Death trails behind me,
Decaying carcasses lie uncovered;
Youthful hopes and dusty memories-
Remnants of broken dreams,
Each breath reminds me,
Eternal failures rediscovered;
I’m unable to escape shortcomings-
Fragments of who I used to be,
Scattered ashes cover
Three quarters of a year-
Whether I rise remains to be seen,
But I have to accept what will be.
I have a
bad habit of explaining my poetry, and I will continue that, but first, I’ll take you on a scary ride of how my train of thought ended up here. Hold on, it’s a twisty one 😯
This post was originally going to be to refer you to a post compiled by Eli Pacheco at Coach Daddy where he asked bloggers how they would upgrade themselves – in six words. (If you have some time, check it out… there were some great contributions. Mine is #46)… “accept what will be; no worries”. Hold this thought…
In the past month, I’ve had to say goodbye to two of my pets. First, my seventeen-year-old Yorkie-Poo, Bulwinquel. Then, a few days ago, I lost my beloved cat, Cybil. She was fifteen years old and had been in kidney failure for over a year.
When I started writing this poem, it was to deal with the grief of loss over my pets. Then my mind wandered a bit farther back, over the landscape of this year. I half-joke that I’m done with 2015, but I don’t think it’s done with me. This poem ended up being more about another loss I’ve been dealing with: in January, I made the decision to end my 18-year marriage. Until last week, we were living in the same house which has been… well, miserable.
I won’t go into details as to what led to this because I have kids who might happen upon my ramblings here someday. There were several factors involved, but one aspect, I wrote about last October in a poem that was particularly difficult to share. Sharing that poem forced me to see things I chose to ignore for years.
This brings me back to my six-word contribution and this poem. The death that trails behind me are my pets, my marriage, and the idea of what I thought my life would be eighteen years ago. I failed. I don’t like failing and stubbornly tried to deny this failure, but the first 3/4 of this year has been coming to terms with it. It’s a continuing process.
I have spent a lot of time thinking (obsessing, really) about things I have no control over. It’s a daily thing to remind myself not to worry about tomorrow and to instead, rely on faith. I have no idea what the future holds. I’ll find out when it gets here.
This isn’t supposed to be a depressing post. I’m okay really. I’m working on a photo-inspired story but was too busy to complete it for September as I had planned. I’m not going to jinx it by saying when I think it’ll be done. I’ll just leave it at “soon.” 🙂
Thanks for hanging on to this thought train. Now, relax and have a beautiful Thursday!
I wondered if an end to your marriage was part of the problem. It takes a while. I have been divorced 16 years and there a days I think about it and wish maybe it hadn’t happened. But I am much happier now. Time may not heal it, but it will help. It is hardest on the kids. Take care my friend and God Bless you and your children.
Thanks for the kind words, Tessa. There are many things I wish I’d done differently, but that’s hindsight 🙂 I know in time, things will be better, but sometimes I just want to sleep until it’s all over.
Better times are coming. Praying for you!
I hope this frees your heart to write one of those books that’s been waiting in there . I don’t know you in Real Life but I have grown to care about you. You have always been kind and supportive. You are so talented, and you seem to be so kind. I hope this brings you, eventually, to a kind pf peace that is enough.
I appreciate the nice comment, Momsomniac. I really do miss writing. I have had no support in my desire to write, so in that sense, this will likely result in more freedom to write.
It’s hard to lose our loved pets. And ending a marriage is difficult, especially, staying in the same house for so long. My daughter went through what may not be dissimilar after only five years of marriage. Her depression was a terrible thing for all of us to deal with.
I hope she is doing better now, Timothy. I find that some days are really good… and other days are just dark. I do hope this balances at some point. Until then, it’s one day at a time.
What an incredible surprise to click over and find this, Janna. I’m so glad you were part of the six words post this month. I’m even more glad I got to read this and learn more about you.
Thanks, Eli! I appreciate the invite to participate in the 6-word challenge – I had fun with it 🙂
I don’t see the end of a marriage (or a career that isn’t working) as a failure. Longevity, standing alone, does not define success.
When we hang on to people, places, or things that are making us miserable (out of fear, complacency, habit, or sheer stubbornness), should we view our continued commitment as a success to be celebrated ~ or as a failure to honor who we’ve become?
Just as day flows to night and night flows to day, life should be a continuum of experiences. When one experience ends, a new day dawns. That does not mean that the first experience was a mistake, or that its ending is a failure ~ it’s merely a recognition that continuing to invest time in something “broken beyond repair” would be a mistake.
And, yet, saying good-bye is hard. Letting go of Bulwinquel and Cybil (especially in close proximity) is sad.
I am glad you’re finding acceptance in what will be.
What a beautiful comment, Nancy xxx
Thanks for the support, Nancy. It took many years to finally come to this conclusion, and it took so long partly because of stubbornness. I’m still stuck in a life that I don’t feel like is mine, but do hope that each day leads me to the life I should be living.
Janna, oh my sweet friend. Whenever you do something with your heart is it never wrong. I know that saying “I am glad you left” is not a nice thing to impart but I am GLAD YOU LEFT for you, for your own life to blossom and be.
I understand more than you know and I am here, thinking of you as you navigate this new way. You will. You will be better, stronger, more than even you imagine. And I will be here, as your friend, to lean on if you need to.
So sorry about all your losses….holding you close in my heart.
Thanks, Kir – I appreciate your encouragement. There have been so many struggles in this that perhaps one day I’ll share. Some might say that leaving is the easy way out, but I don’t think so. Staying was so much easier, but I was only partly living.
