Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly{47D14071-317F-483D-8702-BE2EEFA288D0}Img400




We thought she had at least a month left.

She seemed in good spirits with energy on most days.

So we ate and we went out,

Had visitors and snuggled with the dog.

We talked and we shed some tears

Along with a whole lot of laughing.

Her daughter would curl up

Next to her in bed each night.

The cannula in place

And the loud oxygen machine was on.

Both were settled and comfy.

First mom would begin to read

But when her eyes got fuzzy from

Morphine, Atavan and the lull of the O2

The daughter would take over reading

Not missing a line.

But mom’s eyes would open

Because she didn’t want to miss a word

It was a sight to see

And was really so lovely

To watch mother and daughter

Read the likes of Brene Brown’s

“Daring Greatly” on library loan.

With a synopsis that says

“How the courage to be vulnerable

Transforms the way we

Live, Love, Parent and Lead.”

So even when close to the end,

Learning vulnerability is essential

And in discussing these concepts

Mother and daughter could

Work out some kinks in their past

And make sure that their love

Was clear and understood

Despite the book being overdue.

For the few times I peered in

And was struck by this scene

I believe it may stay with me forever.

What a gift this daughter gave

To herself and to her mother,

Who has now left this vulnerable earth.

I hope someone gives that to me

Before I leave all behind.

Because Daring Greatly is no easy feat.


Alice Gone

Alice and me IMG_5599


I am here

You are gone.

But it is your home

Not mine.

Your photos.

Your sayings everywhere,

Your family,

Your beloved friends,

Your chair

Your kitchen,

Your cheesecake,

And whipped cream.

Your sneakers at the door

And your robe waiting for you

After your shower

With the shower chair

To keep you steady.

Your bills are on your desk

Your satin jacket is hung

On the hook by the door

Waiting to take you outside

Your scarves are hung,

The dog leashes

Are in the drawer.

The cheese filled pretzels

That you came to crave

Are in the already opened bag

Waiting to be finished.

Your husband’s ashes

Are on the table.

And your flowers

Were sent to you

Not to me

And they need more water.

I am an interloper

Poking through YOUR stuff

And organizing

And trashing

And donating

And packing away

Feeling so embarrassed

For what feels like prying.

I do not want you to feel


Or ashamed

Or defensive

About the possessions

You’ve accumulated.

We all have them.

They drown us all.

I do not belong here

With your daughters

And your dog

YOU do.

This is your home,

Your life

And your heart and soul

Fill this place.

You’ve left forever

Some 48 hours ago

And my skin

Is begging to be peeled off

As my heart is ripped open

Not knowing how I will

Navigate the rest of my life

Without you, my dearest sister.

The keeper and the sharer

Of all the secrets we have ever known.

I warned you

That I would not do this well

And it is so much worse than

I could have ever imagined.

I will come and rescue you

I am convinced

That you are somewhere

And you are cold.

So I will come with blankets

And carry you home with me

So we can talk and laugh

Some more

And solve all the things

We never did get to.

Please my sister,

Please my darling,

Please come back to me

It is enough now

I want to lay back down with you

And hold your hand

As you hold mine

So we know

We can both be okay

With each other

The two chairs we sat in

Are still there

But they’re empty,

We were taking in some sun

While we knitted

And crocheted like old ladies

With you wearing both

Your sunglasses

And your reading glasses,

While your daughters

Laughed at us

And we laughed too!


But it is not funny anymore.

Can you come back now?








And in the end,

All there really is

Is love.

Nothing less

Nothing more

Nothing after

And nothing before.


We sisters are only two

There were none before us

And none after.

Together we fought

Tooth and nail

Through the abuse

And the confusion

For utter survival.

It was never easy

Getting through

The years of our life

In putrid dysfunction

That rendered us nearly

The same as the situation.


But having each other

Is always, always, always

What got us through.

We clung to the hearts

That beat in our chests

To remind us we were okay

And to tell each other

We were more than our misery.


I couldn’t be sadder today

It would not be possible

Having spent the day,

In a hospital with my sister.

My only.

My dearest.

My red-headed.

My ever so kind.

My caring and wise.

My friend to all,

Forever sister.

Yes, THAT one

Was given bad news

On top of more bad news

Over and over

All day long

Heaped on

Like wet cement.

The cancer

Oh the fuckin’ cancer

The bane of our existence

That goddamned cancer

Is winning despite it all!

The alternative and the not,

The prayers and the hopes,

The denial that trumped all!

It spread like hell anyway.

A breast wasn’t enough

It took over her bones

And every single bone

Including one replaced by titanium

Yet still not satisfactory,

To fill this beast.

So now it moved into

Her epicenter

The place that rules

And runs her mind

And her being.

The leech wants it all

So it moved on smearing

The entire lining of her brain

Yes the sonuvabitch

Is determined to kill her.

And if you think gun control

Would cut down loss of lives

This satanic monster

Leaves the guns in the dust.


She left no stone unturned

The juices

The Coffee enemas

The vitamins

The heat

The crystals

The teas

The needles

The massages

The organics

The beliefs

Even downright

Fresh red blood.

Her sweet, sweet heart

That makes everyone

Who knows her,

Love her.

The caring so deeply

For her daughters

And being a listening ear

For her only sister, me!


You see, we two

Know things that no one else does

We share the secrets of over 60 years,

Yes we do.

There will never be any way

I can share it with you,

Because frankly

“you had to be there”

and you weren’t,

but we were!


Tonight, still laying

In the hospital bed

She says she is crying

From kindness

And that she can

Really feel her heart

Filling up with love.

There is no limit

On what all this love

Wants to do for her

To give her the most cherished

Days of all.


Go ahead now

You scourge

Of the last two centuries

Cut away a good half of me

And steal my beloved sister

Who just wanted

To walk her daughters

Down the aisle

But ran out of time.

See how well I stand up

Without a whole half missing

And my heart that is already

Broken in a million pieces

Gets ground up even more.

Ashes to ashes

Dust to dust.


She says she isn’t

Ready or able to leave us

But hey dammit

I am not ready

And frankly unable

To leave her.