Poem: Free Verse – In Memory of Evelyn #amwriting #poetry #elegy


Credit: Amanda Eifert
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A few months ago a dear friend passed away at 98 years old. She was a grandma, my great godmother, and in these last few years, a genuine friend. I miss her very much and writing her letters to mail with a poem or small story. It was our thing and I visited her as much as I was able. The last time I saw Evelyn we visited a few hours in her room. Then,  I was leaving and I couldn’t get out the door to reach the elevators. Finally, I got to the elevators went out the front time and stopped. 

I looked back at the wonderful care facility she’d been staying in these past three years. She was in her own home until she was 95. I had this strange feeling that I woldn’t see her again. I gazed back deciding all I could do was hope that in a month or two, she would still be alive and well. I do wish one more visit might have been possible. 

She was a wonderful, outgoing, and opinionated person. She demonstrated great care with people and her hospitality is/was famous. She even drove big trucks and was a mechanic in her day besides working at the Woodwards Department store for many years. For much her life, she was a single mother. Evelyn had many talents, her cooking, her unpredictability, and a spirit that kept on shining and pushing through life’s miseries. 

R.I.P Evelyn. I’ve been trying to finish this last poem for you for a few months.  It’s taken me awhile to get right! I’m so happy you are with our Heavenly Father and no longer suffering in any way. 

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A monument falls, crumbles, 

Although, she was strong. 

An impenetrable force, 

A spit-fire, a trail blazer. 

You can press your hands against thick steel, rock, or concrete, 

Wonder how such monuments are designed, 

Buildings of beauty, fortified through time;

How could they fall? 

Then you realize that soft skin isn’t stone, 

And a woman isn’t a superhero. 

When you gaze into the past, into beloved photographs, 

You see how smooth marble crinkles, 

As fine lines, directions on a map. 

The most elegant calligraphy, 

Words muted in the unforgiving sun. 

And photographs appear in memories, 

The warming light of conversation, 

Over hearth: satisfying food and laughter. 

Yet, still I attempted to see how her puckered lips,

Were once plump, young, and beguiling.

Long gone are her cherubic child’s lips, 

Nearly a century ago. 

And flawless cream skin is marked, 

Lines settled in, can be followed, 

A pattern of an Autumn leaf. 

No monument left to be seen, no eyes sparkling, 

With a smile uniquely hers, 

Never to be repeated;

Only in whispers of genealogy. 

A monument stood and —

She was significant. 

Someone who was seen and not afraid to be, 

A grandma who paraded around, 

 In forty two pairs of shoes — probably more. 

Her body could be strengthened with steel, 

Knees and hips better off with fabrication; 

The real ones worn out. 

Do stone monuments feel the pain of lost children? 

Of polio’s grasp, sucking the life out of a small boy.

Of a little girl who passed away a whisper. 

And of one child who survived, 

A reader, a teacher, a traveller, a builder. 

One who is imperfectly perfect as her.

My godfather with his wife, 

My godmother, both I adore.

Yet, the stubborn cheerfulness, 

Of this monument lives on in her family, 

In her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, 

And beloved relatives and friends;

Partners who marked her life, always leaving early. 

Sisters and brothers, marrying others becoming new brothers and sisters, 

How she adored and missed all them all, 

Passing away before she could blink.

For the most part, she was unsurpassed in years, 

She mourned her family and friends gone first, 

But reunites with them now.

And when she fell, the monument’s pieces scattered, 

Although all feels lost,

She needed her relief in heaven. 

And no one ever thinks that day will come, 

Until it crashes upon those left behind. 

Monuments fall, it happens every minute of every day, 

For every type of personality, 

To each person someday;

Special and authentically themselves. 

It’s okay to morn the monument’s empty place, 

To hunger for her caring advice, 

Her kind words. 

The silence is hard, her not being, 

In her home or in her room.

Now she’s aged, is dust of the earth, 

She is the ideal of herself, the creator’s perfection. 

