Last Rose

Dear Grandfather,

I always wondered how I could belong in a family that was so, so cruel and so, so unlike me. I know most of my extended Asian family never accepted me. Even when I was going insane in my doctorate studies, it was never good enough. I remember their jealousy. How is it possible I achieve more academic success than their own children? They lashed out at me at every turn and constantly reminded me how terrible my life was as a graduate student.

There were many times where I felt like I did not have a family. The family on my mom’s side was nearly all gone, and all I had left was my dad’s side. I must be an anomaly. I must accept this, I thought.

But you were different. You made me feel like I belonged. I never once doubted that you loved me.

You were always so kind to me, to everyone, and you never spoke one cruel word to anyone. You were polite and delightful, even when someone was being difficult or rude. You never demanded money or hurt others to feel powerful.

You just loved all of us. That was your way.

You were a liberal genius and spoke three languages. You were sensitive, artistic, and above all, classy. Never feeling that you were any better than anyone else, yet who could forget your dapper, yet humble sophistication? Every grandchild agreed, your style was cool and unforgettable. Your gentle, smart manners left everyone with lingering joy.

I listened to them berate me, reminding me again of what a disappointment I was. Jeering at me for not making enough money to give to them to spend on clothes, gambling, lavish trips, and drugs, but demanding nothing from their own children. Laughing at me while I quietly sat next to your dead body and looked down.

I didn’t feel sad at all.

As soon as I saw you, I noticed your absence immediately. It was definitely your body, but you, Grandfather, were in the eternal elsewhere. And I just knew, it must be beautiful.

I felt happy. I knew you weren’t suffering anymore, and I knew you weren’t scared anymore. I knew right then and there, God would take you into his loving hands and reward you for the kindness with which you lived your life.

I am so sorry, Grandfather, I wasn’t able to say my last goodbye. I know it is a decision I will always regret for the rest of my life. Please forgive me.

As I placed a final rose upon your shoulder, I realized that you were the only paternal family member who never hurt me.

When we said our final goodbyes at the furnace, I could not restrain my grief. My parents and siblings sobbed, and I found myself surprised at my resolve to remain strong weakening.

Even though I knew you were okay, I selfishly knew I would miss you for the rest of my life.

We couldn’t help but love you and your beautiful presence.

My sudden emptiness continued even as night surrounded me. I felt a terrible despair.

But suddenly, I had a thought that gave me the will to start typing again.

Because someday, I know I will hear you call for me again and smile at me like you always did, even amongst a sea of frowns.

“Granddaughter!”

Thank you for giving me my beautiful family.

I understand where we came from now.

Say my name
So I will know you’re back, you’re here again
For a while

Oh let us share
The memories that only we can share
Together

Tell me about
The days before I was born
How we were as children

You touch my hand
These colors come alive
In your heart and in your mind

I cross the borders of time
Leaving today behind to be with you again

We breathe the air
Do you remember how you used to touch my hand?

You’re not aware
Your hands keep still
You just don’t know that I am here

It hurts too much
I pray now that soon you’ll release
To where you belong

You touch my hand
These colors come alive
In your heart and in your mind
I cross the borders of time
Leaving today behind to be with you again

Please say my name
Remember who I am
You will find me in the world of yesterday
You drift away again
Too far from where I am
When you ask me who I am

Say my name
These colors come alive
In your heart and in your mind
I cross the borders of time
Leaving today behind to be with you again

Say my name

-Sharon den Adel

 

Hardest Loss

I miss everything creative.

Writing, the piano, and art. And cooking and making crafts. These are things I have longed for during childhood and fit in very sparingly whenever I had free time.

And now I have to accept that I can’t do these at all anymore, ever.

What a cruel fate for the musician that wakes up with deaf ears, the dancer with one less foot, or in this case, the writer with no hands?

Or rather, touch.

I can type and that is a blessing, but it’s just so overwhelming… Even stranger, I find it hard to write about my chronic illness. You would think for a writer, it would be effortless, but the words are simply too painful to write.

