Category Archives: Death
This is the fifth and final poem in my set of poems for the creative writing assignment due tomorrow. This last one was tough. It took me a while to decide which option I was going to go with. Ultimately I decided to do a response poem to another poem we read in class called, First Hour by Sharon Olds, which you can read here http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/56565801533 The poetry we are writing in class has to be contemporary, can’t be in rhyme, the poem has to have the same amount of concrete nouns as the poem has lines throughout. The response poems had to be opposite to the original poem we are responding too. I hope you enjoy my response poem.
Mothers Last Hour
I’m riddled with pain in my back
The sweat drips between my breasts
They yell, “Push, you can do this!”
I’m overcome with fear
Fear like seeing a spider crawl slowly up your arm
How can I do this? How can I protect another life?
I am not even sure what I’m doing with my own.
You will be my first child.
Dozing off in between each contraction in bed,
Family and friends siphoning the energy from me,
It is all out of love and concern for us both.
My modesty stripped a little bit more,
with nurses and doctors, they come and go,
So many white jackets and blue nurse uniforms come and go, strangers.
Visiting my vagina exposed to the world inside this pale room in this white bed
With splashes of red hues and pink
Beeping and buzzing from room instruments.
The room is fading to black
The noises are muffled but I hear what the doctor says,
“Hold on, almost there, things are going to be fine.”
The wind whistles in my ears and a cool wind strokes my face.
Your dad is full of panic as I am rolled to another room.
The bright lights are blinding.
My legs tremble and my heart races.
Can I finish this? Can we both make it through?
A shrieking cry echoes the room of lights. I’m exhausted yet excited.
Tears of joy stream down from my eyes as I lay on the bed
Tears drip into my ears as the room turns black one last time.
I hope you know that I loved you from conception.
Dear Dad, 04/30/2015
It is nearing the end of my first semester of community college. I have a long way to go still but I’m finally doing it! It feels good dad. I think about you so much and I wish so much that you were here. I miss you every day that passes. It is 2015 now. You have been gone now for 19 years. That is such a long time dad and so much has changed with the world, technology, your grandchildren, and our family.
I don’t get back home very often. It still didn’t feel like home being back there last summer. There is this void with you gone. I guess it will always be there. When I went back home I went to bury Drew. Yes, that boy I swore I’d love my whole life and chased around the neighborhood. The boy’s initials I carved into the bedroom furniture you were furious about. Oh yeah and the closest door frame too. I know you remember him…how could you forget him right? That was very hard on me to do. I did love him so much. To walk down the isle of that funeral home knowing it would be the last time I’d kiss him good bye broke my heart so bad dad. I still feel bad I never thanked him for saving my life in middle school dad…I know that was when you loved Drew too…when he came forward over that crazy gun nonsense and saved me…you were different towards him after that…he was about the only boy allowed to come see me…I never thanked him for telling me not to stay in Mansfield either when I asked him if I had any reason to…that is one part of growing older really sucks dad…the loved ones you have to bury. Learning how to live on without them is tough. The toughest for me of course has been living with you gone.
I have had to make up for so many missteps I made after you died. I thought the day you told me you had cancer in that stupid gray Corsica that I had time to prepare…maybe not long but at least a few months…we ended up having a year and still I fucked up so badly…I lost myself so much that I’m not even certain I ever found her…even today. I think she died with you dad and I have accepted that…I guess maybe that is what happens when you lose someone so valuable. I thought I would have been fine, solid as a rock…thought I was so smart and had my shit together…what a fool I was…what a waste…so much wasted time…talent…I’m so sorry daddy…I am so sorry…if I could only go back…if only…
The first five years you were gone I walked around numb. I did everything to feel things like I had before you died but I just couldn’t. I moved all over in search of somewhere to belong, a place I could FEEL alive again. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to live anymore in the world without you in it. I just didn’t know how. It took so long to feel anything after you died dad…your granddaughter Courtney, when I gave birth to her; she gave me this need to live, this want to try to live. She still does along with her little sister.
They are so beautiful dad. Kylie reminds me of you once in a while. I’m sorry they never got to meet you. It isn’t fair but there isn’t much in life that is right? Courtney is 14 now! She is so much like me dad and I am so happy our relationship is very close…I am so glad it didn’t turn out like mine and moms. She is so smart too. She is an A student and she already speaks fluent German…she actually just came back from German camp not long ago. She is thrilled about college in her future. I could not be more proud dad and let me tell you right now…if it was not for having you as my dad I would not be such a great mother to her. I would not have been able to get clean and really pull myself out of that dark shit I got myself into at the beginning of my adult life. I never told you but you were a wonderful dad…even with the bad things that happened to me dad, they were not your fault and you couldn’t protect me from everything…you were my hero…you ARE MY HERO!! So thank you.
