Sunday, April 10, 2011

After A While

April is National Poetry Month.  I am dedicating this poem to my beautiful daughters who have had suffered so much loss this past year.  They are strong women who are dealing with much besides the loss of their dearly beloved sister.  This poem speaks to me about them and all they are learning.

Keicha, Julie, Amy
April, 2010
After A While You Learn
By Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid- flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

Julie's Tree

Planted Summer 2010
First bloomed 
April 8, 2011
On what would have been Julie's 35th Birthday


Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Beautiful poem! (A patient who had struggled a lot in life and in therapy gave that poem to me in a frame when she was finishing treatment. I have it on my desk as a reminder of her and of the struggles we all face.) Thank you for sharing it today! And my thoughts are with you and your daughters as you continue to grow and live with your heartbreaking loss.

Lynilu said...

My daughter is just home from a weekend women's retreat. It was very helpful to her, and I'm so thankful for that. I'm glad you posted this poem. It has long been a favorite of mine. I'm sending it to her. I think it will help her, also.

Perhaps helping my Terri with her struggle will, in one way, honor your Julie on this birthday anniversary.


Linda Myers said...

One of my favorite poems. I relied upon its truth for a number of tough years. Now I appreciate it.

Linda Reeder said...

Life can throw us some hard times and some difficult lessons, that's for sure. You and your family have made it through this year. Good things will come.

DJan said...

I love that poem, the picture, the beautiful tree. You are a strong woman, inspiring in so many ways. Thank you for this lovely post.

#1Nana said...

I love that the tree bloomed on her's the universe talking to you!

Kay said...

This is truly a beautiful poem. I've never seen it before and it truly speaks from and to the heart. We do have much to learn and with each day I see how much more there is to grow. With all that you have suffered, you are teaching us how to learn and grow, Sally. Julie's tree certainly bloomed quickly. I hope its beauty will always keep Julie's spirit close to you.

becca said...


Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

That's a very insightful poem.


Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt poem. And what a gorgeous blog you have. I'm a fan.

Grandmother said...

Yes, thank you for posting some of the inspiration that got you through the unimaginable pain from the loss of a child. I like the poem's reminder that with every good bye we learn.

Arkansas Patti said...

I have not seen that poem before but it may become a favorite. I hope its message brings you and your daughters some comfort.
How wonderful that the tree bloomed on Julie's birthday.

Olga said...

This was beautiful. Touching and so tender.

Bossy Betty said...

Lovely, inspiring post and poem. My condolences on your loss....

KathyA said...

Beautiful poem. And what grace made that tree bloom on Julie's birthday?

Joanne said...

The poem is beautiful. Heart felt and full of love. What a beautiful gift, God Kiss, sign that the tree bloomed on your Daughter's birhday. It's almost as if to say...I'm here and I'm ok. Blessings and prayers, Joanne

Nat said...

A beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss...

mrsnesbitt said...

I have just come across your blog - and notice I have been reading it for over an hour! Strong and emotional. Lovely. (((HUGS))) Dx

gayle said...

Beautiful daughters, beautiful poem, beautiful tree and beautiful YOU!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gorgeous poem with so much heartfelt meaning; I am sorry about the loss of your daughter --but oh, how wonderful that the tree bloomed on her birthday.. She's talking to you and your daughters --saying that she is fine now. I pray that all of you will remember the good times and begin this coming year with lots of happiness knowing that you have each other...

May God Bless You.

Mare said...

I was given that poem in the eighties when divorce was the issue. I can see how the poem gives insight and comfort in many ways. My thoughts and prayers to you and all of your family.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Oh, my, the poem is beautiful, but I am so sorry that you lost your daughter and that your girls lost their sister. It makes me cry!

Thanks so much for stopping by and becoming a follower. I am your newest one too.

Have a blessed day, and it is so nice to meet you.

Kath M.

Terri Tiffany said...

Hugs to you. What a beautiful family you have and what a tribute as well.

Maggie May said...

That is so moving and a really beautiful poem.
We really don't know what tomorrow will bring but we can enjoy today.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

LC said...

Thank you for introducing me to that poem. And the tree blooming on Julie's birthday, how beautiful. This post was such a moving celebration of all your daughters.

Kimberly Kaye said...

A lovely piece of line-breaking. Thank you for this. Thank you for the gift of your daughters, and daughters who appreciate words.

Deb Shucka said...

It's hard to say which is more beautiful - the poem or your daughters (actually, I'd go with the girls). I know this must be a hard time for you all, and hope you find comfort in each other's company and the sweet pink blossoms of Julie's tree. Sending hugs, prayers and blessings your way.

rosaria williams said...

What a beautiful poem, Sally, and so appropriate to share on such an occasion. Hugs.