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Monday, November 19, 2018

The Grace In Nightmares, Poetry Is Therapy

The Grace in Nightmares

When darkness grows
A night without stars
When billows of fear
Utter notes of despair
When the fright of the night
Does not offer a care
To suffer a dream to a nightmare

Till a mind of grief
Remembers the Light
Even flickers of hope
Shine the stars back in night
He delights once again
In the moon’s stubborn fight
To reflect the sun’s enduring might

Breathe in the mists of lavender
Rest by the waters so still
Sleep in meadows of pastures green
Away from the vulture’s kill
Where the Light at last
Snuffs out the fright
And restores the soul
In mercy’s sight

(Copyright, 2018 by Deborah L. Alten)

Dad endured yet another seizure last night. As I nursed him back to "normal" I was reminded how fragile life is. How the years can betray us, stealing a youth we might not even remember.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.  ~1 Corinthians 3:7-9

I sat with him for a while, asking him questions till his words made sense. He didn’t want to go to the ER. I don’t blame him. We just wind up with more drugs that give him nightmares.

We were told to double up on a certain drug after four weeks. It triggered that nightmare, so in my finite wisdom I made the decision to trim down the amount of meds. Not down to nothing, just down to where we were a few days ago. In other words, we’re not doubling up on anything.

As the evening wore on he tried to describe his nightmare. I told him not to worry and stop trying to remember the horrible details, but instead, remember to pray. He nodded that he understood. I said a short prayer and he managed a smile.

Knowledge is power, and with wisdom comes peace. A little bit of Frankincense on his temple, behind the ears, and a drop in his palms so he could breathe it in, made him feel a ton better. Then drops of mellow lavender in the diffuser and he laid down his head on the pillow and closed his eyes. He attempted one more time to tell me his awful dream and I reminded him it wasn’t real and to call on the name that he's preached for 40 years: Jesus. The One who would never leave him, especially in the dark. And I assured him we were here for him, too. 

“Yes,” he said, "I know," and this time closed his eyes for the rest of the night.

This morning he said he thought he might die in the night. I redirected the conversation to how wonderful heaven must be. It brought him comfort. We figured he would be 20 years old again, or thereabouts. That made him smile with raised eyebrows. He opened his mail (all ads, which he enjoys now) before eating his oatmeal. It seemed he had weathered the nightmare.

 Oh to shed our earthly bodies and fly!

A Caregiver’s Prayer

Oh Lord, that you might give me peace to receive wisdom, your wisdom, so that I might give them the right care—to make the right decisions in the chaos of the moment. Give me rest and health, knowledge and empathy, and a sound mind to not only give care but receive self-care.

Beloved Caregiver

When the river wild
Runs a course you don’t know
When the streams rush over your soul
When the shore seems too far
Too far away
Come hide in the shadows
On wings of prayer
Fly away to a land unknown

(Copyright, 2018 by Deborah L. Alten)

Don't Forget to do Black Friday with Us
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Video Poetry for Mom and Dad

Dear God

Though the season is dark
You are the Maker of the Sunrise

Though my path is long and dry
You lead me to green pastures

Though sin wars against me
You whisper through dreams

Though peace is elusive
You bring it to me

And though I feel like dying
You give eternal life

(Copyright, 2018 by Deborah L. Alten)

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