Climb In

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Contributor


Come float with me, dear one.
Climb into my boat.
I will grab your hand
and lift you in.
We can ride this out together.
The current will take us in its way
but we can see a new shore
over there.

If we work together,
we can point the boat
and use our muscles
to reach that new
and beautiful land.
The journey may be hard –
but inch by inch,
wave by wave,
we will make it.

So, climb in.
The invitation is clear.
Together we are safe.
We can make it
because we are strong.
Float with me.

Let’s rise above the current.

Continue reading “Climb In”

Dreams of a Better Tomorrow

By Felix Odhiambo | Featured Contributor


I have dreams of a better tomorrow.

Dreams
that we will hold hands
and dance with our feet.

We have won.

Dreams
that we will rejoice again and again
after the hollow we have had in our hearts.
Dreams
that the days we used to have
will come back.
And the sky will wash away our pains,
the stars will show us the way,

I am the dreamer,
but you and I form the dreams
I have seen tomorrow
with my eyes closed
I have felt it
with my heart beating
And now I have spoken
of my silent dreams,

That a day is yet to come,
we will no longer stay at home
We will hug our neighbors
and kiss our loved ones
We will no longer preach
of washing our hands with sanitizers
And not touching
our beautiful faces,

Life will give us a chance
to make merry like we used to
We will form crowds
and praise the living God
Every night I walk
on better dreams of tomorrow
And they are not
just faded dreams
A time is yet to come,
we will sing songs of Zion,

We have won.

And COVID will remain to be history.

Continue reading “Dreams of a Better Tomorrow”

Attacked: A Poem on Anxiety

By Riya Bhatia | Featured Contributor


Note from Author: This was written when I was experiencing one of my worst anxiety attacks. Instead of running away from it, I decided to embrace it and use my words as a means of understanding myself better.

*   *   *

My breath trembles
as the room seems to be
consuming my soul,
The walls are closing in
and my thoughts are
consuming me whole,
Sweat and tears
dim the shine
and rosiness of my face,
And all they can say
is keep picturing yourself
in a better place,
I’m crippled with fear
and can’t think
beyond this second,
How do I move on
and when will this ever end,

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Hold it for a few seconds.

Keep breathing.

It’ll be alright,
The day will get better
and the sun will shine bright.
My heart starts to race
as tears stream down my cheek,
I can’t concentrate
on a single thing
and keep calling myself weak,

You’re not like this,
you’re strong,
you can do it,
but you’re all wrong,

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Keep focusing on your goals,
it’ll be be okay,
and not take very long.

I’m dizzy and nauseous,
fearful and upset,
how could I let this
happen to myself,

I want to go back to when I was twelve.

Continue reading “Attacked: A Poem on Anxiety”

A Note From Above

By Navnidhi Vyas | Featured Contributor


I was enjoying life
with a secure future,
when suddenly
a dense darkness

came from nowhere,
turned everything
upside down,

and left me
with a lifeless life,
a future with a question mark.

Forced me to write a letter
to the creator of all
with an obvious shame-
where was this thought
when I had it all?

A very long letter
with countless words,
limitless questions,
an exaggeration of misery
was posted to heaven,
expecting a reply
with patience and surprise.

I received a reply.
A note from God
with only two magical words.

Trust Me.

And I looked up at the sky
and held my head high.

Continue reading “A Note From Above”

Why Dating a Woman With a Chronic Illness Is the Best Decision Your Heart Can Make

By Klyn Elsbury | Featured Contributor


I can have a conversation with you about your stressful day while infusing antibiotics straight into my heart through a port-a-cath. I pay attention to your every word when nausea kicks in, asking intelligent follow-up questions, and when you’re relaxed after your stressful day, just ask that you hold my hand. Bonus points if you can bring me a Starbucks en route to the hospital.

I am 32-years-old and have been hospitalized 67 times, ranging in length from one day to six months. The diagnosis is cystic fibrosis and diabetes. The prognosis? Nobody really knows.

I am happily engaged to a healthy man. In fact, he’s so healthy I don’t know if in five years I’ve seen him eat a vegetable that I didn’t force him into. And yet, dating was extremely difficult for me as I grappled with questions on when to tell him about my condition, navigating extended hospitalizations, and yes, even losing my bowels without warning one night.

It’s not uncommon for those with chronic illnesses to be shunned from the dating community. Many have given up entirely and left to feel like ‘used goods’. Even as I researched the article, polling my friends with chronic illnesses, many were reluctant to share their names because if a guy on an app googled them, they would face rejection before they felt it was time to disclose. And I couldn’t help but remember what it was like for me the moment the hot guy I was getting to know decided to type my name into Google, and decided if he was up for the adventure.

Our love story lasts and here are five other reasons that if you’ve been given the news or been contemplating taking the next step with someone with a chronic condition, to give it a go!

Continue reading “Why Dating a Woman With a Chronic Illness Is the Best Decision Your Heart Can Make”

Thirteen Years of Training For A Pandemic

By Don P. | Guest Contributor


On April 28, 2007, my life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt and turned 180 degrees. I had a massive heart attack that day, and a triple bypass surgery the following day. To really make my story special, I then flat-lined over a hundred times during the next twelve or so days, and followed that with a very high drama heart transplant and a five day stint on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and was conscious (to a degree) while on a ventilator—the single worst memory in my lifetime. (ECMO is a machine that is basically an artificial lung to oxygenate your blood while your lungs rest/heal).

A week after my heart transplant, I regained consciousness and started to rebuild my body and my life, and unbeknownst to me, I was placed in training for this coronavirus pandemic

Continue reading “Thirteen Years of Training For A Pandemic”

Weather

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Contributor


When fear is everywhere,
take a breath.
Remind yourself that
as real as the fear feels,
it is a passing storm.
You can see it but
you don’t belong to it.
Remember that you
are not the weather.

You are the sky.

We can choose to be blown away
and knocked off our feet…
or we can choose
to have the compassionate
and wise view from above.

We can be observant
while holding on to
who we really are.
Only by holding fast
to the good in us –

our expansive being –
can we truly be helpful
or even present.

So, keep your eyes open
while patiently riding it out.
Don’t allow yourself to get knocked over
or sucked into the whirlwind.
Be ever-present and calm
just like the blue sky
which endures every storm.

Thank you, Cynthia, for these beautiful and timely words.

Wishing everyone a blessed day.

🌷

 

We Are Needed

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Contributor


It takes just a moment
to pause and let go –
to notice.
Presence always waits
patiently for us.
She is found
in the smallest of things…

The slow drip of water
off a rock
which holds
the riverbank in place…
Presence is there.

The thought that gives birth
to the word that spawns a tear…
Yes. There.

In that moment between
the reach of your hand
to the lifting of another –

Or when the homeless man
catches your eye and
a generous smile blooms…
There!

How short our time is.
We squander Presence
like we waste water…
We forget to look,
to hear the slow drip,
to speak the unspoken word.

We get lonely
in this poverty
of connection.

Continue reading “We Are Needed”

To Not Lose Hope

We have highs and we have lows
The power is in our hands
We can dance or
We can cry
It’s up to us
To make the right decision.

Yes it’s hard
Like pushing a wall
That doesn’t seem to move
But once you look back
You’ll see you’ve come so far.

So don’t lose hope
When things are bad
Just hang in there
You are bound to reach
The top of the hill soon.

Victoria Abah

Thank you, Victoria, for these encouraging words.
Let us never lose hope.

Wishing you all a restful weekend.
🌷

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