Little Boys, Elderly Parents & Friends with Depression

The Poetry Edition

I recently had a phone call, where I was told that I am a natural “mothering” type of person. I like to take care of everyone, nurture them, all that good stuff. But I also need to learn to let go, to remember that not every battle is mine to fight, and sometimes people need to grow on their own. Mother and Smother are very close.

Last weekend, I broke a glass. I told the Princeling to stay out. Except, he didn’t. He calmly put on his shoes, gave me mine, then went to get the big dust pan. I swept up, and he picked up the larger pieces of glass and placed them carefully in the dust pan. The entire time, I was biting my tongue trying to keep the words behind my teeth.

Don’t do that! You’ll cut yourself! I don’t care if I bleed, but I can’t stand it when you do! What actually came out of my mouth was Be Careful.

He took the dust pan out, emptied it in the garbage can, and we went on. Except, you know… It hit me. My son is growing up. Helping. Taking care of me, even when it’s not all roses and sunshine.

Roses have thorns, and sunshine can burn, so I guess there really is no safe way to allow him to grow and never get hurt.

It was a broken glass. No drama, no life coming to an end. But something happened, and he came and helped his mom. Even if my neck muscles tightened as he helped me.

Then there’s my dad. I love my dad. He’s my hero, and one of my best friends. He’s still regaining what he lost, but he’s home. He’s walking with the help of a walker, and starting out with a cane. He does his exercises regularly, and enjoys going out. Nothing’s going to stop him.

Especially not a paranoid daughter.

He went out to the garage to wait for my son’s bus (which was late). Ok, fine. Except… When he first came home, I was trying to get someone to make a dump run for all the crap in there that has to go. His old recliner (replaced with mine), and old toilet (I know, I KNOW!), some wood and a broken lawn chair.

And dad went out into that mess to wait for my son.

You know, the mess that I’m afraid will kill me, let alone my father?

I can deal with him walking out to the mail box. He’s doing more and more and more every day. But that garage scares me. Now, I know my dad is a tough old war bird. He’s 89 and of sound mind. I need to let go, and let him be. I also called and rescheduled that dump run. I’m done waiting for it.

Done!

So that takes care of the two closest to me. But then, then… there’s my friends. I’ve touched before on the fact that I have had situational depression. It is nothing compared to what they go through, their struggles. I have no idea what they go through every day, one still in the midst of it and one keeping the delicate balance of not sliding back in.

There really is only one way to try and express my feelings about it. As a person who loves someone living with mental illness.

It took three tries.

Three.

A magical number.

Poem 1:

Tell the demons I’m here to stay,
There is no playground
For them to frolic
I locked the gate-
Threw away the key.
I smiled at each
And every
single
one
as my blade
shaped by love
Conviction
Strength
Love
Friendship

Pierced them
One
by
bloody
one

Until all heed
My battle cry
Be gone!

Yah, I loved that poem. Kick ass, it is. It’s also patently false. I cannot see, feel or fight their demons for them. It’s what I’d love to do. But I can’t fight their battles. They have to fight them on their own. No matter how much it kills those of us that love them.

Poem#2

I will hold the sword
as you ready for battle
I will hold the line
as tightly as I can
while you don your
armour piece by piece
Don’t forget the heart
Never forget the heart

I will walk with you by your side,

step
by
bloody
step
through the garden of your demons.
Although~
I feel helpless
and afraid
for this is a battle
you must fight

Why can’t I slay
               them for you?

I will stand beside you offering what I may.

This second one feels truer than the first, but it is also a pretty lie. We can’t walk with them, can’t help in so many ways. I can’t make the fear and depression go away even if I’m right there with them. It feels like there is no way at all to  do anything to help our loved ones. We want the battle to be fought and won, but that’s not how it works.
But there is something we can do. Even though it kills us. We, the nurturers, the mothers, made by God to help…. It feels so often as if we are failing them, failing ourselves.  But we’re not…

Poem #3 Sojourn

I cannot wield the sword
To destroy your demons
I cannot walk this mile
In your shoes…

Nor any other.

The tangled leaves blowing
Through your depression
Are a mystery to me.

So I sit here,
Quietly,
Holding a candle
That it might…

Maybe…

Possibly…

Send a glow of warmth
On your cold sojourn back.

I love you, my friends. I’ll try to keep lighting that candle: whether it’s with notes or phone calls or visits. I will always have a candle going for you.

© 2015 Wynelda Ann Deaver All Rights Reserved

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6 thoughts on “Little Boys, Elderly Parents & Friends with Depression

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