t i m e

Time heals all wounds, except for this one
As time goes by, I feel more empty
The longer you’re gone, the more my heart aches
The longer you’re gone, the harder this is to take
Time isn’t on my side this time around
The longer I have to miss you, the harder it is to remember your familiar sound
I miss the scent of your white cotton shirt and the warmth of your chest as I lie my head to the sound of your beating heart
Your heart that no longer beats is now just a memory
Time can’t heal this wound
Time can’t give you back to me

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Lost

I feel sick to my stomach and faint of heart
I think of what I’ve lost
I wonder how I’ve kept from completely falling apart
Life is a journey
For some, that journey is hard and cold
Every time I seem to get warm, it starts to snow
Some people are gone due to death taking it’s toll
Some people are gone due to life’s changing roles
Whether taken from the earth, or just from my life, you remain forever in my heart
Whether you are floating in heaven, or walking in a nearby park
If I don’t have you, then I think of what I’ve lost

I don’t give a shit, but I do give a lot of shits.

After completing my fifth twelve-hour shift in a row (as an in-home caregiver), I drive through rumbling booms of fireworks to get home. I walk in the door, greeted by my meowing cats, and fill out intake paperwork for my doctors appointment in the morning (hopefully to figure out why I feel like a pile of walking shit all the time). I go upstairs to my mother’s domain (I moved in last year to care for my father with dementia before he passed away December 1st) to get a burrito to take with me for lunch tomorrow. As I ask her where she put them, I get yelled at for no logical reason, as usual. “Why are you so angry?” I ask. “I’m sick! Like you give a shit anyway!” Okay, wait. “Mom, I just got home a couple minutes ago and you know I care; why are you mad?” She replies telling me to just go downstairs and try to get some sleep through all the noise outside (she knows I can sleep through nearly anything). If you don’t know me, then you have no idea the amount of shits I give about my mother. If you do know me, you know that I would do anything in the world for my parents (God knows, and everyone else, that I did for my precious father before he left us). If you know my mother, you may ask yourself why in the world I try and make the most miserable woman on the planet happy; I ask myself the same question. I cancel plans with friends (most importantly my amazing other half) because she likes to dominate my time. Note that I always work 50 hours a week, often more. I still live here because she’s codependent and I’m not sure she would be okay living alone. I refuse to move or go to school somewhere out of town because I refuse to leave her. I refuse to live my life the way I’d like because I try to appease her, because I can’t stand the thoughts of upsetting her. So like I give a shit, right? I bring her flowers to brighten her day, and I always fix the flowers in a vase. Why? Because if I don’t, she gripes that I shouldn’t buy her flowers that she has to fix. Apparently cutting fresh cut flowers that are given to you is a burden. Who knew. But no, I don’t give a shit. I took care of her when she’s had surgery. I cooked, cleaned, ran errands, everything, all while also taking care of my bed-ridden father. I spend my days taking care of sick and elderly people. I spend my days cleaning out potty chairs or changing dirty adult diapers. I clean, cook, and do laundry for people who can no longer do it anymore. I listen to adults, with fear in their eyes, as they talk about their next round of cancer treatment. I have the same conversation over and over again with people who have dementia. I clean wounds, wipe bottoms, wash hair, and dress people for a living. I’m in school pursuing a degree in social work, focusing on geriatric and memory care. But no, I don’t give a shit about how people feel. I want to spend the rest of my life making people feel safe, loved, warm, clean, healthy, and worthy all because I don’t give a shit. I go to bed often crying myself to sleep because of how devalued my mother makes me feel. I go to bed feeling like I’m a terrible person, even though I know I’m not. I go to bed wondering if she realizes that no matter how she treats me, I’ll always take care of her. So, no, mom.. I don’t give a shit. You’re right. I give a lot of shits about you and I always will.

Fiery Sign

As I look into the night sky,
I think of you.
Are the Heavens up above?
Is it just endless blue?
I ask, if you can hear me, to summon a shooting star
to shoot across the night sky, so that I know that you can hear me from afar.
Looking up, hopeful, I wait for my fiery sign;
but, to my disappointment, nothing catches my eye.
If you could hear me, my sweet father, I know you’d show me a sign.
In this moment, yet again I wonder, if there is an after life.

Some days,

Some days, like today, I feel like the world is caving in around me. All of my progress seems to run away and I’m left empty and tired. Sleeping never helps, although it can be a good escape. It’s a good escape if my dreams stray from turning into nightmares that wake me in a cold, abrupt, sweat. Tears wash my mascara onto my acne-prone cheeks as I sit, in the fetal position, in my bathroom floor. I don’t know why, but that’s always seemed like the best place to cry, especially on a pile of dirty towels I’ve let accumulate over the week. Sometimes, I can hear his voice in my head so perfectly that it’s like he’s whispering in my ear; some days, like today, I have to strain to hear, “I love you too, sweetheart.” That’s my only comfort.. that, and remembering his smile. Some days, like today, I feel like he should still be here; I yearn to put my head on his left shoulder and smell his comforting and familiar scent. He’d wrap his arms around me and I’d tell him how much I love him; he’d tell me the same in return. I’d give anything for one more hug, although I know one more would never be enough. Some days, unlike today, I feel like he’s been gone an eternity. Those days are a little easier, though not much. Even on those days, it’s usually easy to hear his voice in my head. Today, I’m sad, empty, broken, and lost. Tomorrow, who knows. I’ll end my day missing you, only to wake up the same; maybe tomorrow will be an easier kind of pain.

f a i t h

Faith is no longer, nor has been for a very long time, enough to get me through the day. Faith, to me, is an optimistic lie you tell yourself to feel better about something that you desperately need to be true; having faith means you know what you are telling yourself can not be proven. Otherwise, we would not need faith.. we would just know. I realize that faith is a wonderful tool for many people, but I need fact. I need proof. I need a sign that what I am believing is real. My mind identifies faith as a coping mechanism; my mind also needs to deal with life as it is, not what I tell myself it is. My mother tells me that faith grows stronger with age, and I do desperately hope that is true for me. My mind has always questioned what I have been told and sought to find answers that make sense to me. I am not certain that I will ever find the answers that I am looking for, but I will never stop trying.

1/9/2016

I would give anything to turn back time and take away the disease that took everything from you; since I am unable to do such a thing, I am simply thankful for the precious time that we spent together and how much I learned about life. Watching you slowly lose all of the things I take for granted taught me a lot about what’s important in life. Even when you lost the ability to speak, eat, or drink, the love for your family was something that couldn’t be taken. Until you had no strength left to move, you always let me know that you love me. The last month of your life that we spent together showed me what I need to do with my life; you showed me my calling. Every one of us has to die, and we should all feel as loved and cared for as you did; we should never have to leave this earth feeling alone or abused. For you, daddy, I’m going to try and help as many old souls and their families as I can; I want to offer words of experience, of compassion, and of hope. Thanks to you, and all that I learned, I know that I can do this.