Miracles happen

(haiku)

Infant cries warn moms.

Angels come in all shapes and sizes.

Miracles take place.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/27

This video needs little explanation but I thought the Haiku was fitting. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did …it brought happy tears to my eyes.

A 14 Year Old Girl Abandoned Her Newborn Baby. What This Dog Did Is UNBELIEVABLE.

Fight like a Girl! (Haiku)

Some people just make a difference

motivate, mentor, guide you in life

I had many teachers, advisers

but some just totally inspire you

that’s what SG and LK do for me

Fighting with all their might

despite their Cancer plight

They’ll certainly not lose sight

who the real victors and winners are

as they triumph over this challenging fight

because they’ll be fighting this fight like A GIRL!

 

Hey! Fight like a Girl!

Grit your teeth, lean on your friend.

Courage thus defined.

Inspired too reach out (haibun)

We Drink Poetry Inspiration – Prompt #012 What Inspires You

This is not poetic in nature, and to call it a free verse is using the term loosely. However, I wanted to share where my writing all began at Alecoute-Ntouch, a site informing folks of workshops I was offering on life skills and professional and personal development. But then I got acquainted with WordPress and the world of blogging and discovered I had a lot to say too…

(haiku)

An idea simmers.
Words produce an awareness
conscious convictions.

Street Art Montreal Summer 2013
Street Art Montreal Summer 2013

I began writing to voice my thoughts
with Cher Shares, that was my first start,
voicing opinions, I sure did have a lot;
And then I was inspired by Herding Cats 
that’s when my vision shifted a tat
I got on my soap box hoping to make a dent
at Stigma Hurts Everyone I wanted to vent,
yell out to the world that which is important
to me, things just needed to be heard,
nothing exceptional because some
may even have a knack to say it better
but maybe if we shout out loudly together
our voices may be heard that much noisier.
And then Cher Shares became a comfort zone
to write a story here, there, or even a poem
And, that’s the tale of how it all started
my story of a humble love affair
of words that I write from the heart
of passion, love and sometimes conviction
that’s why I blog, where I got my inspiration.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/25

The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist

Food for thought. In an age where we need to use all our resources sparingly and “smartly”…here is an honest account on what helps and what does not help. Those who volunteer know that it feels good to give…but it is not about you or me…is it now? It is about helping where you can truly make a difference and not soothe egos or boost our self-esteem (although that will happen anyways when you are giving from the heart…really!) Have a look-see here…this writer tells it as it is…for real! Cheryl-Lynn

Pippa Biddle

White people aren’t told that the color of their skin is a problem very often. We sail through police check points, don’t garner sideways glances in affluent neighborhoods, and are generally understood to be predispositioned for success based on a physical characteristic (the color of our skin) we have little control over beyond sunscreen and tanning oil.

After six years of working in and traveling through a number of different countries where white people are in the numerical minority, I’ve come to realize that there is one place being white is not only a hindrance, but negative –  most of the developing world.

Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania. Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania.

In high school, I travelled to Tanzania as part of a school trip. There were 14 white girls, 1 black girl who, to her frustration, was called white by almost everyone we met in Tanzania, and a few teachers/chaperones…

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Death of a loving man

Seberg / Belmondo. À Bout de Souffle. ‘60.

Photo credits:  Seberg / Belmondo. À Bout de Souffle. ‘60.

I chose the death of Fred, my step-father to share my first experience with the darkness of grief, feeling a huge loss that left me empty for almost 8 years.  There were 2 deaths that marked my life the most…as a child my grandfather and as an adult at 31 when my step-father died.

We live in a culture that is uncomfortable with death. We don’t even say the D word, now do we…much?  In the 70’s we heard of Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross talk about the stages of grief and initially at that time, she was observing people who were diagnosed with a terminal illness.  The stages at that time were in relation to a process when faced with dying and death as in her book On Death and Dying: the Five Stages of Grief, first published in 1969: The Shock, denial, anger,  bargaining, depression…then acceptance; but negotiating/bargaining,   for example  would make more sense when we put in perspective someone who is negotiating with their creator, “Oh, G-d, are you sure it’s really my time? Maybe there is one more procedure…one last try…test…”  Kubler-Ross theory  was followed by so many people including professionals, throughout time up to about the mid or late nineties.   

I remember when this book came out.  It was  like THE gospel, the apostles’ creed of sorts; and although helpful the order of stages, at that time, confined many to feel they were not grieving “adequately” if they skipped a stage or if it lasted too long.  How can one measure one’s grief compared to another? 

