Freewill Sacrifice of Self A Sermon by the Rev. James P. Cooper Mitchellville – November 2, 2003 “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” (Luke 9:22) Consider for a moment all the time that […]
Never knowing when he might go
Panicking every time he is sick
Trying to not let it show
Looking for cures or even magic
It is all smiles then all pain
Taking pills every day
He is still sunshine in all the rain
I’m begging God to not take him away
I know one day it will come
He will leave my side
My life will come undone
For he was not supposed to die
There will be the ones who will say
At least he is not suffering
But they don’t understand the prayers I have prayed
They weren’t the ones watching
We say “till death do us part”
Thinking we are invincible
but forever will he remain in my heart
Life without him isn’t livable
For now, he is alive
And for that I praise
But I know one day he will die
And for that, I worry all my days.
Written: September of 2016
In my DC English IV class, we had to write a memoir of something that happened in our lives. My sweet aunt Deborah was my topic.
My great aunt Deborah had been sick all her life, but at 11 years old I couldn’t imagine her death. The childhood memories at her and my grandmother’s home were still fresh: the late night runs to Sonic and me playing around with her makeup and fragrance powders, my brother and I making them laugh so hard that they had to change, and the never ending stories. The memories were so alive, and I couldn’t face the fact of her not being alive.
To my knowledge, she had always been sick in different ways. She had been sick since she was a child, even had polio. She had mental issues and had the mind of more of a 15 year old than a 56 year old, which is why we probably got along so well. So, her health had never really been well, just enough to keep her alive. But then she got cancer and her life started to fade. It was cancer of the lung at first and then it spread. She was admitted to the Baptist Hospital in Union City in March of 2011. I remember coming and visiting her, and I had to look away. Here was this woman that I loved in a hospital bed with machines that seemed to swallow her tiny frame whole. Then, she was sent home to die.
At the time, my mother and father were going through a divorce, so I clinged to my grandmother and helped take care of Deborah. It was my escape. They set up a hospital bed in the middle section of my grandmother’s house and gave her a wheelchair for when she wanted to sit outside. I spent most weekends over there and by summer I was there every day.
At 11 years old, I became a caretaker. I did what most will not. She had diapers and although they did smell foul, I did not mind changing them. Bathing her was undressing her, sponging her naked body with warm water, and redressing her. She would just smile at me through it all. I do not know how she was so happy. I could probably not handle it the way she did. She was indeed a trooper. I would paint her nails and makeup her face when she asked me to. I knew she was suffering, although she did not show it, so I did anything to cause her an ounce of true happiness.
Back then, I played often with these little girls that lived right next door to Deborah, and their grandmother gave me a slap of reality one day.
I had said something along the lines that “when Deborah gets better,” and I was stopped in my tracks.
Ms. Mary looked at me and told, “Honey, she won’t get better.”
At the time, I rejected what she said. I was clinging on to the hope that this wouldn’t be the end. However, Ms. Mary was right, and my 11 year old self would learn to accept it.
Towards the end, I was giving Deborah higher dosages of morphine. She would make a sour face, and I knew it must have been repugnant. The morphine would cause her to have strange hallucinations, but there was one that was very dear to me. I believe it was in the few days before her death.
“Rachel, I need you to do my make-up. I have a date.”
I smiled, “A date? Oh really? With whom?”
She beamed very brightly, “His name is Blake and his mother set it up.”
I did what she asked and even painted her nails. She was so excited and was glowing with this huge smile that would light up the darkest room. However, before she made it to that date, she fell asleep. When she woke up, she had no memory of Blake or the event that was supposed to take place.
Deborah was a woman of small stature and a fierce soul who had been through hell and back on this earth. She had suffered through a sick childhood, an abusive marriage, the death of her husband, and then cancer. At the end of each day, she still found a reason to smile, and that is what made her so strong. Thankfully, Deborah did not have to suffer much longer.
On June 30th, 2011, I got a call around 9 or 10 in the morning. I was at my dad’s, right down the road from Deborah. I woke up and for some reason I already knew what had occurred. I got on my bike, put on my hat, and raced down the road. As soon as I reached her front yard, I dropped my bike and ran inside. I kissed her and held her hand, not yet cold. My heart sank and memories instantly played through my mind. I heard her voice, her laugh. I saw her smile. Then I looked at her face in that moment. Today, I can still see her eyes open, staring into an abyss of something I know nothing of.
I did not cry that day or at her funeral. I had not accepted it; I could not accept it. It just seemed surreal, but about a month later I woke up in the middle of the night crying. Deborah was gone.
Looking back now, my time with Deborah is something I can never forget. That year held a lot of change for me, from my parents’ divorce to my grandfather’s death. My dad even moved to Texas that summer and there were no more trips to my grandmother’s house. I learned very valuable lessons that year: time is precious, and things are always changing. Some days I remember Deborah’s date and her sweet innocence in this cruel world, how she stayed lifted even though cancer was taking her away. I remember how she was the one who adjusted her sails in this raging storm, not waiting nor caring for the storm to stop. The world could not change her, but she did change it. Because of her, I can never view this beautiful tragedy of what we call “life” as anything less than precious and something worth fighting for.