Little Kylie is a mini me by looking at her. She is just adorable dad. She asks a lot about you. I think she is sad she never got to meet you too. I show her pictures. She is really smart too. She is so creative dad…she writes these amazing stories like I did at that age. Remember that story I wrote about the old woman under the apple tree? I remember you talked about that story even when I was in high school and I wrote that in grade school. Well, Kylie has that same talent. I think she will be a writer if I do things right by her and she doesn’t get messed up in life like I did. I am still working on my writing. I still plan on having my memoir published and my novel series too…I have more to learn that college is helping with before I get there.
God I sure do miss you ….I can’t even explain the feeling dad…I just miss you so bad…
Even though I miss you dad I feel good about life…I’m clean and for a long time now…I love my life except being sick all the time with chronic pain, fatigue etc. I push through though. I love going to school…it feels right… it feels the same way it felt when I started driving bus…like I am just supposed to be there. I am excited about my future. My kids are so excited too. Courtney tells me every week how proud she is that I am in college. She brags to her teachers and friends she says. I sure have traveled a long way dad and that is thanks to YOUR PARENTING…you remember that!! I may have screwed up and may have taken a little longer but I am doing it dad. Not only am I setting examples to others who want to get clean or straighten their life out by showing them IT CAN BE DONE but I am setting an example to my kids to not give up on a dream and that anything is possible. I learned that from you.
I love you so much dad and I wish I had told you more when you were here. I miss you and think of you every day. I will carry you in my heart for the rest of my life and I will make sure you never fade with memories I continue to share with my children. I hope you are at peace where ever it is you are…I will write again.
Love your only daughter,
It’s funny all the things in this world that don’t have much meaning to them. Well, until you lose someone special to you. Things such as lightning bugs at night, a day that mimics a distant old memory of a moment you spent with that person, things like the smell of fresh cut grass, a color you look upon from an old clothing article worn, the sound of a motorcycle revving its engine, or the smell of an oil spill from a mechanics garage….
I believe these things finally retain some sort of meaning to us after we lose someone because we want so badly to be near the person who is gone…
I find myself wanting to see stars in the night sky and lightning bugs flying around freely. I find myself wanting to see a red bandana; I want to smell the fresh grass after a rainfall, even a certain smell from the mud beneath my feet just to catch a glimpse of a childhood memory I know is there and I want to just be in that moment again even if it is only in my mind. That sound from a familiar song that reminds you of a smile they had. I find myself wanting to lie in the grass gazing it up at the stars smoking that old familiar brand of cigarettes just to feel close to a memory.
You find yourself going over all the time and space in between the years that have passed. Dredging up, from deep inside, this solemn feeling of regret; regret that you have taken advantage of the fact that nothing lasts forever like you hoped. Regret that you kept telling yourself there is always time. Saying quietly next time I will or I always have tomorrow. Then the day comes when someone tells you that special person is gone forever. You realize in that exact moment of the receiving the news how wrong you were about time, wrong about how life is tough not fragile, and how you wish you could have made just a few more memories, just a few more to add meaning to all the things you thought were miniscule, things surrounding you like the sound of rushing traffic, a cotton ball travelling in the wind, or the smell of brownies in the oven.
My dear friend Drew is gone. He left this world Thursday afternoon and these are the things I’ve been going through the last few days. I am heartbroken and I haven’t figured out how to start the healing process yet. I do not believe you heal from loss completely, you just learn to go on in a new normal of existence with that person absent. This will be the first friend I’ve gone back home to say goodbye too and that is because I loved that boy so much. I have memories with him as far back as I can remember. I feel good about a few things. I feel good that he did know I loved him and he knew he was an important friend of mine. He knew I would have moved the world for him if I had the power. I feel good that I believe deep in my heart he felt the same. The streets we grew up on were tough sometimes. Life at home wasn’t always pancakes and soda pop. School wasn’t always a playground. One thing was always constant though Drew and Rachel running together.
I look back on days of summer when I couldn’t wait to get outside to my bike so I could ride to see him. I look back at the times he snuck to my bedroom window at dark just to say what was up. What a ride. Many people around the neighborhood and school thought for sure we would have ended up being romantically involved, married, boyfriend/girlfriend but it never went that way. I think he loved me and he knew it would have ruined the years of memories we had built. It would have ruined our friendship. He was right if that is what he was thinking. Our love was more of a brotherly/sisterly love than a long lasting love that goes into marriage.
I can see him walking though our old high school, sitting at a desk in some classroom, smoking a cigarette across from the band rooms annex, walking down Hanna towards my bus stop, smiling or giving me a hand gesture as I held a camera, I can see him sitting in the back of the bus saving me a seat, looking back as I was deciding to flee the hometown to better myself with him telling me to go and I can’t help but smile.
Tears start to fall when I am done rolling those memories through my mind because I realize there is no chance of creating new memories, no more conversations, no more pictures to be taken, no more time left….because life is so fragile.
