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    Parker Owens
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  • 591 Words
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  • 32 Comments
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Traveling Notes - 1. Marking the Hours

For joy and grief, for happiness and tears, and for all that is love.


I sit here at my Mother's bedside.

 

 

She is terribly weak, needs to eat, but finds it is very hard to do. The hospital food does not make the task easier. We two amused ourselves by watching YouTube clips of Victor Borge, whom she very much enjoyed, and I fear I have lulled her to sleep with the sound of my voice, reading an online novel by W. Somerset Maugham. I could not find a 'cheery' book, as she wanted, but then, she had no suggestions, either, being tired out by the work of healing, poor dear.

Chuckles
and brief wan smiles
return as gentle ghosts
to a beloved face, ravaged and
deep-creased;
bright eyes
bid haunting welcome to old rooms,
cobwebbed, yet remembered
with glad, fading
spirits.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Sleep came
creeping on words
forgotten since college,
read to the room by the awkward

third son;
laughter
and shared humor pass the long hours
twixt meals and medicine,
the twin tools of

torture.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The North Carolina that I can see from the big window in Mom's room consists of a wide expanse of rambling hospital building, angles and planes of jumbled roofscape covered in a grey pebbled material, and a deep green wall of trees beyond. Above it all is a sky which starts out each morning as blue as any forget-me-not, but inevitably gives way to afternoon cumulus piled high like mountains of pillows.

 

The day's
collected heat
radiates from brickwork
in waves that greet massive piled
cloud ranks
tumbling
down steep, green, far-off mountainsides
with colors so vivid
to paint the sky
in tears.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Within the room, we have a motley collection of monitors and cords, though fewer than when I arrived. Still, the specialized hospital bed inflates and deflates itself flatulently, making minute adjustments and changes to try and ward off the bedsores and aches to which those immobilized by injury and recuperation are prey.

The rooms
adjacent swell
with high voiced beeps and tones,
playing soli against the ripieno
rising,
tutti,
nurses and staff playing their parts
in the brisk concerto
of organized
healing.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

I am glad Mom got a respite from the dull minimalist composition that is all she can hear. Mom, who takes an interest in everyone and everything around her, cannot help being bored without people with whom she may interact. She slept yesterday afternoon, and is sleeping now. Yesterday evening, my brother trotted out his iPhone, and called up my eldest brother, putting him on speakerphone. Then there was a call to some old friends, and a call home to those who did not make the trip with me. Mom seemed happy, and as animated as she has been in awhile.

 

Distant voices
present as lightning, sweet with blessings,
betray fond tears.

Love from those so far away
comes to hold the pain at bay;

Cheerful tidings,
welcome as unexpected rainbows,
assuage sadness.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

My brother and I sang old songs to her,
familiar as a favorite sweater,
and she fell asleep smiling.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

This is a hard trip. I cannot help thinking that the window for actual recovery is quite narrow.

 

Watchful is the weary fighter,
hard the mortal battle waged,
hold to love and living tighter,
so the hurt may be assuaged.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Sundown is often a hard time.

My brother will arrive soon,
and we will try to
keep mom's spirits up in song
until she can rest.

Comments are welcome, in all forms, and of all types. My deep thanks to AC Benus, for his encouragement and help.

Copyright © 2017 Parker Owens; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments



Dear Parker,

thanks for sharing this. I wish you and your family lots of strength! My thoughts are with you. Lyssa:hug:

  • Like 1
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44 minutes ago, wenmale64 said:

Parker,

My hopes and well wishes are with you and your family during this time.  You have written a heart felt tribute to Bless you  :hug:.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your kind hopes and wishes. 

  • Like 3
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Parker, this was beautiful. You had me in tears. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, and I hope your mom gets better. :hug:

  • Like 5
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8 minutes ago, Lyssa said:

Dear Parker,

thanks for sharing this. I wish you and your family lots of strength! My thoughts are with you. Lyssa:hug:

 

Thank you very much for looking at these items which marked my days. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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1 minute ago, Lisa said:

Parker, this was beautiful. You had me in tears. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, and I hope your mom gets better. :hug:

 

I am so very grateful you took the time to read these. These observations helped make some sense of the surreal experiences...

  • Like 3
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:hug::kiss:  I pictured everything so clearly.  The writing is impeccable and I'm so sorry you are going through all this. :(  :hug: 

  • Like 5
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 Thank you for this wonderful tribute. I'm very sorry for your family's situation. 
 You gave loving honor to a most wonderful gift in life. The bond we hold to our mother. 

