Friday, February 4, 2011


I found this in my journal from last summer.

Dry, emaciated, thirsty heart
despite a deluge of tears.

No oasis to gather strength.
Just enough time to
catch my breath
lower my eyes
move on in the sandstorm.

"You're so strong."
It’s bitter in my ears.
It's vinegar on a sponge.
'Strong' isn’t worth this.
'Strong' isn’t a package delivered on the doorstep.
'Strong' is footfall after weary footfall when
the destination is too far away to be seen and too far away to imagine.

"You're stronger than you know."
I know how lonely I am.
I know how much pain warrants a comment like that.
I know that headaches and heartbreaks
hurt like hell.

"You'll be such a comfort to someone else in a similar circumstance."
Not if I run the other way.
I want nothing to do with this much grief.
I don’t want to prolong the pain.
I want to distract myself
to avoid the guilt of enjoyment,
the self-conscious gratitude I feel,
knowing not everyone is still able to

But what can I say?
I cock my head.
I smile knowingly.
I change the subject.

I'd like to shout.
“Oh, you noticed?
It's not just me?
It's shitty, right?
What do I do?
I'm terrified.
I'm not strong, just bullied into silence.”

I'm maintaining.
I’m keeping my balance.
I’m remembering to breathe.
But it takes so much energy.

Don't ask me for an update.
Don't act like you know how it feels.
Don't tell me a story about someone who went through something similar
(it makes you less credible, not more).
Don't reminisce about the old days.
Don’t use past tense.
If you say, "She was such a wonderful person," I'll scream.
You don't know the half of it.

Allow me a wide berth.

Let me not explain my mood.
Forgive me if I'm abrupt.
Silence is a good gift.

Let me sleep. It's the only thing I do well.


  1. This is not a sentiment you would find on a Hallmark greeting card, but it is so real it speaks to me more than I can say. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I ran into your blog today..... I'm a daugther of a father (81) with Alzheimer. Terrible disease ....

    Lots of greetings,