Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hannah's Poetry Anthology

This post is #65 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.

April 19, 2008

It was about this time that Hannah brought home a school assignment she had completed.  The assignment was to compile a poetry anthology.  I knew she had been working on it for awhile, but I had not seen it until it was graded and returned to her.

Here's what she wrote on the introductory page:

"When collecting my poems for this anthology, I really focused on the poems that connected to me on a personal level.  I chose poems that made me think, "Wow, this is an incredible poem, and I can really relate to it."  Whether they be about God, my family, battling cancer, or living life, they all struck a certain chord with me.

My favorite poem in this collection is "Nothing Gold Can Stay" because it was the first poem I can remember loving.  I connect to it because I don't want to grow up sometimes, and the poem is about losing innocence.  There is a poem about each member of my family.  I wanted to include family poems because I believe that I have the best family in the world.  A good number of my poems deal with God.  I decided to share those poems because God is the number one priority in my life, and I can definitely connect with poems about Him.  My addition of poems relating to cancer is a topic that I would not have dealt with a month ago.  It was good for me to read poems about cancer, and I added the ones with which I felt the most connected."

Over the next couple of days, I'd like to share a few of the poems she included in her anthology.  There is such a poignancy in seeing the poems she chose.

"The Day I Found Out" 
by Catherine Solomon

The doctor walked in
her eyes stuck on the floor
I squeezed my mom's hand
because I had no idea what was in store.
Mom looked and said, "Listen baby, she's got something to say.
Just hold my hand tight; everything will be okay."
She said, "Now what I'm going to say isn't as bad as it sounds,
but this tumor, this infection, is more than profound."
I still didn't get it.  I didn't know what to say.
Nothing hit me more than when the word cancer came my way.

"I Asked For"
Author Unknown

I asked for strength
and God gave me difficulties.
I asked for wisdom
and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity
and God gave me brawn and a brain to work.
I asked for courage
and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience
and God placed me in a situation where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love
and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors
and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I asked for.

"How Do I Feel?"
by Susan Patford

Some days ... I'm not sure
how I feel ...
because ...
I feel confused.
Some days ... I feel great.
Some days ... I feel tired.
Some days ... I am energized.
Some days ... I am scared.
Some days ... I cry
... but I never wonder why.
Most days I wonder
just what my purpose is.
Most days ... I am happy
and most days I giggle.
All days ... I am blessed.
All days ... I am thankful.
All days ... I feel like living.

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