Her life was imperfect, as we all are, 

It was shadowed by pain and misery; 

Yet her optimism always pulled her through it. 

Remembering her and taking comfort within, 

Her greetings to all those she meets again. 

The suffering and sorrow has ended, so do not cry your tears. 

For every monument is eclipsed, 

Heaven’s radiant light filters into the cracks, 

Rebuilds the rubble. 

Her figure of faith and grace. 

The love she had, that does not die, 

But multiplies in eternity, 

Waiting for her family someday. 

And for her her dear friends. 

 When we arrive, 

She’ll wonder what took us so long. 

Offering a piece of pie, uncooked fresh blueberries in a crust, 

With soft dollops of whipped cream. 

Her timeless love in cooking, baking, hospitality, 

Everyone was always welcome, 

If you weren’t, she’d tell you so. 

True monuments may appear hard and resilient, 

Underneath they are as the rest of us, 

They are frail and human. 

Time will catch up with everyone, 

And we pray we can meet our deaths, 

Mansions prepared in the sky. 

God the only monument, 

 Not our crumbled lives. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Notable Quotes May Part Two #pinterest #quotes 


Happy Month of May! We are midway through and sometimes I feel as if time passes so fast. Today was one of those days. 

On one hand it was my Great-godmother’ a funeral. She was 98 years old and passed way last Sunday from heat failure. She had pretty great health and was in her home until she was 96 and had only been in her newest care home about a year. She did finally think of it as her second home.

 I had the privilage of knowing Evelyn both as someone who was another Grandma to myself and my two brothers, probably until I was about 21 years old and she became a good friend after that. I think she did most of the talking but I never minded. I enjoyed sending her letters and she was someone I loved to share my poetry with, sometimes short stories, even some interviews I thought she would find entertaining (etc) for the past few years. Let it be said, writing letters and sending cards with a note saying your thinking of someone, is a dying art.

Her funeral was sad but also happy as she is now without pain or suffering.  After years of smoking (even though she did quit) she succumbed to lung cancer which lead to heart complications. I’m thankful for all the time I and my family had with her. 

On the other hand, today was my Dad’s 60th Birthday and my mom was gracious to cook a large meal for about twenty of us who celebrated his day. We drank lots of wine and ate all my Mom’s excellent food and had a big happy birthday cheesecake with sparklers and 60 years on the cake for my Dad (he’s gluten free so usually it’s icecream cake so cheesecake was nice change.)

I talked with some of my Dad’s colleagues and friends and spent a lot of time in the kitchen my brothers and my youngest brother’s girlfriend talking about weddings as we each have one coming up very soon for friends. And I get along very well her and like her a lot. We are different but very much the same in many ways so Nathan, better keep this one she’s amazing! 

Perks of sitting in the kitchen at the “kids table” was being near the wine, the mascoto my Mom and I love and some red Malbec that was a bit dry, but made better by adding punch ie. making a sangria mixture. 

Good conversation and house full of people, I’m glad my Dad enjoyed his birthday and hope on Mother’s Day my Mom can rest. I thought of my grandma and my friend Evelyn, thought how very much she would have enjoyed this celebration or any celebration likewise — the life of the party. 

I do know Evelyn is in Heaven  enjoying parties and celebrations that don’t leave a Mom or wife exhausted and are not subject to human frailities tiredness, stress etc. that comes with planning such an event. A big reason to appreciate mothers like mine and Evelyn who sacrifice (d) to make a loved one’s Birthdays special, 

As I close a line from a Tennyson poem “I’ll see my pilot face to face, when I have crossed the bar.” 

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Happy Mother’s Day! 

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Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: A Wild Horse #flashfiction #fiction #amwriting


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Ian Kelly

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Shadow the horse was spirited and wild; the same could be said of her mistress Evelyn. Although Evelyn’s parents tried to tie her down to a man of prosperity and ‘good breeding‘ at twenty-one, she had refused their efforts. More than a decade later she was a renowned Dermotologist and still fiercely independent. 