  • Like 4
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1 hour ago, Valkyrie said:

:hug::kiss:  I pictured everything so clearly.  The writing is impeccable and I'm so sorry you are going through all this. :(  :hug: 

 

I'm glad you could see it, as I did. It's hardly impeccable, but it is true. It's just been difficult.

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23 minutes ago, BlindAmbition said:

 Thank you for this wonderful tribute. I'm very sorry for your family's situation. 
 You gave loving honor to a most wonderful gift in life. The bond we hold to our mother. 

 

Thank you for reading this. It is a very hard situation, a difficult place to be in. But you are right to call attention to life's great gifts and blessings.

  • Like 3
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This is a beautiful tribute to your love for your mother and the strength of you and your family.  It's hard to stay positive in the face of a loved one's pain but somehow we must soldier on because they need us to be strong.. :hug:  

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23 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

I stand in awe. You share so freely with us, both of your emotional life and your immense talent. As I mentioned in private, reading this material the first time put me in a similar room, facing similar hours, many years ago now with my father. 

 

You've inspired me to try Haibun for myself. Hugs, my friend.

 

To share may also be to connect; to reflect can also be to absorb from others. I am in awe if those who must bear the pain, and those who spend the hours in healing, in caring, and in bringing compassionate cheer. Thank you for your  encouragement.

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48 minutes ago, LitLover said:

This is a beautiful tribute to your love for your mother and the strength of you and your family.  It's hard to stay positive in the face of a loved one's pain but somehow we must soldier on because they need us to be strong.. :hug:  

 

You are right in that it's hard to remain upbeat in the face of a major health episode. But the quiet times of observation and reflection help build reserves that let us care and support the ones we love.

  • Like 4
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Only a few words while memories storm my mind. All the best for you and your family, Parker.

  • Like 5
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Beautiful. Moving. May your love give the strength you need. All my best wishes...

  • Like 5
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I have said before that I am awestruck by the seeming ease to which you set words to paper ... but not mere words. Oh no, instead you transport us to a different place. A place where a son's love pays tribute to his mother. Namaste.

  • Like 4
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16 hours ago, mayday said:

Beautiful. Moving. May your love give the strength you need. All my best wishes...

Thank you. Even in difficult places like hospitals, there is a way to describe some moments and their beauty. It beats despair. 

  • Like 2
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2 hours ago, dughlas said:

I have said before that I am awestruck by the seeming ease to which you set words to paper ... but not mere words. Oh no, instead you transport us to a different place. A place where a son's love pays tribute to his mother. Namaste.

 

You are most kind, brother. I would not transport you to the place, but to the grace; not to the pain, but to the love. If that's where you go, then this hit its mark. Thank you for reading and responding. 

  • Like 3
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return as gentle ghosts 

familiar as a favorite sweater

 

 

This poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

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6 hours ago, asamvav111 said:

return as gentle ghosts 

familiar as a favorite sweater

 

 

This poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

 

Thank you. It was good to be able to do so.

  • Like 1
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northie

Posted (edited)

A new form which you use with such dramatic strength. The present tense prose draws me in - I am almost sitting beside you - and then your poetic reflections are so redolent of your feelings and observations. Your mum and who she is and what she means to you, shines through the whole of this wonderful piece. :hug:

 

Revisiting this piece, its power to move me to tears has not lessened one jot. You found the perfect form - for your feelings, and to engage each and every reader in your life and that of your mum.

Edited by northie
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I might sound slightly dramatic...but your writing actually left my feelings tried...You made the picture so alive, I thought I was seeing it n not reading...

Your writing depict  your emotions in a beautiful manner...n it actually made me wanna try my hand on haibun!

I hope your mother gets well soon...fingers crossed!!

Edited by Aviana
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On June 6, 2017 at 2:56 PM, northie said:

A new form which you use with such dramatic strength. The present tense prose draws me in - I am almost sitting beside you - and then your poetic reflections are so redolent of your feelings and observations. Your mum and who she is and what she means to you, shines through the whole of this wonderful piece. :hug:

 

Revisiting this piece, its power to move me to tears has not lessened one jot. You found the perfect form - for your feelings, and to engage each and every reader in your life and that of your mum.

 

Thank you, dear friend. These moments needed description, begged for something better than forgetting them as quickly as possible. And I am sorry to have been so slow to respond. We can thank AC   ( @AC Benus ) for his help in making this form take shape. 

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