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. Canít they see me, canít they find me? I donít understand; it should be plain, right in sight. Why the pain with no answers? Is she crazy? She must be. Whiplash, thatís not real. It canít entrap, itís minor, donít pretend, get a grip. The anger, resentment as the world crumbles down. Youíre not hurt, donít 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. Iím sorry, youíre crazy itís all in your head. These tests they donít reconcile with the pain you have said. The dungeon is dark, I canít 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 Iím not crazy, itís real, OH SO real. Iím 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. Youíre not crazy, itís real, see here my dear. Donít worry, it will pass like the cold winterís night. Spring time will come, I promise, hold fast. Donít give up, donít cave, youíll make it, Iím sure. Hold tight through the night for the dawnís early light. It breaks forth, now I see it! Itís there up ahead. Iím 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 winterís night. Deep treasure was buried inside the veil that my vision canít see, so please do not wail. Itís good, itís good, this treasure inside. The sunshine, the sunshine itís beauty provides. Unearthing, unearthing cannot be so pleasant, but deep with inside are the true gems of this life. The rarest, most precious theyíre there; you will see. Hold on, hold tight donít give up in the night, your Master the Creator, He created all these. Theyíre for you, just trust Him, PLEASE trust Him, Heís good, you will see. Heís 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 Iíve 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. Iíll help her, my princess, and then she will be, forever redeemed from the pain deep within and the pain from without. Like a shawl Iíll remove to uncover true light. My beauty for ashes forever sheíll 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.