Friday, July 8, 2011

Between Daybreak and Hellfire


He walked
the fine line
between daybreak
and hellfire,
and had fallen.

At seventeen,
he was
in the
psych ward,
falling apart.
They labeled it
"mental illness".
His handle
was a frightening one
and a harsher
reality:
schizophrenia.
With that word,
his world
fell apart
for a time.

But I only heard
suffering,
brilliance
and Truth.

A truer truth
than I had
ever heard
the "normal" people
speak.

For what is "normal"
but a perceived
and limited
interpretation
of what it is
to be Alive.

Remembering
the sunny, laughing
child he was
sometimes
makes me sad,
for the large,
fractured
middle-aged man
who now lives
in a group "home",
dreaming of a future
that is passing by.

He composes 
his classical etudes
and brilliancies
by the hour
for an audience
of one
at the other end
of the phone.

How few people
can compose
a glorious classical
composition,
on a whim,
of a Sunday
afternoon,
or toss off
a Shakespearean sonnet
just because
he feels
like it?

He is happy
with his life.
Despite all,
he is happy.
He sees
the small gifts
that each day
brings.

He brings gifts
to those
around him:
his sunny smile,
his "Say yes, yes, yes
to Life!"

He feels he is
enlightened,
and I won't argue
with that.
Compared to most,
he is
enlightened,
and he so
lightens my life
with laughter,
and gratitude,
his poems,
his music,
his steadfast
and unwavering
love.

He told me once,
"Thanks for
standing by me.
Thanks for
never turning away."

That would
have been
  impossible.

That sweet
blue-eyed boy
I knew
is still in there.
He still
launches himself
across the room
to hug me
like he did
when he
was three.

He's still
the sweetest boy
I ever knew.






9 comments:

  1. Oh, Sherry, this is the most beautiful picture of mother and son. Sons and daughters DO drift into mental illness, and how family reacts is a crucial part of the young person's ability to say, "I love my life. I am who I am meant to be."

    God love you for posting this, Sherry, on a subject near and dear to my heart. You should submit to Awakenings Magazine!

    Love, Amy

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  2. A loving tribute to someone gifted and is fortunate to have you to share with and as you have pointed out, he is a gift to you as well. Thank You!

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  3. Oh Sherry, this is so beautiful! It really touched me. x

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  4. Rather sad but the spirit of the boy is admirable. Despite his illness he seems to shine through. I really agree with you on this-
    "For what is "normal"
    but a perceived
    and limited
    interpretation
    of what it is
    to be Alive."

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  5. Sherry this brought tears to my eyes. I can relate so closely to your story, on a very personal level. I to have a son with a mental illness & he has a creative mind also! Beautiful Post & a beautiful blog. Might stay a while & have a look around!

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  6. He is. And it sounds like he knows what most people seek.

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  7. Sherry, I too have one of these gifted people in my life. And thank the Universe for her and what she has taught me on a very elemental level. Creative and bright beyond measure. I'm glad he has you.

    Elizabeth

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  8. I like Elizabeth's comment. He is gifted ... that can be understood within your poem. And I sense that you know that he blesses your life.

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  9. Sherry, this is a wonderful poem of the love of mother for son and son for mother....despite challenges. He definitely sounds gifted in wonderful ways.

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