As most could tell, I have not been on here for a year or so. I have been so swamped by life. I am in my senior year and everything is so hectic and I have forgotten to do the one thing I love to do the most: write. I have been writing papers and essays for college, but I have not been writing for me, for the world. I have looked over my old pieces and I see the flaws I once did not see, and I also see me. I see a girl who just wanted to put down her thoughts because writing is much simpler than speaking. I am coming back. I make a vow to myself that I will start back again with the love of my life. Thank you for the love and support I have received while I have been gone.
They just follow where the lies go
If only they knew
The demons that attack me
How I wish they knew
Who I want to be
I am a Child of The King
and I can’t take this earth
I’m tired of the judging
I’m glad of my rebirth
but where do I go from now?
Not only where but how???
I am but a small human
with a big heart.
God I need you
to bring me out of the dark.
I know I fail
I know I am weak
I know your love prevails
and You’re all I need.
Written on: 09/04/2015
Pain has agonized me all of these days
and now I am free
From confinement, I run away
I want to be me
I wanna laugh and smile
and not feel regret
It’s been a while
since I could relax and forget
Memories flood through my mind
and sometimes makes me sad
It takes me back to a simpler time,
a time where I was glad
I use to run head first into everything;
nothing was holding me down
But now my ship is sinking
and there’s no anchor to be found
That’s at least what I thought,
but that was not the case
My soul has been bought
and I am safe.
I am not bound by my sins
I am free
I’ll never feel hell again
I have stronger forces with me
I am strong and humble
I have God on my side
With Him I can not stumble
and for that I have pride
Distractions to survive
Distractions to revive
Distractions to feel alive
Smoke, Drink, Blades
Continue until it all fades
A labyrinth of darkness
Ignorance is bliss
Prideful in fake happiness
Distractions to forget
Distractions to live
Distractions are met
So today was the day I got my driver’s license, and that was nerve wrecking enough. I was particularly scared because I was driving there when I hit a squirrel. My heart shattered, for this was the first time I had hit anything. I continued driving and went to the DMV. I was a nervous wreck, but I did get my license. Then, later while at McDonalds, our order costs $6.66 or as the superstitious employee said “triple six.” Not to mention, my dad dropped a motor on his finger messing up his finger nail pretty bad. “I broke a nail” does not cut it. I’ll drop a photo below.
So today was just a day of bad omens, so I’m still waiting for what this is leading to. I am not really superstitious, but today was a bit suspicious. Well any who, I got my license. Look below ❤ (:
It is so hard to believe that tomorrow, August 24th, I will bee 16. I can remember being 5 years old and laughing so hard that milk came out of my nose, and here I am in my junior year, fixing to be on the road. It blows my mind how fast time has gone by, and the more I learn to appreciate it, the more I don’t want it to go by so fast. I already see the difficulties in life, and my mind takes me back to a simpler time when my biggest issue was what outfit I wanted to wear or when I was going to grandma’s. Now I’d give anything in the world to go back. So much has happened, and I am definitely a different person than I was a year ago. More heartache and pain has come my way, and though it hurt me, it also made me stronger and wiser. I am still young, but I am learning. I’m looking at jobs and what I’m going to drive, and I can recall thinking at about 7 years old how much I couldn’t wait to be able to do these things. Yes, it is exciting. It is also quite frightening. I wish my mother would have sat me down and explained to me then that it would come to me eventually and just enjoy being little. My brother is graduated, and in the National Guard. That is still a huge thing to me. Not only that, he is ENGAGED!!! MY BROTHER! I just can’t believe we aren’t running around the backyard like Indians anymore or going to the circus together. All that is gone, and it breaks my heart. I miss being the only girl in his everyday life, and now some girl has came and stole him away. I knew it’d happen; I just didn’t expect it so soon. I am so proud of who he has become. 16 is another year closer to being an adult, another year closer to the end of my life. I hold onto the past but embrace the future, because God knows I can’t go back now. I just pray for wisdom and strength to get me through the rest of my life. I am blessed to be alive this long, and hope to leave behind a lot in my lifetime. No longer am I a 15 year old girl, I am a 16 year old woman and I tend to live the life I love. Wish me luck ❤
She runs like the wind
and walks in the middle of the road
Everywhere she goes she leaves a huge dent
She doesn’t like to do what she’s told
She’s a rebel child with a wild side
But when you look at her you can’t help but smile
She loves long walks
and she loves long talks
But sometimes all she wants is silence,
to sit in the middle of nature and take it all in
She doesn’t smoke and she doesn’t drink
but she likes to say what she thinks
Sometimes her opinions are a little bit loud
and sometimes she’s a bit too proud
She realizes she’s human
She repents for her sin
But she still takes the world on each day
She still takes everyone’s breath away
She likes her nails painted black
and the skies painted red
She’s got something the world lacks
but she believes she’s nothing in her head
She’s innocent yet definitely wild
She’s got a soul of wisdom and the heart of a child
She is as stubborn as a mule
and she makes her own rules
She always likes to take the lead
and she’s tilling the earth and planting her seed
No one could ever come in her way
She turns the night into her day
She’s a queen and she knows she stumbles
She can be mean but yet so humble
She’s a contradiction
But everyone’s addiction
On the outside you would think that she is pretty mild
but looking underneath you would find a spirit that is quite wild.
So if you ever think you know this girl, you are so wrong.
She’s the anchor in the sea, the light house on the shore, the one who is so fragile yet so strong.