From Our Editor…
I really hope you enjoy what we have in store for you this issue. We are featuring something a bit different this time, and I think you will really enjoy it. If you want to be a part of this, please feel free to email me [email protected]
Editor’s Correction: In issue #9, August 27th, there was an omission, in the type of breed along with the caption “Are You Ready to Play?” by Toni aka Shepherd Lady. It should have read “Are You Read to Play, with a Belgian Malinois, O’Layla Du Loups Du Soleil?” We apologize for the error.
CJ Poetry Editor
In this issue:
Letter To My Brother by Shawna Graves (Poem with photograph by Shawna Graves)
Are You Ready to Play? (Photograph by Toni aka Shepherd Lady)
Pain (Poem with photograph by Karen Walker)
FAIR WARNING (Poem by Robin Stacks)
Shawna Graves was diagnosed with RA in January of 2012. Here are Shawna’s own personal words, what she and her family have gone through, as she shares this wonderful tribute to her brother:
My family is no stranger to immune diseases as my father passed eight years ago from complications of Crohn’s disease and my brother has suffered for over 20 years with Crohn’s as well. Despite my brother’s near constant pain he has never allowed it to stop him from being the man we all look up to. He has been there for my mother, sister, and I whenever we needed him. He has been a role model to his children and grandchildren and has never turned his back. I am inspired by his generosity again and again. He has struggled physically, financially, and emotionally for many years and is still always there to help. His one flaw is that he hates to ask for help himself. I wrote this poem to honor him and would love to share it for anyone else who has seen hard times or just needs a lift.
PHOTO CREDIT: “The Sun Still Shines” by Shawna Graves
Letter To My Brother
Lift your head up one more time
This dream is yours to live
Don’t let the troubles of your past
Alter your future plans
You have struggled, that’s no doubt
As many others have
But I believe that you are strong
And you can pass this test
The world is filled with obstacles
That we all must overcome
Remember we must slip and slide
Before we reach the top
The water’s deep and mountain’s high
For that, I cannot change
Come to me for raft and rope
To help you on your way
Don’t give up and don’t look back
The future is ahead
Trust in God, family, and friends
To lend a helping hand
For all the burdens you must bare
Will only make you strong
Believe me when I tell you now
You’ll never walk alone.
Toni aka Shepherd Lady has lived with RA for 15 years. She likes to take pictures of German Shepherds. As she says, “It’s what keeps me going…even though at times it is extremely difficult to even hold the camera.”
Here is a link where you check out samples of her work: www.flickr.com/photos/shepherdlady/
PHOTO CREDIT: “Are You Ready to Play, with a Belgian Malinois, O’Layla Du Loups Du Soleil?” by Toni aka Shepherd Lady
Karen Walker has lived with Fibromyalgia for approximately 20 years. She shares that while it is frustrating, she has a wonderful husband and a very supportive family.
PHOTO CREDIT: Karen with her supportive husband at Christmas 2011 by Karen Walker
I do not like this constant pain,
I do not like it – what’s to gain?
I do not like it when I’m home,
I do not like it when I roam.
I do not like it in the rain,
I do not like it with my cane.
From there to here,
From here to there,
RA pain is everywhere!
Robin Stacks has lived with RA since 2008 and also has lived with OA for much longer. She says her way to vent, or to think things through, has always been to write. She enjoys mainly writing poetry, but has also written songs and short stories.
There are just sometimes, that you don’t need a picture to illustrate what you are trying to convey and this poem, just says it all.
How could I be expected to
really have accepted you
when you showed up so unexpectedly,
when all you do is take from me?
You are challenging my once-strong will
with your selfish, greedy overkill
of autoimmune, never satisfied,
Always taking; you have amplified
the freedoms that were taken from me.
But I promise, you won’t be my destiny –
Because what you did do, unwittingly
is ignite all the fight inside of me!
So fair warning, my joint-eating guest:
Though you progressed, I’m not impressed,
I feel energized instead, because you know what?
I’m going to kick your bullying butt!
Editor’s Note: Brenda on Brenda
Until next time, I wish you all good health and happiness.