Evelyn had expected to be alone with her thoughts riding Shadow in the morning. Then, Ryder had appeared on his chestnut horse. He was the neighbour’s son who had left home at twenty-two to become a successful artist. He was as attractive as ever. 

He cut Evelyn off with his horse, so she was forced to ride Shadow in the ocean surf. Ryder tipped his riding hat to her, his brown-eyes glimmering at Evelyn with challenge. 

She had never been a woman to back down, so she raced Ryder back to the stables on his property and won. Ryder had grinned at her with charm and Evelyn for once, allowed herself to be affected. She remained with Ryder long into the following day. 

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“Back In The Saddle” – Matraca Berg

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

All That I’ve Gained


www.clarionenterprises.com
http://www.clarionenterprises.com

Yesterday’s blog was kind of difficult for me. To admit to the world all my flaws and inabilities as a 28-year-old adult wasn’t easy but last night I was thinking. I thought that mental illness is often talked about so negatively. Often, I and others only talk about the bad experiences we have because of our sickness but you don’t stop living once you get sick. Life becomes harder but you soldier on and get through the tough times and a great number of good things happen between all the difficulties you have to face in life, just as it is for people who are mentally healthy. So today I wanted to share with you the good experiences that have occurred for me since becoming part of the mentally ill, maybe only because I had this health issue.

1. Awareness of Mental Illness – I have become aware of what it is like to be a person with mental illness. Through my experiences I am able to share what it is like with other people what it is to have a mood disorder. This generates sometimes an intense amount of discussion on websites such as Facebook and sometimes in the comment sections of my blogs. I am able to empathize with people who go through mental illness and other illnesses, especially with people who have experiences such as mine. I have also spent a lot of time on the internet researching the symptoms and medications associated with different mental illnesses and learned a lot of facts about those aspects of mental illness. There a lot of things that are common across mental illnesses but there are also certain things that are different. Sometimes, however, it is thought the same pills will help different sicknesses and this is not always the case.

There is also often a misrepresentation of how most mentally ill people are in real life and how they are shown in movies. A movie that was great at showing the truth about mentally ill people was Silver Lining’s Play Book with the gorgeous Bradley Cooper and beautiful Jennifer Lawrence.  But movies that often make it difficult to be a person with mental illness because of how others perceive mentally ill people after watching them are movies such as Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio and Girl Interrupted. That is not to say that cases such as those in the movies do not occur, it’s just that they are the extreme version or a worse scenario of what mentally ill people are truly like.

www.en.wikipedia.org
http://www.en.wikipedia.org

2. I Learned not to be Shy – Sometimes I am quite because I am fatigued or tired and that is often the case, but when I do have energy I have found I am very good at obtaining information about others and what they are experiencing in life. Plus, I am not afraid just to talk to a stranger often anymore. I used to be so shy or assume people were just a bother but now even some weirdo who is hitting on me or some people who others might consider an unsavory character such as homeless person I don’t mind talking to for a few minutes. I just realized that by being shy I was missing out on so much and as hard as it is for me to talk sometimes it’s even harder for other people to talk, especially cute guys and potential friends.

Additionally, somebody who has anxiety or who most people will ignore and not talk to often need to be heard the most and have a lot to say. Just because a stranger is talking to you doesn’t mean they are out to get you are being creepy (some are but not most). Most people just need someone to listen to them and to care about their life. People can be so intrinsically focused that they often forget everyone is experiencing their own personal battles or have their own unique stories and life experiences to share.