Thank goodness in 2002 I joined a bereavement support agency (Bereaved Families of Toronto)  as a professional advisor helping youths grieve the loss of a sibling or parent. In my training, I felt so relieved when the grief counselor and professor at York University said, “Remember all those stages you learned in the 70’s and 80’s?”  We all bobbed our heads like good students. “Well, you can throw that out the window now.”  And a sense of relief came over me. What he meant was I was not tied to a set order of stages…the burden was finally removed.  No ONE was set to fit into a see through jar so everyone could evaluate if they were grieving right.

I remember when my step-father died in the summer of 1982.    My mother had not really accepted her loss until about a year or so later.

It was quite simple. Mom always said she felt his presence even when she went to bed at night. “He is right next to me each night. I am not lonely because he has never left me in spirit.”

I believe this is, on some level to be true. A year later, it was as if she suddenly woke up…her grief turned into a violent rage.  She had a difficult time dealing with this time…angry that he left her, angry that she was really alone. It was difficult on so many levels. Being a woman of that generation, born in 1926, strict Catholic upbringing…good girls do not get angry…must comply…accept.  Good thing they added “guilt” as another stage or emotion one feels with grieving. A good Catholic female knows how to feel guilt real well!

In a way, this stage of her grief was unleashing a very angry lioness.  Before it became liberating, it was quite frightening for her.  Many professionals and family to her she was experiencing a delay or complicated grief.   It was not delayed …she was simply grieving in her own unique way and in her own time. 

Thereafter, she felt much sadness, guilt and fell into depression. It was in spurts…not all in one shot since my children were young and she was often with us. I think the children eased the pain…made it more palpable. I hope so.

I had been exposed to death as a young child but children under 7 do have the same concept on death, developmentally they just cannot understand abstract thinking, only concrete. (Children and Grief by C.L. Roberts)

My step father was my first loss that I truly grieved a long long time…many years thereafter.  Perhaps the process was longer as I could not grieve all at once…I mean, I did not have the freedom to feel my sadness and emotions when I was with the children…they were so young both one and 4.  So it was only when I would go for a bike ride, a drive somewhere or long walk that I could be alone with my grief.

I loved him as my father…more than my father…he was good to me and loved my mother with so much affection and admiration that I loved him more for that.  His love took Mom out of her depression, I think for the 13 years they were together.  She made him fill with wonder, his eyes smiled at her always.  They both came from dark places, having suffered broken hearts, undeserving anguish.

You  know that GaGa look you get when you first fall in love?  My mother had that look for him …always!  Of course when I was 17, it made me sick…thought she was so silly and making a fool of herself sashaying around, flirting and all.  But as a teen we knew very little about love, sexuality and sensuality.  We think it is reserved for the young and firm bodies only.  Well, of course I learned differently as I matured but back then, my mother and my step-father were such an enigma.   I still was in awe at their love…that current of love waves…I say this because it was not electric…they did not have a hot, sizzling love affair but a warm, loving relationship…like warm, soft mellow waves wrapping them together, soothing, nice, sweet, calm and safe. 

She always loved him even into her dark illness of dementia…she would often still call out to her third husband, Fred.  Perhaps in her dementia, she is comforted with spiritual visits from her love, Fred.

Death of a loving man

(Tanka)

A true Love Story.

Two anguished souls mend their hearts.

Affectionate love.

One day his body failed him.

A part of her died with him.

 

**************

 

I asked a favour of the Lord

to have his life extend

until my daughter walked.

She still was only 8 months old.

 

****************

 

He was given three

months to live

when he left the hospital

so he could die at home

but, he stopped at the court house

to marry my mother officially

and ensure she would be secure

with his military pension as his widow.

What an act of love!

He sent her off to a ten week course

Assertiveness and building self-confidence.

He wanted her to be strong,

be able to stand on her own

and stand up for her rights

when he no longer would be here

to stand up for her.

What an act of love!

My daughter and I were visiting one day

Fred was lying in a hospital bed in the living room

resting and admiring my youngest child.

She crawled on her knees joyfully,

then up she stood so suddenly

and walked towards her grandfather.

Eleven months she was, and walking now.

my feelings were so bittersweet

I shed my tears of fear,

because her walking meant

his death would soon be near.

 

One night I felt I had to see

him one more time

And on my drive a bird hit…smack

the windshield of my car

I knew then, his time was near.

 

I told him for the very first time

I whispered softly in his ear,

“Don’t worry, Fred, I’ll be hear

and watch for Mom. I love you.”

He died that night in mother’s arms

I’m sad I did not tell him more

how much he meant to me.

