With Heavy Heart



Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.
~Lisel Mueller “In November” from Alive Together



It does not escape me~
(I wake every day knowing this)
the earthquake happened somewhere else,
a windstorm leveled a town,
a drunk driver destroyed a family,
a fire left a house in ashes,
a missing child finally found at the bottom of a cliff,
a flood ravaged a village,
a devastating diagnosis darkens
someone’s remaining days.

No mistake has been made,
yet I wake knowing this part of my story
has not yet visited me,
the heavy heart
that should have been mine
still beating,
still breaking,
still bleeding.


4 thoughts on “With Heavy Heart

  1. A timely, somber reminder that what happens to one happens to all — not just to our next door neighbor, but to farmers in drought-ravaged Africa; campesinos in Central America whose tiny piece of land has been stolen by his country’s commercial interests; homeless families living in their cars in many of our country’s urban areas; wandering homeless refugees who have fled from oppression in the Middle East; small island nations in Pacific coastal areas that have lost or will soon lose the land beneath their feet due to encroaching climate warming.

    As life races by us each day, terrible things happen to people, We may not see or accept the reality, the significance, the possibility that, yes, we ARE connected. That could happen to any one us on any day, at any time. We are ALL part of God’s created human family. The moment that we read our daily newspaper, turn on our television or other communication device we see a part of our ‘family’ each day as we are presented with graphic proof of their suffering caused by wars, ‘natural’ disasters, drought and starvation caused by climate change, disinterest and lack of caring for ‘the other.’

    We are indeed ‘our brother’s and our sister’s keeper’ – whether or not we can expand our minds to accept that inescapable truism. Not easy to do — especially when our own lives can be so hectic — coping with economic realities that determine our ability to care for our families; caregiver for a sick or dying relative or friend; worrying about our family’s safety as they leave the house each day amid the escalating senseless hatred-induced violence rampant in our nation.
    These are just a few of the seemingly overwhelming problems and cares that we all face every day — events that unite us in our basic needs and our vulnerability and in our solidarity as part of God’s human family.

    Just being aware of the suffering of others, praying that God in His Mercy and Compassion, will unlock, thaw frozen hearts of those who do have the ability and the means to change, to ease the causes of it will help and will not go unnoticed by God. As individuals, we can be advocates, raising awareness of inequality, suffering, disasters is something that each of us can do….


  2. How true your words are. Some of us cut up pieces of fabric to then sew back together into beautiful quilts. Sewing prayers into the interwoven threads that will wrap around somebody we don’t know, maybe bringing them comfort as the wings of angels gently caress their broken hearts. The mending/healing begins. Quilts to the preemies ward at the hospital to lay over the isolates to dim the bright sterIle lights; pocket quilts for the policeman/paramedic/firefighter on his patrol to be reminded that people out there do believe in him or heri; quilts in police cars to wrap around a child or adult at an accident or a domestic violence call; quilts for the homeless shelter; for the cancer camp for families to have a weekend of respite from the doctors and treatments… The list can go on…
    I give thanks and know I am still here. My job isn’t complete. You have such a gift with words. Thank you Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

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