It’s the Hard Knock Life

I always thought the song was called, “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” Google it. I promise–it’s “the”–not “a.”

And, now, just so you can sing along with me:

On a more serious note, I have been in the midst of trauma and turmoil for the last couple of months. While I won’t go into details (we all have our sad, dark, difficult moments), I would like to share with you a small bit of wisdom I have learned.

Life is hard.

Sometimes it’s harder than hard. And sometimes it just plain sucks.

Wait–let me backtrack a bit. I was a teenager once. Were you? Did we know each other? Maybe you will remember as I do that I wasn’t the happiest person. My favorite shirt had Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh) on the front–you know, the character that is associated with lines like, “Tut, tut. Looks like rain”–that was me.


photo credit

I loved the rain. (Isn’t it romantic, and sad?) I loved nothing more than to turn on “Pictures of You” by The Cure or “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. and watch the rain fall.

Then, I grew up a little, got a little less teen angsty, and decided that life was better in the sunshine. I worked hours on retraining the default settings of my brain to reflect on positive aspects of life. I began to count blessings instead of troubles. And I chose happiness.

(That’s probably the hardest part right now. Happiness evades me daily. I want it back, and I’m trying each moment of each day to choose it–but I get tired of walking down the staircase and reliving my baby’s fall, my legs shaking so much on the ambulance drive with him, thinking of myself in the front seat pleading with the driver to tell me about himself as a distraction from my little guy lying on a backboard while three EMTs tended to him, the sleepless days and nights in ICU that followed, and the fear of coming home and seeing it all happen again.)

Trauma is real. And I pray, but it’s still there. I read and study, but the pain aches in my chest, my head, my heart. I smile, and every once in a while, the smile feels sincere.

And even though we’ve had so many gifts and blessings (and he is healing), I pull my knees to my chest and cry–more often than I did as a fifteen-year-old.

And I am grateful. And I am smiling, softly, not with my lips but with my eyes, thinking of each of you–your friendship, support, and love.

And someday, when I tell myself that “everything will be okay,” the phrase will stop feeling like a lie. And everything will be okay (even though life will still be hard).

At least I’m learning, right?

Why is it so hard to hit “Publish” today?

(First, I have to say that the spacing of writing poetry on WordPress is too spaced for my taste; I prefer my lines more compact.  I have no other complaints with the format of the blog, though (other than I sometimes have trouble embedding media).  Maybe someone out there knows a solution to my spacing and media formatting issues they could share? 🙂  Second, I am stalling because I haven’t shared poetry publicly for years. Literally. I barely even write it anymore unless an image or mood strikes.  (I did try my hand at a little spoken word poetry after listening to Sarah Kay’s TED Talk, but that’s for another day.)  Anyway, here is a little piece I wrote the other morning about 2 a.m.)

Darkness to Light

 

Sometimes our toes mingle

At the appropriately named foot

Of the bed we’ve shared for almost a decade

They brush together,

Like timid fingers on a first date

Intertwining over cuticles, around layers of polish, and rough spots which were once smooth.

I love this choreography we perform each night between sheets which push down our feet, when toes sometimes join to fight the oppressive force of the mighty panel of white fabric (tucked in a hospital corner, of course).

When light streams through the window, the dance of eventide ends, and

Toes once bound by proximity are released to their own ends of socks, clogs, flip-flops, boots, running shoes.  (Most of the time I prefer mine bare.)

Still, when the darkness returns, they find each other again, like lovers after a long separation

Where they again intertwine as if on the first night oh-so-long-ago….

 

Someone once asked, “When your lover dies, what will you miss most?”

Myriad answers filled the air: his smile, her hair, his hands everywhere.

I shrugged to speak my answer, but I find it every night when he is gone.

I would miss his toes intertwining with mine, dancing this dance between panels of white.

Who will help me greet the morning if he is no longer here?