Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tightrope

A poem written by my wife back when our son was going through cancer treatment. Brought back as discussion of Sen. Kennedy's tumor reminded me of watching a loved one go through treatment. Hang on, this one isn't for the faint of heart.


Tightrope

The hour is getting late.
Finally I’m relieved.
I get to go home,
And have some time at ease.

A hallway dimly lit.
A mother badly shaken,
Surrounded by a
Closely gathered few,
To help her in her stress…

Her hand starts to shake
As if in hypothermic cold;
She tries to pour a beverage
Over ice,
Gripping for a steady hold.

“I can see something’s the matter;”
I don’t ask her how she is.
“Is your daughter done with treatment soon?”
She whispered, “Yah, we’re done.”
Her words
Like a bombshell hit.

I stood there in a daze.

There is nothing more to do
For her precious little one;
“I can’t imagine how you’re feeling.”
I gave her a short hug.

They wheeled her little girl by
It’s time to pull out the tubes
Take her home
Love her as she dies.

“We are still fighting!”
My inner voice cries.
It gave me a lot to think about
On the road home that night.

This tightrope we’re all walking
At times makes you hold your breath,
As you place one foot in front of the other
And then with pressure
Let it rest.

Keep looking straight ahead,
Never, never, down
Stay focused, very focused.

Why do these children suffer so?
No answers I have yet.
Too many we’ve seen die.
No answers will I get.

Courageous battles fought by two
With never a complaint;
And suffer…
How they suffered,
Their pains made me go faint.

The agony and length of time
They endured their cards so dealt,
Yet always asking and concerned
About how others felt.

If you want to know the secret
Of our strength while on this rope,
Look into our children’s eyes
Just once…
For life with courage
How they fight!
How can we be weak?
When for such little comforts
They come to us,
It’s our eyes and hearts
They search and seek.

Our strength is not from us
When our souls cry out in pain.
They scream and twist with colors vivid,
But you see outward silence
Still remains.

We don’t share the aches
Like lead weighing in our hearts.
It’d be too much to bear,
Too much to think about…

We come to Jesus broken
Lay our burdens at his feet
When times are at their worst
A word we cannot utter
We cannot take another step
Our balance sure to falter
We come to the altar.

He touches us in ways,
Others can hardly imagine.
Giving Him the load is freeing…
More than most will ever imagine.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy
Losing their babies one by one,
But there’s a prayer
A silent hope
That when their battle is done…
They’ll find the peace the Savior grants
He will somehow let them know…
Their baby is loved, safe, and warm
Smiling down from heaven’s glow.

And as for us still walking
The tightrope of our lives,
Lord, grant us strength, faith, & courage
That our child may survive.

3 comments:

ThomG said...

Thanks.

frival said...

All I can say is "wow". A beautiful and yet terrible poem. I'll be thinking about this one for a while.

Dr Jenn said...

Looking for permission to use a portion of this as my quote of the day. Please let me know if that is ok and/or how you want your wife acknowledged for the piece.
email jennifer-ganoe@comcast.net

Thanks. And this is a very moving poem.