Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Seen



Invisible to the outer world,
they live tucked away in a house
on a quiet street:
one bed-bound, with no eyes,
one whose body is a trunk, with curled limbs,
one who suffers countless seizures a day.
They are non-verbal, but with thoughts
and feelings and senses of humour
(like the one who cracked up laughing
at the staff's conversation one day.
"What do you think they're thinking?"
"They're thinking we sound like
freaking idiots!")

48 years one has lived
trapped inside his body,
having to be cared for,
the same routine
day after endless day,
cared for like a body,
with very little attempt to connect,
to draw forth a response,
to recognize there is a being,
living as best it can,
like a tree, un-watered,
within.

Until she came,
laughing and golden,
insisting his life could be
more than this.

Until the night,
when she looked into his eyes
and told him something
he had never heard:
"I see you. I see you.
And you are beautiful,"
and watched a single tear roll
down his face.


My daughter, of whom I am very proud, works in a home that cares for half a dozen severely handicapped individuals, largely invisible and unknown to the outer world, whom she loves with compassion, warmth and empathy. She is the golden one in the poem. She is also the one who made the funny comment.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Invisibility

16 comments:

  1. I just watched the movie Awakenings. xo

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  2. How proud you must be of your daughter and rightly so. Oh if only the world was full of folk as compassionate as she, what a wonderful place it would be.
    I do realise that those we label as handicapped are regarded by ?most as lesser beings somehow undeserving of respect or rights to dignity.
    Just under a month ago my hubs suffered a stroke and as he carries the dementia label, his consultant spoke over him and about him as if he didn't exist and made 'decisions' about his 'care' before even meeting/ignoring him.
    Oh how I stood up for my husband - but in a very polite way. It did the trick, my husband lives and is recovering.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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    1. I so often wonder how it feels, what a person must think, to be spoken over like that, as if they were objects. What I see is my daughter slowly influencing the other staff by her example. I am so glad you were there to speak up for your husband. Always nice to see you, Anna.

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  3. Your poem brought tears to my eyes...and a lump in my throat. So many are not seen, the people I saw in the ER in Houston, hurting, unseen by the people who were supposed to care for them. I think there should be a volunteer organization, that could sit with these people, get them what they need, hold their hands. The woman I see regularly begging at the grocery store...it is so sad. Thank you for writing this poem, and thank you to your Daughter, a wonderful person.

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  4. Just a little response can go a long way, let alone a conversation. They would not expect much but a little care is all they need. Your daughter is doing a noble act of responsibility which will be aptly rewarded. It works that way!

    Hank

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  5. Your daughter learned her compassion by seeing it in you. I have been the recipient of yours, so doubly appreciate hers. Thank you both for this post,

    Elizabeth

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  6. Thank heavens there are carers like your daughter. This is beautiful tribute to both your daughter and those whose lives and suffering are unknown to us.

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  7. Blessings on you daughter and thank you for bring the foundation

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  8. Your daughter has wonderful sensitivity, Sherry. It seems she is her mother's daughter in this regard. I think we ALL want to be seen by others.....your daughter gave him the best gift that could be given to a person!!

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  9. Wow! The detail! For a minute I thought the breath of life was you. Your daughter will realize you see her, if she didn't know already. Bravo! This is an important poem!

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  10. You must be so proud of your daughter Sherry. I would say the compassion comes from you. I have worked with a charity for people with disability and know how challenging her job must be. Kudos to you both.

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  11. She is truly golden Sherry. Ah she did make a difference in his life. This is how light brightens up a dark, brooding world and makes all shine.

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  12. I am so overwhelmed by emotion after reading this beautiful poem, Sherry ❤️ your daughter is kind and noble. God bless you both ❤️


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  13. wow so touching, so moving
    "I see you. I see you.
    And you are beautiful,"
    and watched a single tear roll
    down his face."
    To be able to connect is gold and makes a soul come alive. Your daughter is a very special person :)

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