Why? It’s not only a long and painful story, but one that has no ending. That’s what disturbs me the most.

It all has to end someday, right? I repeat that question to myself everyday.

At least, that’s how it goes in a story. How can I write about mine when it’s not finished yet?

I’m extremely surprised at myself. Looking back on my life, I can truly say that material possessions and money meant nothing to me. I made the right choices, and I can smile weakly at them, even though they led me down this path.

I used to think that creating was the very essence of me, and that losing it would be absolutely impossible. To some extent that is true, but I miss something else the most of all.

I miss the ability to just call someone up and have free time. I miss the ability to give someone a hug. I miss sitting next to someone on the couch. I miss, oddly enough, taking care of people.

It was rooted in my creativity, and I guess that’s why I misunderstood myself. I liked to cook, because I could cook for people and take care of them when they were sick. I loved entertaining people with the stories I created on a whim and hear them laugh with excitement. I liked decorating because it gave others security and a homey atmosphere of warmth. Even though in the past I could barely do these things because of the circumstances, I was happy to do them a little bit, rather then nothing at all.

What I miss most of all… is love.

Heyr Himna Smiour

Heyr himna smiður | Hear, Heavenly Creator (An Icelandic Hymn)

Heyr, himna smiður, hvers skáldið biður.
Komi mjúk til mín miskunnin þín.
Því heit eg á þig, þú hefur skaptan mig.
Eg er þrællinn þinn, þú ert drottinn minn.

Guð, heit eg á þig, að þú græðir mig.
Minnst þú, mildingur, mín, mest þurfum þín.
Ryð þú, röðla gramur, ríklyndur og framur,
hölds hverri sorg úr hjartaborg.

Gæt þú, mildingur, mín, mest þurfum þín,
helzt hverja stund á hölda grund.
Send þú, meyjar mögur, málsefnin fögur,
öll er hjálp af þér, í hjarta mér.

English Translation:

Listen, smith of the heavens, what the poet asks.
May you softly come unto me with your mercy.
So I call on thee, for you have created me.
I am thy servant; you are my Lord.

God, I call on thee to heal me.
Remember me, mild one, most we need thee.
Drive out, o king of suns, generous and great,
every human sorrow from the city of the heart.

Watch over me, mild one, most we need thee,
truly every moment in the world of men.
Send us, son of the virgin, good causes.
All aid is from thee, in my heart.

-Kolbeinn Tumason

Jesus, Take the Wheel

She was driving last Friday
On her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve

Going home to see her mama and her daddy
With the baby in the backseat

Fifty miles to go, and she was running low
On faith and gasoline

It’d been a long hard year

She had a lot on her mind, and she didn’t pay attention
She was going way too fast

Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass

She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn’t even have time to cry

She was so scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own

I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I’m on

Jesus, take the wheel

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop

She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat
Sleeping like a rock

And for the first time
in a long time
She bowed her head to pray

She said, I’m sorry for the way
I’ve been livin’ my life

I know I’ve got to change

So from now on tonight

Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I’m on

Oh, Jesus, take the wheel

Oh, I’m letting go
So give me one more chance

Save me from this road I’m on
From this road I’m on

Jesus, take the wheel

Oh, take it, take it from me

Oh, why, oh

-Carrie Underwood

A Million Reasons

Dear God,

I just need one good one to stay.

Sincerely,

C.

You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go
You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show
You’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

If I had a highway, I would run for the hills
If you could find a dry way, I’d forever be still

But you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay

Head stuck in a cycle, I look off and I stare
It’s like that I’ve stopped breathing, but completely aware
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

And if you say something that you might even mean
It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons

I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather

I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay

Baby, I’m bleedin’, bleedin’
Stay
Can’t you give me what I’m needin’, needin’
Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
But baby, I just need one good one
Good one, good one, good one, good one, good one

When I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all this worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away

But baby, I just need one good one, good one
Tell me that you’ll be the good one, good one
Baby, I just need one good one to stay

-Lady Gaga