List mates, all too often I find myself thinking that I can handle what ever comes along with this illness. I get too complacent and think that I am strong enough to handle it all. But then something happens and I realize that hey I'm not strong enough by myself to cope with the devastation that I see this disease bringing on my mother. I realize that I not only have my wife but also you who have alraedy gone through this and those who are currently going through it. For those of you trying to do this alone, I don't know how you can do it. Grab hold of the others on this list and let them help you with moral support and advice and a listening ear. In that context, I hope this poem makes sense. :-)
A Room full of Tears
I visited a room the other day,
In the back of my mind, well tucked away.
No one was there as I opened the door.
An empty room, but wait, there was more.
But just what it was, I could not tell,
And yet, I sensed that all was not well.
My spirit was troubled and it seemed to shout,
"Too long I've been captive, please, let me out!"
There in the darkness I struggled to see,
Trying to grasp what was troubling me.
I told myself that I'm tough and I'm strong,
But a voice spoke softly, "That's where you're wrong."
"You tell yourself, 'I can handle it all.
'No matter what happens, I must stand tall.'
"Let go of your pride and admit that you hurt.
"The pain that you feel, don't try to skirt.
"You're not alone with this illness you face.
"There are so many others who are in the same place.
"And rest assured, that they're frightened too,
"In so many ways, they're no different than you.
"Let go and reach out, take hold of their hands,
"No longer alone, but together you'll stand."
And then there was peace, and I wept as it came,
I knew that no longer would I be the same.
Then I saw a small sign, neglected for years.
The sign said this is a Room Full of Tears.
©1998, Jerry Ham