In these times of uncertainty and fear, I wanted to share a poem with you that I cut out of a newspaper 26 years ago. To give you a little background on my mental state back then, I had recently lost my husband of over 7 years to suicide and my life was to put it mildly, in shambles. I was alone, scared, and had no idea what the future would hold. Through what I can only call divine serendipity ( a whole other story), I found this poem in a Dear Abby column. I cut it out and carried it from home to home, and put it on my refrigerator in every place I lived. The photo above is that poem, and I have transcribed it below. I hope it brings you the comfort it has given me all these years.
With Peace and Love, Linda
AFTER A WHILE
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.
-Veronica A. Shoffstall
Linda Lee Lyberg is an author, poet, wife, and mother. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Pete (aka The Big Viking) of 23 years and her dog, Ricky Bobby who loves to go real fast. She writes various forms of poetry, as well as short stories. Several of her works have appeared in various anthologies and online literary magazines.
You can read more of her works at: charmedchaos.com and her Amazon Author Page