Beginning with the gift of life from my brother Kevin, I began sharing my journey through the blood and marrow transplant process. A mailing list given over to sharing my poems, suddenly became a daily journal of challenges, victories, set backs, and lots of memories rushing in to fill the long hours spent waiting, praying, fighting, crying, and shivering against a burning rash. It was not an easy decision to share so much, both because the content could not be more personal and because I feared none would care about such a personal journey into the past, mixed with the daily challenges of the BMT process.
Imagine my surprise when my friends and family asked me to continue! I nearly ran and hid away in my erratic attic -- my dusty, musty mind. However, poking about in there has proven both useful and surprising for me, and sharing some of what I have found has helped clarify my responses to daily challenges and changes. Viewed through the new eyes of a soul that takes each new day as a gift from God, each new breath as a gift from my brother, and each moment as a treasure to be shared -- those bags of dusty old memories and those many mirrors in my mind demand I consider sharing them. This poem, my first in many long months, describes my decision to share.
I ran among the mirrors in my mind,
And fearing any inadvertent glance
Would touch my eye, or else that I should find,
Another presence watching me by chance,
So suddenly suspicious and afraid,
Blind panic robbed my reason and my wit;
Until by dusty bags of thoughts delayed,
I chose a smaller one and sat on it...
While sitting on the bag, as still as stone,
I calmed myself down, as I knew I must.
I'd always felt as though I were alone,
When shuffling among cobwebs and dust,
When peeking into mirrors old and new,
When sorting through my musty memories,
When seeking shadows, hoping for a view
Down into why they grow like a disease.
I pondered in the hazy, silent gloom,
What caused me both to startle, and to run
Around within my ancient storage room:
The feeling that a new change had begun!
It happened when I opened up a door,
And shared the contents of my dusty bags.
Then opening some windows, I shared more,
By dusting off my mirrors with old rags.
As I discover memories long sought,
And search among them with a focus small,
Assessing if the recollections caught
Within them should be shared with one and all;
Then having shared so many recently,
Among my family and many friends,
I'll share whatever cleans up decently --
And hope and pray the sharing never ends.