« The Box | Main | Headstone Tweets and Wikihistory on Memorial Day »

Friday, 23 May 2014


By Vicki E. Jones

“The food is delicious!” she said
When I called her at the hospital that night
“Hamburgers and french fries!” she said
And at first I thought, “That isn’t right.”

She is the sister I could never get to know
Because her mind would not let her be well
The sister who could never be happy or whole
Because her mind made her life a living hell

She is diabetic, schizophrenic, and beyond depressed
She needs food that really helps her heal
But her reality is not my own
And it is not my place to judge
What is right for her
And what is or isn’t real

She hears voices in her head
And has been in crisis so many times
It is a wonder she is still alive
And a miracle that she did not die

So I withdraw all judgments
And say “Wonderful!” and bid her goodbye
Then I smile softly to myself
Hang up the phone
And wipe the tears away from my eyes

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written a couple of years before my sister, Diane, died suddenly of a massive heart attack at age 64.)

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Touching story and reminds me of so much we take for granted. Thanks for sharing.

To care deeply and feel the pain of sorrow and helplessness. And yet you gave her what you could and she knew. Thanks for this. It is important to know and deal with what one can do nothing about, even with great desire and want.

My heart goes out to you and her even though she's gone. You did what you could.

Hits me in the heart. Well done.

Sadly family members do not always share connections, especially when one is mentally ill and all attempts to form a bond are viewed with suspicion and paranoia.

All you can do is what you are able to do. Sometimes that's letting go and allowing a loved brother, sister, parent or child to live their own life, while you are pushed to the sidelines, unwanted and in the shadows.

At least you don't cause them pain. Sometimes the only gift you can give them is freedom from your love. But it's a difficult gift to give and it *really* hurts. I hope there is peace in your heart.

Thank you, everyone. Yes, I am at peace. When everything that can be done has been done, one has to let it go and simply accept it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment