3/15/09

Seeing it Through

Posted on Sunday~ March 15, 2009

Marriage.
gentle and kind
patient and selfless,
Wild like Spring
passionate
like Summer.

Autumn.
the cold rolls in
Dormant. Still.

Winter arrives
Sometimes.
hard
dull
gone
not laughing
not connecting

Fear
in the cold of Winter.

Remember us?
A little.
We move
and work
and clean
and raise.

Life is busy
full.

There is
illness
loss
indifference
comparison
guilt

But we'll stay here
in love
in hope
and wait for Spring.
Spring is a choice.

I'll see you as a seedling,
beautiful
alive and growing
beside me, taller even
fuller and bursting with life.

Loving a person just the way they are
it's no small thing.
It takes some time to see things through.
Loving me just the way I am,
That's no small thing.
It takes some time.
-----------------------

She sits and holds
curled fingers,
veins so visible
showing their age.

he's still here
and she's still here

So they'll fight the battle of life.
She'll feed him and bathe him
She'll dress him
and forgive him.

He's changed, lost his words
no movement on the right.
There will be no regrets
no doubts
no choice
as she stays.
Patient and kind.
This will be the longest Winter.
This is commitment
this is it.
They find their rhythm
a silent rhythm
a communication
deeply rooted
in 50 years
of seasons.

Loving a person just the way they are.
It's no small thing.
It's the whole thing.
----------------------
He notices her forgetfulness
and he cringes
at losing her
as she loses her memory.

She's not herself
she's lost her appeal.

He guides her steps
reminds and reminds
answers the same question five times.
He makes her meals and the bed.
She wanders
he brings her back.

She was always feisty, sometimes mean
But now she hits, she punches, she claws.

He sits and he breathes and he cries for the days
good or bad
the days she knew him
really knew him.

Loving a person just the way they are
it's no small thing.
It's the whole thing.

He wants to go back now,
to see her as beautiful
then and now.

Always both.
So he'll carry her, he'll keep her
just as long as he can.
They say he can't do it
They will take her
put her there,
Away.

He'll drive daily
sit with her
even though she's not there.
He's not inconvenienced.
Selfless.
It takes some time to see things through.
-------------------------
For my Grandparents, Colleen and Dale, and Helen and Glenn. Thank you for seeing it through.
This post was inspired by the song Loving a Person by Sara Groves,
and by a conversation with a lovely friend who inspires me to see the beauty in all the seasons.
(photos courtesy of flickr)

44 clicked right here to comment:

Kristina P. said...

Oh my goodness, Heather, this made me cry! It reminded me so much of my grandparents, but it was my grandmother who stuck it out through my grandfather's alzheimers.

Thanks for starting out my Sunday!

Corinne said...

What a wonderful post - I especially love the first section, the seasons. You've got a beautiful way with words!

Heather of the EO said...

Thank you, KP.

Yes, the last section is about my Grandfather taking care of my Grandmother through Alzheimers.

The second section is about my other Grandma taking care of my Grandpa after a stroke.

They've taught me much with their lives. They rock.

Heather of the EO said...

And Corinne, thank you too! I didn't see your comment before I responded to Kristina :)

Heidi Ashworth said...

Soooo beautiful and inspiring!

a Tonggu Momma said...

My grandmother is in the early stages of dementia, so this hit hard. Beautifully written, Heather.

Sabrina said...

Heather that was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.
I love that Sara Groves song... and somehow when i am most frustrated\mad\dissapointed with someone that song pops into my head.
And I have to say, Aw..yes.
Because...
"loving me just the way I am is no small thing"

You are wonderful Heather! :)

LisAway said...

This is just lovely.

You know what? Just today on the drive to church Greg played Vivaldi's Spring and talked to the kids about what Spring symbolizes. He talked about how every hard, dark, cold and lonely time ends and Spring comes again. It's the way it's always been and always will be and we have to remember that in our lives, too. So it was really neat to read your beautiful poem about the seasons of marriage.

It sounds like your grandparents (both sets) are about due for a Spring time. But this one will be Everlasting.

Rach@In His Hands said...

Oh, Heather...your beautiful words brought a lot of tears from me this morning.

Did you know that my Grandma Lorraine has Alzheimer's? My Papa took care of her for about 4 years...bringing her back after she wandered, calming her when she was upset, and so on...until last year when it was time to take her to a wonderful assisted living home.

Papa loves her in exactly the way that God wants a man to love his wife.....even though she doesn't remember that they are even married. Even when the disease causes her to be mean or she doesn't want him there or she doesn't remember his name. I can't even imagine how much it wears on him...but in all things he gives God glory.

While the disease has taken over so much or her mind, it does not have her heart! Nothing brings her more comfort than singing hymns or being read to from the Bible. While she can barely put sentences together, she CAN sing praises to Him.

We all take comfort that this season will pass....and the next will be everlasting.

Thanks again, friend...

Jen said...

this is beautiful! a perfect description.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

*crying*

Because THIS is what it is about. It's not about loving some one becuase of how they make you feel. Or what they can do for you. Or the status they give you.

It's about being Jesus to them. Sacrificing. Meeting their needs. It is only in that kind of love that we can see ALL the beauty that GOd inteded marriage to be.

Stunning.

You are so ,so gifted.

wendy said...

My grandparents have are gone and I miss them terribly ---but as I see my parents age, it is the hardest thing ever. thanks for that lovely post.

pam said...

Goosebumps. . . all the way through.
My favorite line: Spring is a choice.
There's a weekly poetry thing at High Calling Blogs--you should post there!

Sara@i.Sass said...

Lovely.

Less Toil Traci said...

Beautiful, Heather. Wow.

That Girl in Brazil said...

I'm wondering how to translate this and read it in my marriage classes here .... d'ya mind?

Kimberly said...

I'm having a good cry right now, and missing my sweetheart. That was so beautiful.

RosyRose said...

I love how you compared marriage to seasons...that's it isn't it. It's all about seasons! I am glad for the spring:) Wild and passionate:)!!!
Thanks! You are very poetic my friend!

Muthering Heights said...

This is so sad - it reminds me of my grandparents.. My grandmother has Alzheimers...

LexiconLuvr said...

Oh Heather, it is so natural to hear this come from you. It is the most organic, truthful beauty--a reflection of you in every syllable.

You said it just the way I love it:
"I'll see you as a seedling,
beautiful
alive and growing
beside me, taller even
fuller and bursting with life."

There is more to a person than what they offer us...it is what we offer each other. Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

And THAT'S it for me. It's holding his hand, sharing his pains and tears, loving through his hurts and fears, and forgiving when those hurts wound. Loving the mistakes and the success. Loving. Just loving.

I found a piece of God when I found your blog. Thank you. Thank you.

Kristen said...

WAH!!! Thanks for making me bawl while Mark is out of town. This is beautiful. I love it.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

This took my breath away.

(Could you quit doing that on Sundays, by the way? I work on Sunday afternoons, theoretically anyway, so my breath is already struggling.)

Deb said...

you are incredible. this is awesome. i had to read it and sit on it a while before commenting. that must seem weird that some strange person has your words running through their head for an afternoon.

i just wonder how many people really and truly get that this is what they are signing on for when they walk down the aisle. i know i sure as heck didn't! but man, i have to say, i am so happy i have a partner that will stand by me through ANYTHING. on the other hand, there have been days, months even, where we just would go through the motions. but i suppose that marriage, like everything else is cyclical. i don't mean to take away anything from the beauty and sanctity of your words, but i did kind of laugh because i discuss this sort of thing with my husband alllll the time. i have given him very specific instructions of what i want to wear, where i want to be, how i want HIM to feel and how i want ME to feel if/when i grow incapable of caring for myself.

thanks for this and sorry to ramble.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Beautiful, Heather, just beautiful.

Lara said...

Beautiful. I have so many things I'd like to say about it, but not thinking very straight. Just know that it touched me deeply (as did many of the comments) and I appreciate the things you share so much.

Growin' with it! said...

there is a lot in this post that made my heart ache. i'm in that spot...seems like winter. thanks heather!

Debbie said...

Heather! I'm having trouble just finding the words.
That was so beautiful, moving, and touching. I'm loving your poetry.

Tooj said...

How lovely. It reminded me of Hubs' grandparents. Thank you for sharing.

happygeek said...

Both of my parents have made their life work with the elderly, so I have grown up with a zillion grandparents.
This was beautiful. It brings to mind so many wonderful people who modeled true marriage to me.

Angie said...

Oh my stars, Heather... I am a mess! This is absolutely beautiful. I'm so thankful you share your gift with us.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Lovely.

That is the only word that comes to my mind.

You have a gift with words. I am so glad that I am fortunate enough to have discovered it.

-Francesca

Lee of MWOB said...

Oh Heather - I have tears in my eyes too. This poetry thing you got going - wow. This was utterly perfect and beautiful and I will remember it.

What a beautiful way to start my week.

I think I may have to print this one too.

:-)

kel said...

You just made me cry, you brat!

MidnightCafe said...

This is timely at my house, too. My aunt just had a massive brain bleed, and we are watching my uncle make decisions about her care, facing the unknown, not yet sure if she'll recover anything of her own personality or not. Thank you.

Melissa said...

I couldn't even make it through it. The tears are flowing. I'm checking back after the raging PMS has subsided.

Ron said...

posted "fourteen strangers" on mine with a link back to your "layers" .. and maybe a challenge to the writer in you ..

Jessica said...

I love this. The struggle to love and then the beauty that follows . . . the struggle to let go. A great reminder that it's worth it. Hard, but worth it. "Spring is a choice." LOVE that.

BoufMom9 said...

What a beautiful tribute to some wonderful people in your life. Thank you for sharing.

Lee of MWOB said...

Heather - FYI - I'm giving you another little shout out on my blog because I can't help it....

:-)

Blessed said...

simply beautiful.

"Spring is a choice" I needed that reminder today - thank you!

Eowyn said...

Thank you. ~sniff~

CC said...

WOW! Amazing poem. Wow. Wow. Wow.

charrette said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the perspective here. The seasons. The way love is shaped by those seasons. My grandfather took care of my grandmother with Alzheimers too. His sweetness and patience and forethought in dealing with her taught me so much about charity and pure love.

Wonderful tribute.

minnesotamom said...

The deeper I got into this post, the more it gave me chills. My grandparents nursed each other simultaneously, her with Alzheimer's and he with terminal bone cancer. Grandpa died, Grandma stayed in the nursing home, and I believe she chose to die less than a year later. It was hard to watch but beautiful at the same time, this giving and accepting and loving.

Thanks for your post.

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