 

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/21

Dungeon Prompts – Season 2, Week 8: When did Death Become Real for You
 
 
Related article:  Youth and Grief (Ntouch-Alecoute)

Variations of creation

Nunavik Tourism

The budding flower come springtime
the eggs we eat every day
larvae, maggots may look like slime
all have their place in their own way
the pupa, fawn, owlet and nymph
all mark the start of vital roles
we know not all to what their goals;
the pup, the calf, kits and tadpoles
the fry, the kid, and joey`s start
in life they ask but just to thrive…
slow motion of the caterpillar
observing magic in the making
those of our great divine creator,
turning this worm into a butterfly,
a mystery, we just not ask why,
lending regard fittingly due
of God`s creation every day.
Do not compare or denigrate
stick out  your chest with false bravado
sneer not at fawn, piglet or farrow
assuming they`re subordinate;
the colt, lamb, eaglet and tumbler
all have their place among the ether;
I could go on and on this way
but know you haven`t got all day.
Presuming all of God`s creations
and every living breathing thing
’tis not just babes of human beings
worthy of ripples in exaltation,
we all are part of God`s creation
much bigger than we`ll ever know.
mere spec of some greater foundation
we`ll never see until we go
to parts unknown to feeble minds
yet some have witnessed a shining glow
before departing this earth in kind…
white radiant glow that they have seen
and smiled before their souls took flight
I know! I saw Grand-Papa smile
and whispered he had seen the light.
Creation here on earth is slight
of greater magnitude thereof
some day we`ll know but until then
we`ll try to figure out the night
celestial skies that sparkle bright.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, 2014/02/18

Poetry Prompt #011 Creation

Teachers’ Appreciation Day

me sidewaysI am a bit late in submitting this and I have only listlessness to blame. First day of my long awaited vacation I am spending NOT on balconville but pretty much close to le balcon. 

This is humbly written (because I don’t write as many real poets I know) but it is from the heart.  If it were not for some amazing teachers I had growing up, I may have slipped between the cracks. I do appreciate this difficult vocation because I do believe that it is a vocation for good teachers who go beyond their mandate. And yes, many do. I only worked 5 years teaching a very easy course and could not believe the work involved to keep courses alive and students engaged but that is what you need to do…keep them engaged.

I am sure you all can remember a teacher or two (I’ve had more) that inspired you and mostly that believed in you. So here are my thoughts…

Dear Teacher,
without your guidance I’d not be
here writing any form of poetry.
You taught me my ABC`s
and how to write with ease
entrenched a love of word
my nose so often in a book
I did not know I could afford
to have become so hooked.
Arithmetic, geography,
literature and history
opened my mind to the world
except for algebra and geometry
I did not seem to catch on fast
until university
where a humble math professor
with immense serenity
unassuming and patient…
a quality math teachers
could benefit in the future…(hint)
I breezed through with an A minus!
I learned much more from you, Teacher
but it was still sown in academia
whether you were French or Latin teacher,
Physical Education or Drama..
you inspired and moved me to awe
encouragement and self-worth
filled me with determination
stirred such an inspiration
and allowed me to believe
in me… and not give up
you sealed my fate
a long time ago
today …I can`t seem to satiate
my thirst and hunger for truth…
knowledge and understanding
of life by examining, exploring,
investigating, discovering
realities about humanity
probing with curiosity.
Dear Teacher,
many years ago
you lit a flame
that`s still aglow .
So on this Teacher`s appreciation Day
I thank you all for filling minds
and mostly rousing souls…
stirring them to reach their goals.
Thank you evermore.
© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/02/14
 
PostScript: I just noticed a prompt at The Seeker’s Dungeon and I think this would qualify as a good contribution as well to who has inspired me to be the person I am today.

Acts of kindness (Undercover Boss)

I am not sure where to post this.  I thought of posting under Compassion on Stop the Stigma but will settle here under Cher sharing.   This  is merely a brief comment about a television show.  The show is about compassion. Yep, that’s what I saw on the show…compassion (kindness).   I don’t care to know if it is a money guzzler show…puleeze don’t burst my naïve bubble. Okay?  I saw this show twice and I saw acts of kindness…so if you need to comment, be nice. If you don’t agree, BE NICE, if you find this silly, BE NICE…thank you.

Undercover Boss

I watched this a few weeks ago when my son was over. He had to leave before the end…boy, he never warned me about this show. Tonight I happened to have the t.v. on that channel after I`d watched The Big Bang Theory (my mood fixer). Well, I have to say that show is not one I have ever looked out for on purpose…but golly!! What a tear-jerker it is!! What an amazing show!  The idea of helping out genuine kind, hard-working people is very moving.

I realize I am many years late but hey, I usually steer away from any reality shows. Undercover is a franchise television series created by Stephen Lambert and produced in many countries; the first UK and now it has many countries

Enough said…check it out…don`t forget a box of tissue.

Postscript:  For the record I’ve only see 2 shows on the U.S. t.v. series.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/02/14