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Poetry of the Afflicted & Survivors
My Mother: By Louise McCall
If you had ever met my mother, she would not be a woman you'd easily forget. She had class, far better dressed than anyone for miles.
Expensive tastes far beyond her means. We could sit up all night and talk, and she would even come get me out of school to take me to lunch at some restaurant somewhere for no good reason.
She was brilliant, knew something about everything, always reading, always in school, she was a
designer, and she was good at it. We could dream up theories, and plots, intricate takeovers. A devout
culturalist, we attended every play, gallery, and museum around.
There was a downside, there were many downsides, she was a manic depressant, or Bi-Polar as they call it now. There were the frenzies, the weeks in bed, the mean streaks. She tortured my soul, I was never good enough, I ruined her life by coming into this world, I wasn't wanted, I was the reason she spent 10 years of her life with a gay man, who ultimately resents the night he was ever curious about women and slept with her.
So I owed her for my life, she allowed me to have it. What a f*cking gift my life was, I thought. Thank you for this astonishing life you have provided for me. I love and I hate my mother. I have to love her, I came from her womb, that is a bond you cannot deny. And yet, for all the memories of my childhood I can share with you, being held, loved, and nurtured aren't among them.
For two years before her death I did not speak to her, because she told me my daughter deserved to die. When I
heard she was in the hospital, I came, and I stayed a week, but could stay no longer. Even as she lay in a
hospital bed, incubated, and strapped down, the initial sight of her filled me with undeniable fear. As it stood
however, my mothers life as she once knew it was already over. She had already suffered brain damage from oxygen loss. Still, she knew who I was, and didn't want me to leave her. Her eyes filled with tears and she managed to get out of one of the restraints and proceeded to pull the IV's out of her arm, and the incubation tubes from her throat. Her system failed then, and they had to rescussitate. It was hell on earth before my very eyes.
After I left the hospital and started the 700 mile trip home, I hung my head in shame, deep down, I knew it
would be the last time I would see her alive. Several weeks later, when they called to tell me she was going
downhill, I had to make a decision on whether to recussitate or not. I said let her go and she died. I was
hundreds of miles away. Her worst fear was being alone, and she died alone. All I have left is a legacy.
My Mother, for the moment, is calm.
Her life a patchwork quilt of thoughts.
The pieces, although unmatched, were assembled carefully.
At times, her life was a grand garden in which she remained
the most delicate yet stunning blossom.
Then balance subsides to imbalance.
The mania rises, and fires light within.
The rage spirals on a staircase leading towards a place
that most have never been let in.
My Mother, for just a moment, stares into her garden
through narrowed eyes, bitter and bedeviled.
They turn and rest on me, as if my presence cursed it.
Her lips curl as a littany a verses are hurled at me,
pulling me into a world between heaven and hell.
That gaze is shifted to the offering of peace I set before her.
Coffee steams in a coffee cup, a remedy to bring her down,
to wash the shadows away.
My Mother, for just a moment, smiles and looks at me with love in her eyes.
However time or circumstance may come between a mother and a daughter,
their lives are forever interwoven.
In her passing, I struggle to place the last square in her quilt,
and I realized;
That in search of my Mothers Garden, I found my own.
And I, for just a moment, stare calmly out the window
at the fresh unfolding buds of Spring, and find a rose.
In Memory of
Laura Frances Trahan
November 24th, 1947 ~ December 9th, 2001
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance.
~from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
My Heart Is My Haven
My heart is my violin,
Your spirit tugs at its strings.
It sings a song of the place you're in,
I treasure our tender symphonies.
My heart is my map,
Of your travels afar.
If only it were a long winters nap,
But I am with you wherever your are.
My heart is my book,
That tells of our precious memories.
It has become my favorite nook,
To dwell in our heart-spun reveries.
My heart is my vision,
Of all the lives you've touched.
For you God had a mission,
These people need you so much.
My heart is my haven,
For it's filled with my baby, Madeline Rae.
I'll hold you again in heaven,
Somewhere, Somehow, Someday.
In Memory of Madeline Rae McCall Nov. 24th, 1999~ Dec. 26th, 1999
By Louise McCall
Whether you are near or far away,
There is a legacy I wanted to share.
The story of my life day by day,
Reflections of who I am, and of how you came to be here.
Days pass, seasons change, months grow into years.
Exciting moments, are always treasured memories.
And there are crises, shattered hopes and fears,
That bring about turning points and new beginnings.
January brought the turn of the century,
A time I didn't want you to miss.
Around the corner is the month of love, February.
A whirlwind of Valentine's and mommy's first kiss.
March goes in like a lion, comes out like a lamb...
A special month, for I found I was pregnant with you,
At this stage in my life there was so much to plan.
My childhood dreams became reality, my wishes had come true.
April showers bring May flowers, together these months combined,
Contain a Secret Garden, which is also my favorite book.
It's full of pink roses and ivy inescapably entwined,
My Favorite things can be found here with just one look
The month of June brings my favorite sporting event.
Your daddy and I couldn't wait to take you whitewater-rafting
A funfilled day of laughter delightfully spent,
With an ending under a blanket of stars while camping.
Fireworks sparkle for July's grand display.
A celebration for our countries glory.
August brings road trips to find what we may,
Visiting the places of someone elses story.
Usually September brings some type of despair,
For the storms that come, leave loved ones grim,
But it brings about goodness because we care,
As we put our lives back together again.
The trees are turning in October to fabulous shades,
Of oranges, reds, yellows, and brown.
And the children all gather in costumes we made,
To go Trick-or-Treating about the town.
November is always a month of Thanksgiving for me.
It's the month your daddy and I met, and the month we were married.
The twenty fourth day is when you came to be,
The precious newborn that for nine months I carried.
Baby Jesus was born in December.
The twenty fifth is His birthday.
It is a day for giving, to celebrate and remember.
But now I have mixed feelings, for this day you went away.
This legacy I carry, is ours forever.
You've brought so much joy to my life that's true.
I won't stop making my plans with you, never.
For we will do them all when I reunite with you.
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