Drew I will love you forever my friend. Save me a seat up there …in the back…I remember we like it there…
So Tuesday, September 24th I had to be taken off my bus in an ambulance. I thought I was having a heart attack. At first I thought it was an anxiety attack. What I have found out is my heart actually stops beating two beats per minute and when it jump starts back up on the third beat it starts in the 200 beats per minute range and rises, this is known as atrial fibrillation. 300 beats per minute is stroke area. Had my coworker in dispatch not called 911 for me I would have either stroked out, or had a massive heart attack. Yeah pretty scary stuff.
I went in yesterday to get a holster monitor on to record my hearts actions. I was put on a beta blocker to help slow the heart when it jump starts so I do not stroke out. It still hurts, and it still races but not at stroke limit. I am hoping I can just be medicated to fix this problem. My boss informed me that if I have a pace maker put in that I can not hold a CDL. I love my job. I don’t want to have to leave my job. I have met some very wonderful people there and the job saved my life.
When I first applied at PC I was at the lowest point in my life. I was ready to leave my husband, and take my own life. I had been disabled for 8 years prior and it had taken its toll on me. I was so thankful to PC that they gave me a chance. If I have to leave my job I am not sure how I will handle that.
Right now I am trying real hard to stay positive. I’m trying not to panic at the thought of having a serious heart condition that can’t easily be fixed. I still smile and try to keep my happy demeanor but deep inside I am terrified.
It was hell to adjust to being this disabled woman at 28…how will I adjust to a woman with a serious heart problem at 35? I’m suppose to start school in a few weeks to work on getting my bachelors in early childhood education. How am I going to do that if I have a bad heart? Should I put it off? I have all these things on my mind.
This will be my second brush with death in one year. The first was my car accident where I rolled my Ford Taurus and had to be cut out. I believe in signs. I wonder if this is a sign for me too. I’m not sure what it is trying to say however…
I’ve been through so much my entire life…I really have come a long way…and a part of me is very angry that this heart thing has shown up…I mean how much more am I going to have to go through…til it is time for me to have true continuing peace?
I was sexually abused as a child, I grew up with a schizophrenic mother, my first husband was abusive, I am a recovering opiate addict, I have been disabled since age 28, and I survived a roll over car accident.
I have overcome all of these things only to find myself faced with having a bad heart. I know that it is very possible my past drug usage and abuse might have brought on this heart condition. Not to mention I was a smoker for over 20 years…but when am I going to get a break?
Everyone around me tells me I am a pillar of strength and I amaze them. I feel real good about that. I have always wanted to change the world…I have always wanted to be someone important enough to save or change lives. I wanted to be the person that brightens others days by simply being me. I just don’t know how I am going to deal with a major heart problem if that is the case.
I worry this will be my tipping point. I am afraid this might be the straw that broke the camels back. Facing this heart situation has made me think about all the things I’ve done throughout my life that probably brought me to this point. It also has me thinking about how much more I want to do. I’m not finished. I’m not even close and a heart condition probably cuts off more of my time to do the things I want.
I know life isn’t always fair and bad shit happens to good people. I just wish I would be given a break. I am having a harder time each day enjoying what I should be enjoying. I’m tired all the time, hurt all over everyday, out of breath most of the time, and my heart hurts when it races. God what is your plan for me? What are you trying to move me towards or away? I need your help here…and I’m begging you to not put anymore on me because God I have no more strength. My endurance is gone.
I have been clean since 2006. I don’t drink but maybe twice a year. I don’t steal. I am a good mom to my girls. I am a faithful wife. I am a loyal friend. I am an honest person. I have asked forgiveness for my past sins against others. I help the less fortunate. I try to be a positive role model for those who surround me. I don’t know what else to do in order to have you give me a break. But tonight Lord I am asking you please….give me a break or this will break me.
Here we go again…16 years…
I’m missing you badly. I just wish I could call. I have so much to say to you…so much has gone wrong. I need your fatherly advice. I need to hear your voice. I need you to tell me I know what to do…to myself stay true. I’m still broken inside dad…I don’t know what to do or how to repair what was stolen. I wish upon stars I see, hoping that magic exists…like in the fairy tales I read as a child…that the Lord above helps…temptation I need to resist. I look for ways to fill this void in bottles and self destructive ways…that I know would break your heart…but the world is so heavy on my shoulders dad…I can’t bear the weight much longer…I need to be stronger but lack the energy to sustain…it’s so deep…the pain.
Where have you gone? Do you have recollections of me? Have you been born again? Are you my pain? I thought I was winning the fight…I thought I gained insight…on who I was, where I wanted to be…then I looked into the mirror…I still don’t recognize “me”…
I would gladly die if I could have just one more day…just one more to hear you say…Rachel I love you…and you are going to be fine…try to look beyond…beyond the minuscule stuff…I raised you tough. Never carry the weight of others….
Dad you were a light in my world. A light that guided me through the darkest hours…and you have been gone for sixteen years and with thoughts of you still bring on tears. I’m still broken…for how long?