11-24 Cactus on rock

Sometimes life happens

when death seems imminent.

Devastating when death happens

instead of expected life.

Expected life?

How easily I forget-

each day is a gift;

another chance

to make a difference.

Who am I,

to expect a tomorrow?

to live like time isn’t borrowed?

Selfish, I am,

with my wasted dreams

(squandered currency)

but amidst loss is blessing,

a sort of silver lining:

reflection brings change-

recognition of today.


Inspiration: Death has a way of making me pause and ponder life. I found out Saturday that within the span of a week, a baby was born and died. To me, this is especially sad because I expected the child to have a long life – because many of us do have the opportunity to grow old.

That’s how this poem came about. The phrase “expected life” made me think about my own life and expectations. In this poem, I chastise myself for all the things I don’t do today. It doesn’t often cross my mind that my tomorrows are limited.

I chose the photo because I always pause when I see a cactus growing on a rock. It looks like nothing should be able to grow on rock. But, as I discovered during some recent reading for a story I wrote, the lichen that grow on rocks can indeed provide nutrients for plant life.  Interesting, that I have killed a cactus or two in my life. Go figure. They can grow in inhospitable conditions, but they can’t survive my inept care.

This may be my only post this week, as Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and in-laws will be at our house. The fiction story I hinted about last week will have to wait another week.  Um, that is, if I’m blessed with another week here!

Have a beautiful week, and I hope you embrace today 🙂


40 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Ryan November 24, 2014 / 7:52 AM


  2. Debbie November 24, 2014 / 8:17 AM

    “Embracing today” is a wonderful way to live, Janna. None of us can count on a single moment.

    I’m sorry to hear about the baby’s death. Its parents must be devastated — we usually expect children to outlive their parents, and death coming during the holidays seems especially cruel.

    I didn’t know that about cacti. I suspect over-watering causes most of their problems, don’t you? I mean, I know my too-watchful attention has smothered many a plant!

    Happy Thanksgiving — enjoy the feast and the time off!

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:04 PM

      I think we can care for plants too much – definitely! I really can’t imagine what they are going through, but I hope they find strength in each other and in God. (He is the youth pastor at the church I started going to a couple months ago, so I’m sure they have a good support system.) I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving, too, Debbie 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel November 24, 2014 / 8:21 AM

    Beautiful poetic wisdom, Janna. Everyday of life is a gift. Praise to the giver of life. I enjoyed reading this. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:04 PM

      Thanks, Carol Ann. I’m glad you liked the poem 🙂

  4. Widdershins November 24, 2014 / 9:11 AM

    About your cacti. Some people have green thumbs. My colour varies … Lovely poem.

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:04 PM

      My thumb is sort of yellow 😉 Thanks for reading, Widdershins!

  5. suzicate November 24, 2014 / 9:44 AM

    Your post gives me much to think about (and be thankful for) today.

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:06 PM

      There is much to be thankful for, Suzicate.

  6. Tessa November 24, 2014 / 2:31 PM

    Great poem Janna. One that I can make sense out of, sometimes I read people’s poems and just say uhm. 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:07 PM

      Thanks, Tessa! I thought this was pretty straightforward, but I do like to include something about the inspiration in case someone out there reads and is confused 🙂

  7. joannesisco November 24, 2014 / 2:48 PM

    Well said Janna!
    Happy Thanksgiving… it sounds like you are in the right spirit of its true spirit 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:08 PM

      Thanks, Joanne! I’m ready to be thankful (and probably eat lots of turkey and stuffing 🙂 )

  8. Sean November 24, 2014 / 2:50 PM

    I liked this poem. Although it is sad there is encouragement within. We all have 100% chance of dying but how many will live is the real question. I don’t fear death because I have no control over that but I can live life for His purpose. Thank you for this poem as life is finite

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:11 PM

      Thanks, Sean. The situation is sad. I agree that death isn’t something to fear… dying without living to our potential would be scary.

  9. nrhatch November 24, 2014 / 4:08 PM

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Janna. Death does give us cause for pause . . . to make sure our actions are in line with our priorities.

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2014 / 7:12 PM

      It’s good to make sure we’re on track from time to time. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Nancy!

