Publishing Caitlin Walsh’s poem yesterday made me think about my own mother. My mother passed away seven years ago.

I went through a lot of pain and heartache when I was a child. When one is young you have nothing to reference your experiences with. Once a person becomes acquainted with the world one can begin to say how good or how bad one had life in their youth. But the process of growth doesn’t stop their. As one matures they are faced with the same problems that their parents went through. We learn firsthand, the difficulties that living can present, as adults. Also perhaps we become aware of things that we weren’t aware of in our personal history.

I can both forgive and forget the negativity that was channeled through my mother to me at an early age. She was in a bad situation, that I am sure was extremely hard to deal with.

When my mental illness became a harsh reality at age twenty my mother really stepped up to the challenge in a wonderful and meaningful way. She visited me on every occasion that was possible during my seven hospitalizations. She was constantly making sure I took my medicine. She’d make sure that I got up out of bed in the morning. Every Sunday she would drive to Manhattan so I could attend church service. My mother researched my bipolar illness and tried to help with alternative treatments. One of the attempts was to cure mental illness through vitamins. I couldn’t handle swallowing twenty pills a day so I resisted.

Another thing my mother did was to take me to an eye doctor named Doctor Kaplan. His theory was that mental illness is related to a person’s visual experience. You can read more about his work and his practice at this link.

Not only did she go the extra mile but she also once went down many a mile to Trinidad to secure my safe passage home. I had become manic on a month long trip and I was causing all sorts of problems. She went down to the police station after I got arrested. She made sure that I kept my court appointment as well. I am sure that I caused her both pain and a lot of worry.

My mother also gave a lot of encouragement in my writing. She saved all of my early efforts.

My mother was a very strong woman. But between the cancer, and the pacemaker, and the stroke and then the cancer again it was too much. She died bravely living several months longer then the doctors predicted.

I would like to present a poem that I wrote for my mother. It is printed in my book “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent.” You can purchase the book on this link.


Love is all

To see you laying in silence
Powerless except for prayer
Fighting death in defiance
Do you know how much I care?
Love is all

When you read for me before I slept?
When you dried my tears as I wept?
When you listened to my words of sorrow?
When you gave me hope for a better tomorrow?
When you denied yourself to lend a hand?
When no one but you could understand?
Love is all

The sum of your deeds immense
Most of them given at your expense
Love is all

Cancer gnaws at your body consuming the bone
We are there so you know that you are not alone
Soon God will give a beckoning call
Love is all

Flowers, cards, a casket of finest wood
Tears of sorrow, kind words do you no good
You have left to a place of no return
Life’s most important message you helped me learn
Love is all