Welcome to Poet’s Corner (& Artists too) ~ Issue #16
From Our Editor:
We really hope you enjoyed our special guest, Daniel P. Malito, as he shared Part 1 of his story in our last issue. He is back with the compelling conclusion. I am so happy that Daniel, one of the featured bloggers with CreakyJoints, is doing us the honor of sharing his wit and wisdom. He is also an author who has recently had a book published: So Young: A Life Lived With Rheumatoid Arthritis.
If you would like to find out more about So Young, check out the CJ Author’s section: http://creakyjoints.org/contents/cj-authors
We also have some great features to share with you in this issue. We hope you are inspired.
If this is something you would like to be involved in, and you live with a chronic illness, I invite you to email me, [email protected]
CJ Poetry Editor
In this issue:
Talking To Myself, Part 2 (Story by Daniel P. Malito)
BELLE (Poem with photograph by Melissa Johnson-Dunn)
Patron Saint of Poets (Photography by Stephanie Wood)
Trevor’s Barks of Gold (Message and photograph by Brenda Kleinsasser)
Our last issue featured Part 1 of our special guest, Daniel’s story, as he imagines what he would be telling himself, at different stages of his life. Here now is, Part 2. Again, Daniel would also like you to be thinking, about what you would be telling your other selves.
Talking To Myself ~ Part 2
By Daniel P. Malito
Last time we left the five version of me having this discussion, 21 and 18 were calling the current me a wuss for having so many feelings of fear and being cautious. When I was young, of course, I thought I could handle anything without a bit of anxiety, as many of us do at that age. Unfortunately, that’s never the case, is it? Let’s see what happens. Just a reminder, the numbers are the age of the “me” that’s speaking.
When last we left off, 28 had just said:
28 ~ 18, 21, you guys should be careful. You probably have no idea what you are in store for. . .
11 ~ I don’t understand. Why am I absent from school so much? Mom said that we have to move to a new place so that my teacher can come to our house. I’m going to miss all my friends at my old school. My wrist hurts.
28 ~ It’s ok 11, don’t worry. I promise you won’t be lonely for long. There is a fantastic group of friends waiting for you in your new town. They will be your friends for the rest of your life, and they won’t care at all that you have J.R.A. You are a very lucky boy. Unfortunately, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade will be very difficult and other children will make fun of you and bully you, but guess what? You never let them make you into a bully yourself. In fact, you even become friends with one of the bullies.
37 ~ In fact, 11, you will be going to the wedding of that bully someday. He ends up one of your best friends, I promise. Just hold on until you are in 9th grade, just four more years, and promise you will have the best time of your life. As for you, 18 and 21, I wish I could give you the maturity and knowledge I’ve accrued over the last 20 years or so. I also wish I could spare you the pain and tremendous suffering that you have in store, for it will bring you to death’s door not once but twice. It’s a life-changing event, being a few breaths away from the end, and it doesn’t leave you unscathed. A healthy dose of fear remains, but that’s because you’ll know that, no matter what, you want to live. You’re both smart kids, though, despite the insufferable arrogance. You’ll learn, just as I did, and you’ll go through epic trials and come out the other side changed for the better, and ready for a life with your wife. Who, by the way, you’ve already met, but I won’t say more. Spoilers and all that.
21 ~ Married and I’ve already met her? Yikes. Kill me now.
18 ~ Haha, married? Ok, whatever, are we done?
28 ~ I’m actually happy that I’ll be getting married someday. It makes the Hell I’m about to go through a bit easier to swallow. I hope she’s worth it.
37 ~ She’s worth it and more, just wait and see. I don’t want to ruin it for any of you. Anyway, I think that about covers it. This was certainly eye-opening for me, as I’m sure it was for all of you.
18 ~ Yeah, for sure.
21 ~ Eye opening and gut wrenching. What a wuss.
11 ~ I don’t know what you guys are talking about, but I’m glad I will have friends.
37 ~ Thanks everyone for coming, and let’s do this again when I hit 50. The only thing I’m certain of now is that you never know where life is going to take you, so I can’t wait to take stock in another 13 years. Maybe I’ll have kids of my own.
18 ~ Kids! I’m getting a vasectomy!
21 ~ You said it. I’ll drive. Let’s go.
28 ~ You guys can’t! Err, can they?
37 ~ I hate you all, err me all, bah, whatever. I don’t know if I’ll make it past 60, so let me say it now. Depsite the asses that some of you are, I want to say how proud I am of all of you that you have turned out to be me. It wasn’t easy, and you could have simply become a miserable bum, but you didn’t. I love you mes.
21 ~ Don’t cry now.
37 ~ Sigh.
Well, that was certainly interesting. Who knew that my younger self though my now self was such a wuss? I really was lucky to have such a great group of friends, I guess. I certainly never thought I’d find someone so fantastic to marry, and I did hate writing class back in my younger days. God I was arrogant when I was young, though, wasn’t I? It’s amazing how far I’ve come and how much my outlook on the world has changed. I bet if you take stock, the same goes for you as well. I wonder if those guys really got that vasectomy…
Melissa Johnson-Dunn was recently diagnosed with SRA. She is 27 years old and is married, with a beautiful 19 month old daughter. She used to work as a dementia carrier, but had difficulty working, because of her feet and knees preventing her from walking or
standing too long. However, she is trying her hardest to remain positive and hoping for some pain relief soon! She would love to make some friends in similar situations.
Melissa describes her joy in her own words:
Belle makes me smile everyday with her cool little dance moves when her favourite music comes on the radio. Her love of being outside discovering the world, her outlook on life is beautiful. Her new found skill of hugging though has to take the cake, when she wraps her little arms around my neck and pulls you tight nothing else in the world could ever matter. As for me I love anything creative and travel. I have a wonderful supportive husband and beautiful 19 month old daughter.
It’s morning time I hear a sound,
My beautiful daughter yelling loud.
I smile and for a second forget the pain,
Then I make a move to start the day.
My joints are worn and my body’s a mess,
I nearly cry because I need more rest.
Then I turn around and peek in her door,
I see my little saviour, the pain has dimmed more.
I get her out of her cot to give her a kiss,
And try and reminded my self that things could be worse than this.
The pain never fades from this horrid disease,
But I get out of bed every morning for moments like these.
By Melissa Johnson-Dunn
Stephanie Wood is an amateur photographer who tries not to let her poor health get in the way of her creativity. She recently purchased a new camera and shares with us another great photo.
If you would like to check out Stephanie’s photography, go to: www.flickr.com/photos/stevid/
Stephanie captures a photo of a Welsh flag for St. David’s Day, who is also known as the Patron Saint of Poets.
This time, Trevor is sharing about how important it is to realize your hopes and dreams, but sometimes, you have to go through rough patches in your life, to eventually get there. We hope this illustrates it more fully.