Not “As Usual” Now

(I edited this from my sister’s writing on April 27th. She’s had a full month)

I watch my older family members buckle with age while

life goes on as usual for everyone else

My father weeps over my mother’s decline and he asks, “What will happen today?” while

life goes on as usual for everyone else

My aunt clings to my uncle’s hand as deadly toxins build in her blood while

life goes on as usual for everyone else

I watch my grandmother, bedridden with dementia and kidney failure while

life goes on as usual for everyone else.

Jesus understands this grief, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, stay here and keep watch with Me,” but

life went on as usual for everyone else

My neighbors, friends and family have all faced the sorrow of losing loved ones and

life went on as usual for everyone else (sadly, including me)

I understand this, I know I’m not the only one who has ever experienced a lonely vigil and saying good-bye

But my grief still makes me feel alone, unique, and definitely not as usual

The Lone Goldenrod

One tall colorful plant stands proudly in the empty field

having its lower body denuded yet still sporting

golden yellowish flowers on its upper quarter, surviving

determinedly against rains, winds, and now three frosts

towering above dead clumps of fallen comrades, patches of

short new green grasses, teaching me through the

kitchen window to bloom in spite of weed poisoning

brutal mowing, weather, loneliness and approaching winter

God teaches me about power, even through wild flowers—just one