And I know that …I’ve seen it with other friends and I know that you (so logical, so good in heart) would not make a decision like that lightly. Please just know that I am here in your corner, quietly thinking of you as you transition. XO
I appreciate your kindness, Kir. I meant to respond sooner but I’m just not doing well at keeping up with things 🙂
My condolensces for all the losses you have suffered this year. 2015 has been particularly cruel to you. You are overdue for some good to flow into your life.
btw – I like the way you provide background commentary to your poetry 🙂
Thanks, Joanne – I’m glad you like the background info. 2015 has sucked 🙂 I think 2016 has to be better!
Oh, Janna. Wordless right now. I’ll just say I’m deeply sorry for the passing of Bulwinquel and Cybil, both in a mere month of 2015. You are a strong lady. For what it’s worth, I don’t see you as having failed anything. Making a decision to get out of a toxic relationship requires a lot of gumption, faith, and strength. Thinking of you!
Thanks for the support and kind words, Leigh. I don’t feel very strong, but maybe one day I’ll look back and see that, I don’t know.
Oh, my. You’re really been slammed this year, haven’t you, Janna? Please accept my condolences on the loss of your two pets. Losing a beloved family member is hard, whether it’s a person or a pet. Be sure to take some time to grieve. As for the end of your marriage — I don’t think you should refer to that as “failure.” To me, failure means you didn’t try, and knowing you the way I do, I’m pretty sure you gave it your all. Just because something lasts a long time doesn’t mean it’s a success. Seems to me, you’re a winner for recognizing you had a problem, doing what had to be done to work past that problem, then regrouping to embrace life anew — all while continuing to work and raise two boys!! You WILL get through this, you know. And we’ll be here to encourage you and help however we can. I’m still praying, too!
I do appreciate the prayers, Debbie. I’m not really a fan of this year, but trying to look on the bright side, it might make 2016 look stellar, even if it’s really just mediocre 🙂
Wishing you all the best, Janna. So sorry for your losses. xo
Thanks Nurse Kelly – I appreciate it!
You’re welcome, Janna. Hope all is well.xoxo
A beautiful poem and post, Janna. Good vibes flowing your way. A 🙂
I wanted to say something along the lines of Nancy’s response, but she said it so much better than I ever could. Hugs for your lost friends xxxx and more hugs to you for being so brave to take that step away xxx
Thanks, Dianne. I still have the boys’ cats who snuggle up to me some, so there is comfort in that 🙂
All the Best for whatever you chose to do with your future life. You haven’t failed if you still have hope of a better future than you planned. Love your poem !
Thanks for reading, Lala. I haven’t seen you around for a while… I hope you are doing well. (I’ll stop by your site soon… I’m soooo far behind on everything!)
Thanks for the explanation. Billy Collins writes of the sometime need to signal what follows the title, or in your case prefaces the explanation. I suppose literary critics will have their say, but I think it is sometimes a great idea. Plus it might be cathartic for the writer! As for failure, it seems we have to sort out both what it means and what causes it. There is enough obfuscation in both of these tasks to grant ourselves a little breathing space. Hopefully you are taking some as well! Peace and prayers to you…
Thanks for the prayers, Allen. It is good to think on the meaning and causes of failure. If we don’t, then there are lessons that we leave unlearned.
Janna, you’ve touched so many people with your words, your poems. I was trying to think of something monumentally uplifting to tell you but, as is my habit, I fell back upon a quote from someone other than myself. “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” So, you’ve got to hang in with the rest of us! We’re all failures at something. And we learn from thos failures. Sometimes we even turn them into new opportunities, a new life, a new direction.
Thanks for the kind and encouraging comment, Emilio. It is true that failure isn’t always the end, but rather a beginning. Right now, it’s hard to see anything besides what “is”, but I do have hope that each day brings me closer to seeing what will be.
That’s a lot of loss in one year, and you shouldn’t feel like you’ve failed. You’re a survivor. I agree with Debbie, you need time to grieve. Big hugs.
Thanks, Patti. I honestly haven’t had much time to think about it, but I think this means that eventually, quiet moments will happen and it will hit me then. I just hope no one is around when that happens 🙂
I think with all those losses in one year.. and having to live under the same roof afterwards.. sounds that maybe there will be a path towards the light somewhere now…
I sure hope so, Bjorn. I catch glimpses of it and then it’s gone.
a tough year!! Glad you are ok!! Beautifully expressed and hopefully cathartic!!
Thanks, TDM. I’m hanging in here… tired, but hanging on 🙂
Even without the accompanying text, I felt the sadness and despair in the poem. It is well-written all by itself and only gets better and deeper with the explanatory notes. I am so sorry for the losses you endured. Here’s to better days to come.
Thanks, Imelda. I am hoping that at some point the days won’t feel so heavy.
As people say, time may not heal all wounds but it will blunt the pain. Hang on. 🙂
Time does help. How much it takes? That is the unknown 🙂
I’m so sorry to hear about the losses that have shattered your 2015, and I grieve with you…. May you continually know God’s unfailing love as you continue to work through the pain and heartbreak and broken expectations… He is with you xx
God is my strength and the only way I can come through this. I have to believe there will be better times at some point.
You were married 18 years, so of course it’s going to take some time to heal. Don’t spend another 18 years doing that, but give yourself a break. You are turning a page, and suddenly, you’re the main character again. Hang in there!
Thanks for the encouragement, SGD. It might sound odd, but I’ve been grieving the loss of my marriage gradually for years. I wasn’t sad when he left- just relieved.
I’m glad you’re finally feeling relief 🙂 You deserve your happy ending, and it sounds like this is the first step!
Well, I won’t dare think of something so lofty as a happy ending. Peace and contentment would be a blessing 🙂
Those things are pretty synonymous with happy in my book. I think happy is a blanket term for a lot of unexpected emotions.
At this point, I’d say anything other than miserable is “happy” 🙂