Saturday, December 31, 2016


Flee from all the voices,
Find a nice, safe, warm place,
Into the inner sanctuary,
Make sure to bar the gate.

Slam the door closed,
And draw all the shades,
Sink deep into my chair,
Close my eyes, accept my fate.

It is peaceful in my sanctum,
Or so it would seem,
Not a tortured soul around,
Though they still haunt my dreams.

No pressure, strain, or pleading,
But this is less than fulfilling,
My mind grows numb, closes,
My soul this is killing.

Focus solely on self,
As I am told it is the goal,
But it feels not quite right,
And this takes a steep toll.

For I still hear the wailing,
Anguished pleas of the dying,
Hands over my ears,
But it will not stop the crying.

At the gate, they beseech me,
“Let me in, meet my needs.”
Someone must help them,
But must it be me?

Hold tight to my old life,
Where all was in order,
Clear goals and bright future,
With no frailties was I bothered.

I long for what I once had,
Soft and pain-free existence,
Want to shut out the madness,
But it seems useless, this resistance.

Closing the door on this calling,
Once felt secure, a good decision,
But the truth crashes down,
Not a haven – but a prison.

Locked myself in tightly,
And thereby sealed my fate,
What once seemed so wise,
Is revealed as a grave mistake.

No one can enter in,
But neither can I escape,
Must loosen these chains,
My cruel destiny reshape.

These people, how they need me,
There is no one else,
No white knight to save them,
Must abandon thoughts of self.

But just outside the door,
There is pain beyond measure.
Can I face it, endure it,
This storm I must weather?

Close the door on my old life
And leave it all behind?
Will it be there should I want it?
Questions race through my mind.

Cracked the door in the past,
Peered into the darkness,
Ventured a few footsteps,
But, oh, the vast hardships!

The path I must take,
Leading out to the masses,
Is fraught with great sacrifice,
Past trials it surpasses.

In the end, it is clear,
Cannot ignore my purpose,
Must pass over the threshold,
Keep my fears below the surface.

This new life, it frightens me,
Must cast-off all I once knew,
It will be filled with ample burden,
But, no doubt, with joy and beauty, too.

My body does fail me,
But my soul, free it flies,
Once I unbar the gate,
Through the door – fear subsides.

My new life awaits me,
Must embrace it, now I’m sure,
My old life leads to death,
So, I close the door.

Close the door on my past,
Leave my old life behind,
No final glances or regrets,
My harrowed soul no longer blind.


*Note - I wrote this for my Gastroparesis community/groups and share it here as an explanation of the above writing.  My community means the world to me, and I am grateful for all the blessings I have been given:

I never make New Year's resolutions, but I do generally take a look back at the year and evaluate where I have been and where I want to go. It has been a rough year. We have lost so many to this cruel disease, and, of course, we still have no cure. But I believe we have made much progress. For the first time ever, we have an official national Gastroparesis Awareness Month, and we have engaged in all sorts of efforts designed to spread awareness and information and to care for one another.

In any case, I want to share a personal message with you. I am not comfortable doing this, but I am going to do it nonetheless. I have been blessed by knowing all of you. You all thank me frequently, and you are kind to me beyond measure. You tell me I have done so much for you, but I do not think you understand how much you have done for me. You may not believe this, but I have never been a particularly warm person. I have always cared about people -- but sort of in theory and at a distance, if you know what I mean. As a matter of fact, I have struggled greatly over the years to simply tell my family members and those very close to me that I love them and share hugs and such with them.

I am not sure I will ever get to the point where I can say I am grateful for this illness, but I will say that I have learned that some good can come of it. I hate what this disease has done to my body and all of the things it has taken from me. But I can truly say that I am a happier person today than I was three years ago. This disease is physically devastating, but it has been good for my soul. My sole focus now is on helping others -- mostly through the support groups. It has given me purpose and meaning, and it has given me greater empathy and understanding. It has also allowed me to open up to others in a way that I never would have before. It has taught me that there are others out there who desire to help, and that I sometimes have to be humble enough to let them help. It has taught me greater dependence upon God and has allowed me to focus on what is really important in life. Lastly, it has taught me people can make a difference in the lives of so many others.

When I first started here, I thought I would come online, gather a little information, and then be gone again. But you all have opened my eyes to another existence -- need beyond compare, but compassion beyond compare as well. I have argued with God about this many times. I have told Him in no uncertain terms that I am not the person for this job and that I cannot do it -- and He says to me time and time again, "Oh, but you are and you will do it." I have told God off on numerous occasions as well. I have ranted and raved about how this was pointless, how I am only one person, how we do not have the numbers, or the power, or the money to accomplish anything. He allows me to rant, and then He says something like, "If you are finished now, I believe you have a few Facebook messages to get to, and that petition is not going to sign itself."

So, here I stand... and I am thankful. I am thankful for God's wisdom and patience, for all of you and the kindness you continue to show me, and for the chance to ring in 2017. I wrote the blog below to express some of this struggle (my personal struggle). I do not know if anyone else will find it meaningful, but I share it with you just in case. Love you all very much!


Saturday, December 3, 2016


No one genuinely sees me,
Not my depths, way deep down
Knows anything of my heartaches,
Of the chains by which I am bound.

Choose not to share my frailties,
What good would baring them do?
Focus on those who are aching,
But I have a beating heart, too.

No matter the amount of effort,
For some, it is never quite enough,
Cannot please the scoffers,
Cannot quench their thirst for blood.

Labor until I’m bone-weary,
But my work is never done,
How dare they judge my motives
Or put words upon my tongue!

False compassion and lies of love,
Will never fall from my lips,
Though some trickle words so sweetly,
With poison they most certainly drip.

Think that they have deceived me,
But my eyes are open, unobscured,
For I will willingly be bled dry,
For the cause of those I love and serve.

True compassion has no limits,
Does not judge, but to all extends,
Holds back its biting and gnashing,
Means do not justify an end.

I answer not to men,
But only to Him above,
He who formed and shaped me,
Who, alone, weighs the depths of my love.

My path is set before me,
And though they may try to distract,
Each footstep is directed,
For me, there’s no turning back.