Welcome to our first Gauntlet Story Feast.
Suzanne has been posting her beautiful poetry and prose on medical message boards I belong to for some time now. When I stumble across her words I always discover something I have wanted to say and could never quite express. In the piece she shares with us today she captures perfectly the inner dialogue of knowing something is very wrong with your body but trying to argue it away because you, along with so many doctors and your family and friends, don’t want to believe it’s true.
by Suzanne Blackwell Anderson
How could this be? Silent entrapment, what? Out of the blue, unforeseen, from behind, like a slap the night. Can’t they see me, can’t they find me? I don’t understand; it should be plain, right in sight. Why the pain with no answers? Is she crazy? She must be. Whiplash, that’s not real. It can’t entrap, it’s minor, don’t pretend, get a grip. The anger, resentment as the world crumbles down. You’re not hurt, don’t fake it, it resounds oh so loud. Alone in the solitude, so deafening, like a shroud; blankets to settle like lead on the ground. The pain, oh the pain, descends like a cloud; thick, dark, angry as it swirls all around. I’m sorry, you’re crazy it’s all in your head. These tests they don’t reconcile with the pain you have said. The dungeon is dark, I can’t find my way out. It there light, is there hope? I fear not and dread.
Then on the horizon I see far away, a small trickle, a God-send, could this be real? I know I’m not crazy, it’s real, OH SO real. I’m riddled with pain from without and within. Please help me, please help me I cry deep inside, though my voice is small and my hope is so thin. Such gentleness, kindness and strength all in one. Like a knight in the darkness, a beacon, the sun. Yes, hope. Yes, light. Yes, truth will prevail. You’re not crazy, it’s real, see here my dear. Don’t worry, it will pass like the cold winter’s night. Spring time will come, I promise, hold fast. Don’t give up, don’t cave, you’ll make it, I’m sure. Hold tight through the night for the dawn’s early light. It breaks forth, now I see it! It’s there up ahead. I’m gleeful, with joy; I break out of the shell. My hope is restored, and my pain is withheld.
So much I have found in this dark winter’s night. Deep treasure was buried inside the veil that my vision can’t see, so please do not wail. It’s good, it’s good, this treasure inside. The sunshine, the sunshine it’s beauty provides. Unearthing, unearthing cannot be so pleasant, but deep with inside are the true gems of this life. The rarest, most precious they’re there; you will see. Hold on, hold tight don’t give up in the night, your Master the Creator, He created all these. They’re for you, just trust Him, PLEASE trust Him, He’s good, you will see. He’s the Potter, the Painter the Maker of these. The rarest, most precious for those who believe.
How can I ever thank Him enough? So grateful, SO GRATEFUL, my heart over-flows, like a river in spring time as the snow softly goes. Such compassion, caring and goodness I see. Like none other I’ve known in this journey of life; my good Father in Heaven who sees down below. The entrapment, the whiplash, like a thief in the night. I’ll help her, my princess, and then she will be, forever redeemed from the pain deep within and the pain from without. Like a shawl I’ll remove to uncover true light. My beauty for ashes forever she’ll be.
About Suzanne in her own words:
I began my journey with debilitating chronic illness in my early thirties. I had five young children in tow at the time which made it all the more heart-wrenching. I spent most of that decade attempting to regain my ability to thrive. I was ever so grateful for a small window of reprieve during my early forties, but when I was forty-seven it came to a screeching halt. All the ground I gained came crumbling down with such force I didn’t know if I would ever bottom out. When I finally did it felt as though I was buried in the rubble of an earthquake. I can’t imagine these subsequent years without the support of my online community. Not only do I consider these dear, dear ones my friends, but I consider them my family. They have been my life-line many times over and over again.
If you are walking a Gauntlet or are close to someone who is and would like to contribute to our Thursday community please email me at email@example.com, and I will send you the instructions for submitting. Share with anyone you know who might like to join our Gauntlet Story Feast. (Please use the hash tag #GauntletStoryFeast when sharing so we can find and follow one another.) Our Hope remains.
Photography by Cindee Snider Re. Used with permission.
Quote taken from Michele Cushatt’s new book Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life.