Tag Archives: joy

Happy Birthday Justin

Today is my middle son’s birthday. He would have been 27 years old. Living with loss is a funny state of being – we fight it at every turn, always dimly aware that it is inescapable. We create habits to keep us from losing our keys, our place in a book, lists so that we don’t forget one of life’s latest ingredients, we play puzzles to keep from losing our memories and thus, our minds. All this effort to avoid the ultimate equalizer of death. Justin died of SIDS the week before he would have been 6 months old.

Like anyone, I did not want a tremendous loss to be part of my reality. Not me, I don’t belong in this club. A good mom, a great mom…she’s not the mother of a dead child. It’s odd how I let the words of other people sometimes reinforce this falsity. I have to remind myself, they just don’t get it. All of us, regardless of your beliefs, we are human and must investigate our surroundings, our relationships, our relationship to everything through our unique perceptions and abilities. We are not meant to be perfect. If we are lucky we maintain the ability to shift and learn through the lifetime process. If we are luckier still, we have love in our life that is not lost but transformed and weaved into our story. Is it always joyful? No. An easy road? No. Is it worth the risk? Yes.

In past years I’ve often marked anniversary dates with poems to record my feelings regarding the death of Justin. I’ve never wanted to proclaim myself any more knowledgeable than another person on how separation by death feels. I felt that poetry was vague enough to easily be molded to others’ perceptions so that they could decide if there was benefit in my words. I still believe that to be true. Today is different. Today I want to risk being more direct about my feelings regarding Justin. I want you to know about him and the importance he plays in my life and who I am…and who I am becoming. Yes, he is sometimes seen as that tear you want to hide from – sometimes that silly smile as I sing along with an old song – he is part of me…every day. I want you to know so that you can understand why I am celebrating today. Like my other sons and all the important people in my life, Justin is worth celebration.

Please do me a favor as I honor his memory and place in my life and take time today to celebrate those that matter to you. Celebrate them if they are standing next to you, across the country, across the world, in a different belief system, a confusing time in their life, a confusing time in your life, in a difference of opinion, or simply in your memory. Allow me today to be bold enough to proclaim the importance of loving, deeply, with your entire self, even at the risk of losing it all.

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Lessons in Joy

today a little boy spoke

a war ended, soldiers returned

mothers were crying

Can I have some juice, please?

tears splashed over her grin

they peeled off dusty clothes

new routines were developed

because of change

she watched to see if it was real

families reunited

heart touched, he began to sing

when the song reached my heart

joy was shared

**Autism, much like war, can make loved ones battle weary.  Every breakthrough is like bringing a mother’s child home.  When I heard about the recent accomplishments of my friend’s son that is diagnosed with autism, it made me think of a soldier on leave.  Long arduous time away from loved ones, culminating in the joy of reconnection.  This is life, this is joy, this is challenge, and reward.  As I begin a new year, let this remind me to celebrate victories and to appreciate the battles.  The payoff to the battle is coming home and learning joy again.  Our struggles may be different but let us share the joy that emanates from a love we all understand.


Firecracker

birds

eight, nine, ten

landing on branches

bending from slight weight

not losing a note of their song

how explosive, daylight freedom

no solid ground required for flight

bang

bang

bang


Terminal

sleep and consciousness battle

flameless candle of control

leaving me to wonder

where crazy lives

ponders and

plays

does

absurd board

a bus to sensibility

others searching maps

missing by fleeting minutes

opportunity for the unexpected


an angel once fell

into the arms of a child

was it on purpose

__________

Please visit my Unexpected Gifts tab to find out more about this award. To explore an incredible number of talented poets visit Jingle’s Blog.


Band of Two

song rolled forth like thunder
grins flashed lightning strikes
air guitar hitting every chord
strumming to the frantic beat
before taking a rock star leap
to crowdless sea of laughter
caught both as sweet refrain
tossing to ottoman for encore
followed by bedtime farewells


Clouds Parting


blessed the sun
at every angle
even when hid
behind cloud
shining on water
varied shores
warming faces
of the unknown
reminding me
that we share
heat and pulse
in varied beats
creating space
offer heart as
empty vessel
making others
our souvenir