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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emily Dickinson could have written this poem for my family

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Lately this poem has been rattling around in my head...it's an old favorite of mine but it seems very relevant to my life these days. With thanks to Emily Dickinson for her inspiration, this post is for my very special family. Each of you live each day with hope perched in your soul. You're my heroes!

  • For my daughter with FASD who thought she would never ever overcome her memory challenges...but her memory and her cognitive language skills continue to improve through her sheer grit and determination.

  • For my son who thought his PTSD and anxiety would never let him pass his driving permit test...or recite a poem in front of a class...but he has done both in the last couple of weeks. He's very proud of himself, say he likes the way his successes feel.

  • For my son who thought he would never be able to return to school and be successful after he was diagnosed as bipolar...but he's in school, working hard and looking to the future. No return trips to the hospital (he was hospitalized 4 times last year), going to therapy and social groups, participating in mentoring and responding well to meds...huge change from a year ago when hope was in short supply. I'm proud of you, my boy!

  • For my daughter who thinks she will never survive AP Statistics, AP History, AP English, Honors Chemistry, and a host of other things that are piled on her plate in her senior year...but she's doing it with grace and style.

  • For my son with FASD who has struggled with language and thought he would never learn to read...but his language skills are growing and he is reading to me each day after school. He's making me so proud!!

  • For my DH who wondered if he'd ever get a second chance at marriage and kids, He's been married to me for close to 20 years (lucky devil!) and is a great Dad to 5 teenagers. The poor man needs all the hope he can get.

As for me, I wonder daily if I have the strength/patience to give these 5 teenagers everything they need to face their challenges...and if there's enough caffeine in the world to sustain me until they're all educated and raised. Here's to hope...and lots of espresso!

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)