Saturday, September 22, 2012

Unexpected Gift

When you were little,
sunny-natured little blue-eyed boy,
heart brimming with kindness
and sweetness,
so full of laughter,
you looked at me in your innocence
with eyes that looked within,
recognizing me, soul to soul,
as if you remembered me 
from lifetimes past,
and you had found me 

I never could have foreseen
schizophrenia at seventeen,
a diagnosis that devastated my heart,
and set you on a decade 
of intense suffering.

It set us both
on a journey,
one that we talked 
our way through,
each on one end of the phone,
trying to untangle
your labyrinth.

The most unexpected thing--
that it  also brought us gifts:
of communication, acceptance
and unconditional love,
that we might not have found
so completely,
along any other pathway.

manicdaily, hosting  at dVerse today, set our prompt as the Unexpected today. I could have written a thousand different poems as almost every DAY something unexpected happens on the road I am traveling:) But here is one, a gift that came disguised, at first, as suffering.


  1. Lovely capture of the gifts of communication, acceptance and unconditional love, in the midst of illness and uncertainty ~ I felt this very clearly when my mom thought she was dying...everyone came together to give her hope and love ~ Luckily she survived, but we are closer now because of this experience ~

  2. Very very poignant poem. Sometimes schizophrenics can be very astute - in certain ways - of course, in others they can be completely off the mark - it is such a strange difficult disease. I found this very moving. k.

  3. It is a hellish disease, one of Cathie's brothers was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, he wouldn't even use an electric radio alarm clock because he said 'they' would be sending their brainwashing messages through the wires while he was sleeping. It is a dreadful illness for family and friends to have to try to understand and to cope with, let alone the person affected. But, I can see you have allowed yourself to learn and to 'grow' with and from it all together with your boy.

  4. Sometimes gifts come in the most unexpected forms. Sometimes we have to look hard for the gifts...but they are there. A poignant write, Sherry.

  5. Yes, suffering is a great teacher, of love, of compassion, and of how much more we have within us than we think we do...thanks for sharing your story, Sherry, so movingly.

  6. We had one in the office before. There were rare occasions when he missed his medication and he acted strange. There were commotions and those were trying times then. Nicely Sherry!


  7. Is that him in the photo? There's the fence! For real!

    "each on one end of the phone,
    trying to untangle
    your labyrinth."

    I like how this is a letter addressed to the young one, that the narrator addresses him directly and honestly, in a visual that can be framed, hung up, and looked at again and again.

  8. great take on the prompt...sometimes our greatest hardships will be our greatest victories....a hard story but i live all that you have gleened through it...beautiful sherry...

  9. wonderful poem. i am happy something this serious brought you so close together.
    thank you for sharing!

  10. Beautifully told Sherry - I don't think I realized before that you've been on this particular journey ... it sounds like you've handled it the way you do everything, with grace - well-penned poem also.

  11. Heartfelt and moving. A journey pressed upon, the love shines through. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. What a positive view of a condition that has such a great impact! So glad you shared this with your poetic talent, Sherry!

  13. This just oozes love, Sherry. You can see past the mental illness to the boy inside. Beautiful.

  14. How very fortunate that your lives intertwined...again...and that you both were given such a gift of love in spite of the painful challenges. How sweet he had your eyes to see him with, Sherry... Thanks for sharing your relationship...a very special one!

  15. one of my nephew's is schizophrenic and it is a heartbreaking disease. i'm glad that it wasn't all bad.

  16. oh i can imagine how difficult that was but then also wonderful that you found that path and it brought you closer together..sometimes our greatest challenges bear the greatest blessings as well

  17. Sherry, your reflections on the child, the way you looked and recognised each other, your unspoken wishes for him as he grew, your empathy and love all come through here. It is a desperate disease and often the sufferer has no insight, thinks they are OK, when it is evident that they really are not.

    How we would all wish for the gifts ... your unexpected things.

    A most moving poem.

  18. Touching this disease several times in my life, my heart went out to you and him in this poem. Thank you for the photo.
    Well penned.

  19. In the uk there is a program started in the 1960's call 7 up that follows the life of a group of children drawn from all classes every 7 years from when they were 7. They are now in their 50's. One of the children goes on to develop a similar illness, we see him turn from a bright chatty social child, to a sullen teenager and then an isolated withdrawn adult in his 20s and 30s. At this period he lives alone in a caravan on a hill in rural mountain Scotland. Yet he gradually gets drawn back so by the time he is in his 50s he is a councillor in London active in politics. The programme like the poem shows that nothing need stay the same as long as a door is kept open.

  20. Wow! What a beautiful poem, yes, sometime adversity shows us our own heroism, we didn't know we had. Introduces us to a different path, one we could not have imagined.

  21. beautifully told, Sherry - & i'm amazed time and again by the gifts that come to me disguised as suffering...

  22. that love most definitely shines through every word of this lovely, moving poem.

  23. What a great way to embrace a situation that could have torn both of you apart and to pieces. Bravo!

  24. P.S. - My healing side rises to ask if the oxytocin levels are being maintained. There are ways other than through nasal sprays... If this has any interest, let me know. If not, I will keep counsel to myself.

  25. Beautiful poem. A wonderful and thoughtful post.

  26. Sherry, I didn't know this about your son. I can only imagine the ups and downs as you accompanied him on his journey. So glad that you chose to perceive the good, and that you can be grateful.

  27. Tried to become a follower of Sherry Blue Sky but failed. Not being a well honed computer tech person, I'm at a loss. Do I have to join Facebook to follow Sherry Blue Sky? If so, twill be my first & last effort to follow. If not, please see my blog: & allow me to receive your poetry by email:

  28. I admire your strength and courage in dealing with such a life changing illness. Your poem is so touching and one can feel the abundant love you have for your son in those words. Exceptional writing!

  29. What a loving and beautiful tribute. Truly.

  30. I so appreciate this post~ There is beauty in the fragments, we just have to look close to embrace them.
    You both are so courageous and this has bonded you further~ I too love that you have embraced the goodness in your journey, together~ :D

  31. Moved! I am sorry but i m speechless, reading a poem like this is new to me, the courage you have shown must be contained in every relationship:) I am younger to you but still would like to say "God Bless you both" Take care dear :)


  32. so amazing, Sherry. Your verse narrative and the story you tell, alike.
    Untangling is rough work, best done in tandem.
    Love to you --


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