Not A Poem

Memoir Through Verse and Prose

I realize today that not all memoir can be written though verse. I did so after reading two posts this morning that made me think about the importance of love. One post was not even that, it was simply an invitation to write. But it was unique because it was filled with love. I believe love to be the most important place upon earth, yes place. I say place for it is and can be a place to dwell. When love comes though us to another it can change lives. I read a second post today that moved me. This post was filled with wisdom written through metaphor about becoming the best that we can be. It was beautifully written and the comments were marvelous.

I realized that when we are at a point in our lives when we are becoming “the best that we can be,” we are often still young, striving and less fully formed than those who are further along on the path. We may not yet know the power of love, a love called Agape. Once we have become the best that we can be, once we are done, formed, that love will just come out of us. I had an extraordinary experience once that demonstrates this love. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that this story is about Liz. It has almost nothing to do with me – I was a conduit.

When we bought our home thirty years ago, where we lived was more important than the home we selected. Due to this thinking I chose a building that I for many years termed the second ugliest house in St Louis. In fact it was (in my opinion). However, we were living in the neighborhood that we wished to be in. This is a three story building built in 1898, a four square. In the 1960s someone tore it up and made nasty little apartments out of it. When we moved in we had a tenant. She was with us for twenty years. She was the very best tenant anyone could ever of had. She was an African American woman who was my age and single. Like myself she worked in healthcare. She had a very loving and caring nature.

Several years later after she had moved, I knew that she had suffered a stroke and that she was recuperating in a nursing facility. I decided to visit her. I have been in many nursing homes for professional reasons. This home was state owned. Without a doubt I can tell you that it was the most disgusting place that I have ever been. She died there. When I visited, I was greeted by the most outrageous stench of urine and feces. It was grotesquely pervasive.

I sat down we talked for a while. She expressed a need to use the bathroom, for which she needed nursing assistance. I knew that she would wait all afternoon before anyone would bother to answer her bell. She was a larger woman that I. I sensibly could say “goodbye” at this point and inform the staff that she needed attention. But I also knew that she would receive none. She would be made to lie in her own feces and urine until another shift had come to work.

She was a little embarrassed, but I knew that there was nothing like having “to go” and not being able to do so. She was unable to walk and needed a wheel chair. I will never know how we managed, but I got her into the chair, into the bathroom, onto the toilet, up, wiped and back into the wheelchair, then back into bed … all in this wreaking, filthy place. Somehow God just decided to use me that day and I am glad that he/she did. I am not sure that I could do it again. But I will say that allowing love to stream through me was rewarding and good. Again know that this story is not about me.

Posted at Poetry Pantry in Poets United with the hope I don’t get kicked out for no poetry.