  10. GodGirl November 24, 2014 / 8:38 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear about the baby’s death, and the loss for the parents… Such a heart-wrenching thing.
    It’s so true – we expect life, taking for granted it will continue. I suppose also, sometimes life surprises us when we’re expecting death to happen. Such a reminder that all things are in God’s hands. He gives and takes away, but will never leave us in this life or the next, if we are His.

    • jannatwrites November 27, 2014 / 8:35 PM

      That is so true, GodGirl. God doesn’t leave us, even when things aren’t going the way we would hope to.

  11. pattisj November 24, 2014 / 11:59 PM

    One certainly doesn’t expect to lose one so young.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • jannatwrites November 27, 2014 / 8:38 PM

      Thanks, Patti. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving 🙂

  12. diannegray November 25, 2014 / 2:14 PM

    I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, Janna. It’s so sad when a young life is lost – but it makes us realize how incredibly lucky we are just to be here xxxxx

    • jannatwrites November 27, 2014 / 8:39 PM

      Thanks, Dianne – Thanksgiving was good 🙂 We are so lucky, indeed!

  13. agjorgenson November 25, 2014 / 6:14 PM

    My gosh, I hope you are around for many more years never mind another week! But you are right, we do best to live fully into each moments. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • jannatwrites November 27, 2014 / 8:42 PM

      Me too, Allen! I’m not ready to go yet, but if it’s time, it’s time 🙂 Thanksgiving was very nice.

  14. Bryan Ens November 28, 2014 / 10:58 PM

    I lost my father-in-law this past summer. He was healthy… until he wasn’t, and he went unexpectedly quick. So true that we truly don’t know how many ‘tomorrows’ we have. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • jannatwrites December 3, 2014 / 10:37 AM

      I’m sorry for your loss – it’s never easy to let go. I had a nice Thanksgiving. I hope you did as well 🙂

  15. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) November 29, 2014 / 2:29 AM

    So sad when tomorrow cease to be – even more so when you have not yet developed an understandin of tomorrow..

    • jannatwrites December 3, 2014 / 10:37 AM

      So true. Another reason to make sure we live today and don’t depend on tomorrow, Bjorn.

  16. Nihar Pradhan November 29, 2014 / 11:49 PM

    Very profound thoughts…a philosophical look at life, one life and so many things to do…we take our daily things for granted, just overlooking the fact that the day is gone for ever…what can we do but perhaps a better way to question is what better we could have done and make everyday count…death of near and dear ones, and thought of it make us reflect on our life and the way we live…

    Wonderful Post!!!

    • jannatwrites December 3, 2014 / 10:39 AM

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts, Nihar. Death is good for causing us to evaluate (or re-evaluate) how our own life stands. I know I tend to take today for granted, so I appreciate the reminder to really pay attention.

      • Nihar Pradhan December 3, 2014 / 10:49 AM

        My pleasure, enjoying your posts…

        Death is inevitable and we have no option, but seeing it happen in front of us we question the mystery of life…why we are born and why we die, who governs this phenomena, we say God and non of us seen God, perhaps a belief to justify this mystical phenomena of life and death…

        • jannatwrites December 3, 2014 / 11:00 AM

          Thanks for the kind words, Nihar – I’m glad you like my posts. God does provide some sort of reason for being. I like to think my purpose is greater than what I can comprehend it to be.

        • Nihar Pradhan December 3, 2014 / 11:04 AM

          Yes, life without purpose is meaningless, so we all have a purpose and God is behind those purpose…
          Our purpose is something we spend the whole life trying to discover and understand it better…

        • jannatwrites December 4, 2014 / 9:46 PM

          Yes, I agree, Nihar 🙂

  17. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) December 4, 2014 / 10:12 AM

    Really all we have is today…and your poem perfectly expresses that. We need to embrace the present and treasure the past. Only then can we move into the future with hope and grace. Blessings!

    • jannatwrites December 4, 2014 / 9:50 PM

      Nicely expressed, Kathy! Dwelling too much on the past or future robs of right now… it’s a balancing act.

  18. Sarah Ann December 10, 2014 / 12:37 PM

    There is a lesson here for all of us, about not giving enough thought to what we have and imagining we can put of until tomorrow.

    • jannatwrites December 10, 2014 / 3:41 PM

      It’s a constant balancing act to handle today and tomorrow (should it be granted.) Glad you stopped by, Sarah Ann… hope you are doing well 🙂

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