3. A Serious Boyfriend and More Great Friends – It has been said that when you are going into a new group of people you should have a gimmick or something that makes you memorable to other people. The fact that I am on disability, write for women’s magazine, and can only take one class a semester, well that makes for great conversation. I start sharing the details of my life and other people are soon ready to share about their lives and I have made some excellent friends this way. Sometimes I’d rather not talk about what my life is actually like but sometimes talking leads to meeting amazing people. After all, a person who does not go to work everyday, cannot be involved in many volunteer activities, and/or fitness activities anymore, needs to learn how to make friends somehow.

So I talk to friends of friends more, talk to random people more, and when it came to wanting to get out their and meet a boyfriend, I even went online to POF and found my wonderful Azdine. And best of all Azdine liked me even though I was sick and is really tolerant and understanding of my illness. He told me in his religion people who are sick are blessed. I doubt he remembers that now but it was a good pick-up line. We have gone out over 1 year and 6 months and we have our ups and downs. At heart, we are homebodies but we get along famously together.20130916-093053.jpg

4. A Closer Relationship to God – When I was first sick, I hallucinated during my psychotic episode that I was in Hell at the Hospital. I dreamed that my parents would be taken away from me eventually because you aren’t allowed to have parents in Hell. I thought the nurses in the hospital were really going to hurt me, and I desperately wanted to not hear voices. I wanted to be able to trust what I heard come out of people’s mouths. I thought God had forgotten me, that I was separated from him eternally and that things would only get worse. Then slowly, as medication began to take effect and I came out of my psychotic episode I remembered the Footsteps poem which states that when we think God is nowhere to be found, he is really carrying us through the bad times in our life.

Later, I realized God was trying to bring me back to Him, closer to Him. You see in my life I hadn’t really been concerned with God as a priority. I cared about drinking and hanging with my friends and I was afraid to share God with the people in my life. Slowly, as I got better I got to the point where I could mention my beliefs to people and not be ashamed to be a Christian. I learned to cast all my worries on God and that through Him I would always be supported because He is so much stronger than any problem I might have. God is the light in the darkest of times, a lamp guiding my feet when I do not know what direction to turn. I may not know exactly where to go or what to do when I face hard times in my life but I know a footstep in front of me and that is all I need.

5. A Closer Relationship With my Family – I never realized how desperately I needed my parents until they tried to leave me at the hospital after the first horrible week I spent there. I hated the Psych Ward and I hated being stuck there and I looked forward to seeing my Mom and my Dad every day for the few hours they would spend with me at night in the hospital. Since then, even though it is tough to live at home I have realized what a blessing my parents and my family are in my life. I did not see my brothers for 3 weeks in hospital and that was a long time, I actually missed them! And when my little brother moved out, he always made and makes time to visit the house or we go and do things together such as see movies, go to the art gallery, and go shopping (etc).

I also realized how important the elderly people in my life were, how their story connected to my story in this life. My Grandma, for instance, I began to talk to earnestly and make an effort to make conversation with her and let her talk about herself. I developed an adult relationship with her. I also stopped saying I would visit, and actually started visiting my God Parent’s mother, my Grandma Reeder, Evelyn.

www.chinese.fluentu.com
http://www.chinese.fluentu.com

Evelyn cooks so much food when I go over there, I always try to bring someone with me so she doesn’t make me eat it all. Her desserts especially are amazing such as uncooked blueberry pie with mounds of whipped cream and home-made trifle. She has so much to say and has experienced so much tragedy in her life. Yet Evelyn has this amazing outlook on how she deals with at life, with much conversation and a smile on her face and Evelyn is in her mid 90’s.

Other people such as my God Parent’s saw how bad I really was when I was sick and I always feel like when I go over to their house I am in my second home. They lost a daughter to depression while I was dealing with my depression. She was in her late 30’s and had just gotten married. She was my family too, when I was first sick she came and talked to me and told me to focus on 3 things in my life to not get so worried about life and just take it day by day, something my mom also tells me to do.

So, it seems as if we lose a lot when we become sick with mental illnesses but it is also important for us all, those who suffer and those who hear our stories, to understand we are many of us still extremely blessed despite our sickness.