Stream of Consciousness Prayer

Lord, 
You taught the sun to shine so bright,
to hide beneath the hills and trees at night.
You made all things with a purpose,
You gave us each a soul,
and, Jesus, only You can make me whole.

I spent a long time struggling in vain
to make sense of existence based on chance,
a universe without a God to tell the skies to rain,
where chromosomes and DNA declare us all the same,
and love is the effect of raw endorphins to the brain,
and I am no creation of God’s hands.

Those hands that hold and love and give,
hands that curled in pain
as He, by His children, was tortured and slain,
so that sinners like me could live,
and choose to misuse and hate and abuse
and refuse His very name.
We hurt Him and aggrieve Him,
but He loves us all the same.

Jesus, I’ll know You’ll be with me
for whatever comes.
Like sentinels,
my soul waits for the day You’ll call me Home.

Amen.

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Claudia

Claudia,
I’m writing you a letter from the front pew.
The people around me are crying.
I look at them,
and I wonder whether I should be crying, too.

Everyone expects me to be the one girl
monopolizing the Kleenex box
as she tries to write a coherent, cohesive letter
to a friend who changed her life,
a tear-stained, tell-all, pour-your-heart-out letter
saying everything I never told you.
But mostly, just to say “Thank you.”

I think my dry eyes are a product
of my belief that,
at any given moment,
we’ll all turn to see your smiling face,
hear your every-bit-as-smiling voice,
and dry our eyes.
That’s just the effect you’ve always had on people,
Claudia.

And now I’ve joined the weeping bunch,
because I’m remembering.
I know that voice, I’ve seen that smile,
I remember your scent
and the exact tightness of your hugs.

I was thirteen when I met you.
You were sitting in a canvas chair,
you wore a bandana
because you didn’t have hair.
I was skinny and pale and depressed,
I’d barely left my room in months.
But when I talked to you,
I somehow knew
that at least one person cared.

Claudia, you said
how amazed you were
to see the changes in me.
I saw them, too,
and I saw that you had hair now.
Dark, thick curls like mine.
I thanked God—
—something I had started doing more often lately.
I really was different.

I never saw you lose your hair again.

I don’t even remember the last time I saw you.

I never told you that you saved me,
but you didn’t care whose handiwork it was:
you were just happy to see me happy,
and that made me happy to know you.

I think that’s why,
right now,
at your Mass,
I’m more grateful for you
than sad about missing you.

Mourning & Poetry

So, today was kind of hard.  I went to my grandma’s house for the first time since she died of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  It happened about a month ago, and in a lot of ways, it still hasn’t sunken in for me.  My family hasn’t really talked about it too much since the funeral.  I mean, I understand that we’re trying to move on, but I haven’t really had time to grieve.  There’s just been so much going on, and I’ve been doing my best to comfort my mom and younger sister.  They’re both so strong usually, and seeing them so broken up, I’ve just wanted to be the crying shoulder.  I never shed a tear until a few weeks later, when I went away for a week to High-LI.  I broke down completely.

Anyway, I wrote this short poem today.  It’s not my best, but I think it pretty well describes the pain of dealing with goodbyes.  For me, at least.

If heaven wasn’t far away,
I’d tell you, “I’ll come visit.”
If goodbyes weren’t so bittersweet,
we’d say it with a smile.
If love could always find a way,
death wouldn’t be the limit.
If forever wasn’t so damn far,
I’d just close my eyes.
I’d be with you in a little while.

Please Don’t Go.

I can’t stand to think about the places you’re going.
I hope the trees are tall there,
wherever you’re going.
I’m gonna miss you the way I miss summer
after the frost’s set in,
braid my trembling fingers
as I wait for you in the wind.

I’ll wait for you till my knees give out
and my toes go numb
and my hair falls out.
I’ll wait for you till you come back to me.

And I’m sure it’s warm there,
wherever you’re going.