its rays.

BIRTHDAY

Son, although tomorrow is your birthday, my heart will shamelessly celebrate the gift you have been to me.

Yes, we will all celebrate, perhaps with your favorite steak.  Candles will be lit, we will sing to you and wait with anticipation as you blow out your 14 candles.

Yet, all the while a warm rush will fill my chest.  I will do my best to remember your face, your voice and your eyes in these moments.  My heart knows all to well that time passes carelessly.  I must steal the moments and make them mine.

In the glow of the candles, I will linger at the vibrant kaleidoscope of memories, not knowing where my love ends and your life begins.

I will remember the wide eyes of the toddler that looked to me for courage.  In your face, I will see traces of the tenacious young boy who would not give up.  I will strain to hear in your voice remnants of the baby who once called for me.  As you walk, my heart will tease me; you refused to crawl face down, sitting upright and gliding across the floor with a foot extended to propel you.

I will search for traces of the chubby hands that once reached for mine. And, when I hug you…my heart will remind me of the peaceful nights I cradled you for hours. I never felt so alive (or sleep deprived).

Yes, on your birthday, we will sing and celebrate while my heart faithfully unwraps once again the gift that is you.

Rosary

My long, dark hair was secured in a neat twist, not to distract me from my duties.  My hair has always signified the intensity of my focus, which could be razor sharp at times. This a fact that enabled me to perform well in stressful situations, composed and assured.

This focus, although it can be deemed undesirable to some, was of notable relevance this particular afternoon as I cared for my patient in her final hours. She suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was in the final stages of its grasp. She struggled to catch her breath, her eyes wide and scared.  I did my best to make her comfortable, methodically positioning her as her gaze met mine.  My eager and compassionate presence, I can only hope she sensed.  Even as an inexperienced nurse, I possessed this ability whether I appreciated its significance or not.

It would not be her final moments that I recall with the most detail, but the moments after her spirit left that causes me to pause now.

I discovered her still before the end of my shift.  There was no energy or activity, other than my attempts to comfort her earlier, involved in her passing.  It was peaceful I imagined as she parted her lips once last time, her breath escaping as did her spirit without unnecessary effort or pain.  It was her time, I accepted that with reverence.

As an even younger nursing assistant, I had been trained in preparing and transferring the deceased.  However, on this day, I knew her sisters would be coming to see her before she left our floor.  I had an expanding appreciation for the significance of these moments, the final farewell.  I also recognized that it was I, alone, that held this responsibility of preparing her for her sisters.

There were large windows in her private room and the sun slanted in through the partially closed blinds.  I reached for the cords and pulled them completely open, the light radiating on her bed.  I cleaned her and dressed her in her favorite sweater.  Adjusting her bed upright, I ensured her blankets were tidy, folding the top neatly under her arms.  Her hands; I focused on those in particular.  I applied lotion and folded them together in prayer.  Searching in her bedside table, gently lifting her rosary beads with conviction and weaving them strategically through her cool fingers…I was satisfied.

Her hair styled; I sprinkled baby powder under her neck and shoulders in an effort to mask the odor that my nose recognized as common in these final moments.  My focus completely on the lasting impression this visit would have on her loved ones.

By her bed, I placed her bible and a box of opened tissues.  It is noteworthy, that in all the possessions she must have possessed in her life only her bible, rosary, and a few articles of clothing remained with her. This, I would recognize time and time again.  All else, passing fancies.  Nothing more, nothing less.

As I turned to leave her room, I partially slid the privacy curtain closed.  Holding on  to the edge of the curtain, I glanced back at my surroundings.  The sun, gratefully, had not yet set.  A steady stream of light reflected off the floor, her bed within range of its rays.  She appeared peaceful, poised even,  holding her rosary beads.

At the nurse’s station, her sisters waited arm and arm.  They leaned onto each other, steadying one another physically and emotionally in their combined sorrow.  “She is ready for you now,” I spoke as I touched their intertwined arms.  As they walked away, every fiber of my being knew this to be so.  She was ready.

Although I spent the majority of my nursing career welcoming new life, it was in moments similar to these that I truly could appreciate what it meant to live life.

In your memory…

Death waits for no one; no place, no time, no sign, not even a lover’s pine.

Death waits for no one; no promise, no touch, no beseeching hush.

Death waits for no one; that is, until our last breath we must not rush. These moments we are graciously given are NOT ours to entrust.

Death waits for no one; here it is we must, love one another until all turns to dust.

The Pebble

I love the smell of coffee and 265 possibilities in the morning.  Welcoming the new year just might be my favorite holiday.

Cradling my coffee mug between my manicured fingers, steam rises to my nostrils and I breath in audibly.  “Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window…let the sun ultimate the words that you cannot find,” she sings to me as the warm liquid arouses my senses.  I regard Kaiser’s paw prints on the slider, “check”, and search for the rays of sun in the gray sky.  If you cannot find the light, be the light.

This beautiful, magnificent blank page glows before me.  My fingers lower to the cold keys waiting to be nourished.  Silence, stillness transmutes my senses; my breathing slows and I sense my heart warming in my chest to words that have yet to come.  The words will flow from here, I do not even know how.  I am unlocked and unleashed; unbridled emotions, sentiments and words is my weakness.  I vow to be at their mercy in 2019.  Writing; an unfolding, an unveiling of your innermost self.  I am grateful for what I discover most often: love, compassion and gratitude.

Goals, yes, they are on my mind. I aim to keep them simple, yet amazing in 2019.  Simple because of their authenticity.  Amazing because of the path that is continually unfolding through them, the words on a blank page.

Presence, the gift of, to others and to myself.  The blank page before me, yet in another.  Allowing, accepting and yielding space to simply be for those in my life.  I believe this to be one of the greatest gifts you can offer because it is rooted in love.  One moment of presence could change the trajectory of a life.  Multiply that by 365 days and countless encounters, the possibilities are infinite.  For myself, to be present is to be rooted in the moment, however fleeting.  Life unfolds authentically with presence and with that, your goals and visions become vivid and infused with passion and purpose.  It has been hash-tagged as “living your best life.”  I promise you, pinky promise even, it all evolves from presence.  Anything else is just a catchy hashtag.

Writing, my gift, for myself and more and more I am appreciating for others.  It has taken me decades to recognize this.  I may seem dramatic and my vulnerability is revealed by allowing “judgements” to creep into my tapping fingers.  That boulder I carried of insecurities on my shoulders has now become, thankfully, a pebble I toss in my hands.  I can manage the pebble even as I type.  That boulder though, bounded my arms and inhabited my freedom and creativity for far too long.  In 2019, I vow to finally, perhaps even ceremoniously, toss that pebble.  Imagine, that freedom!  Creating without juggling that ridiculous nuisance.

It is here that my goals align, on this keyboard at 10:30am on the first day of the new year, 2019.  In these moments, as I write, my presence is inescapable.  I am here in this moment giving myself the space to simply be with all my unearthed emotions, insecurities and vulnerabilities (my pebble).  I am giving you my unmasked presence in hopes that you, too, will have the strength and courage to do the same in your own unique way.  Let’s do this together; toss your boulders or pebbles or whatever it might be and #live your best life in 2019.  How can that not be simply amazing?