Crying Over Spilt Tea

This morning I spilt a full cup of tea
over the bed;
my hand simply gave way.
It happens.
Everything soaked through
including myself, and

you, the stoical carer
already overloaded with
extra chores, and a time Β schedule
that used to belong to me,
rose calmly to the challenge,
stripped the bed,
placed stained linen carefully to soak
and went out the door
to collect our grandson
for the day.

From the corner of my eye
I could see it – disability
sitting on the sidelines
gloating, large as life
with a smugness I could have slapped.

Sometimes I feel like a child.

But unlike a child,
I watched your face as you
cleared the mess;
the pursed lips, unassailable truth
in the extra crease on a forehead,
that said
this wasn’t on today’s list.

We said nothing;
silence grew louder
until we both heard it –
the sadness, sobbing softly
for our loss.


52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bennison Books
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 08:58:34

    This is very moving and honest, Chris – your poetry at its very best. πŸ™‚ xx


  2. Ina
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 09:00:35

    Big hug {{{ Christine }}} ❀ xxx


  3. seedbud
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 09:17:30

    So powerful and deeply moving. Not sentimental at all – but searingly honest. Important work. Thank you.


  4. journalread
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 09:51:29

    Beautiful – written from the heart x


  5. Jane Thorne
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 10:08:11

    My darling friend, you make it so very real…your writing is a blessing for all of us. I love you very much. ❀ xXx ❀


  6. elaine patricia
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 10:16:11

    Very moving, reduced me to tears.


  7. smzang
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 12:45:53

    Poetry and truth walk hand in hand

    Beautiful work!

    You remind us that for every door that closes, a window opens.
    Your miracle is this poem, it was born of your weakness. God
    does work in wonderful and mysterious ways.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 30, 2015 @ 14:02:17

      Thank you so much for this wonderful comment which has warmed my heart. You are so right! I often say that adversity can throw us new gifts; I had never written poetry (or prose for that matter) until my diagnosis of MS 4 years ago. And now I have a healthy blog and a book under my belt. 😊 As you say, God certainly does move in mysterious ways.


  8. Norma (Through My Eyes)
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 13:18:56

    You have given me a glimpse into your world Christine. This is so honest and so beautifully written. Sending you love and hugs xxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 30, 2015 @ 14:08:18

      Thank you Norma. It’s certainly tough sometimes but now we have become well acquainted with the antics of the Monster as we call it (on a good day that is; we call it various other things sometimes! 😊), we are usually singing from the same sheet as it were, and manage it well together. But it does make us both sad. x


  9. John Looker
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 13:38:41

    That’s tough Chris. Bravo you.


  10. Cynthia Jobin
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 13:59:30

    This is such a good, good, poem, Chris, filled with inspired lines… personified disability with “a face I could have slapped”….and captured mood with the smallest, most sensitive facts…an “extra crease on a forehead..” and I could hear the silence growing louder. So many poems of anger and loss concern themselves with the person who is the immediate victim of the misfortune, and this one does something wonderfully rare: it tells us of the sorrow of caretakers, those who have been pulled into the tragedy and must cope with a much subtler kind of loss. This is full of love and understanding for your husband, I think, and a monument to compassion for what he, too, must suffer, in picking up the slack, even as he can’t change the changed world for you. I read this with great choked-up feeling and, as you know, I hate sentimentality. This is not sentimental. It’s real. and as you say in the poem: “it happens.”


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 30, 2015 @ 14:20:37

      And I read your comment, Cynthia, with a choked up feeling as it is full of understanding and you have read it exactly how I hoped it would come across, with compassion for my husband, who lives this illness with me every day. I honestly think sometimes that it is harder to see someone suffer something than to suffer it oneself.

      Thank you for the fabulous comment and, of course, for your constant support and friendship which together give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Oops – a tad sentimental?! Oh what the hell! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„


  11. lscotthoughts
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 14:32:10

    This is so moving, Chris, that I got teary-eyed at the end…big hugs, my friend xoxo


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 30, 2015 @ 14:40:44

      Thanks so much Lauren. The main thing here I think is that we are muddling through it all together. And even through the really bad bits, we sometimes find the best coping strategy is laughter. 😊❀️ Xx


  12. Peter Wells aka Countingducks
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 15:40:13

    You make beautiful and moving verse out of a horrible condition, and that is a kind of victory, even though I’m sure it does not always feel like it. Talent surfaces under the strangest conditions and yours has here without a doubt


  13. Kit
    Jul 31, 2015 @ 11:53:54

    You have truly become a poet!


  14. Minuscule Moments
    Aug 02, 2015 @ 05:40:11

    Oh Chris this made me feel every bit of that experience. Your words carry a heavy weight with them and I can’t help feeling the loss that these words express. You are an amazing lady.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 02, 2015 @ 09:13:27

      Thank you very much Kath. We seem to grow in to whatever afflicts us on a daily basis, get on with it all the best we can. After all, life is good and there is so much to be grateful for and also still to experience. But then one simple instance can suddenly tilt the balance attained and throw me into a whirlpool of despair, not only for myself but for those around me who care for and help me. So I think it is healthy to write about it; after all the poem could resonate with others going through a similar experience and if nothing else, at least help them to realise they are not alone. Writing about it also helps to get it out off the system so I can put it behind me instead of dwelling on it, which isn’t good for anyone to do. 😊


  15. Jennifer's Journal
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 00:53:41

    Chris, if there was ever a need to write and share about something, suffering with an affliction is one of them. And you do it so well, with your inspired expression through poetry. I knew immediately how you felt, seeing your husband suffering along with you.
    Hugs of compassion are being sent your way.
    Jennifer xo


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 03, 2015 @ 08:28:34

      Thank you Jennifer. I sometimes think it’s harder for those who become carers than it is for the ones afflicted with whatever the condition. There is an element of wanting to fix it for us accompanied by helplessness because they know they can’t. But I am very fortunate to have someone doing the necessary caring; this would be a whole different ball game if I was on my own with it and I know quite a few who are so I am very grateful for that. xx


      • Jennifer's Journal
        Aug 03, 2015 @ 16:05:01

        I know how hard it can be on a caregiver, from my experience with my parents (Dad with ALS, and Mom with Alzheimer’s). No matter how much I tried to do, it felt like it was never enough.

      • journeyintopoetry
        Aug 03, 2015 @ 18:30:02

        Thats how I used to feel wirh my mum too. Life can be difficult. I try to remember being a carer when I am being cared for. 😊

  16. glendadoodle
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 19:11:51

    Chris, you special lady, I said, when you read this poem out over a week ago that I thought it was an excellent poem. Reading it again, I think it’s more than that. It is β€˜special’. I know everything you are describing, and it resonated in my heart with the beat of overwhelming compassion. You know my life, and describe it with unerring accuracy. Wonderful (and a bit scary!) πŸ™‚ Hugs xxxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 03, 2015 @ 19:37:50

      Oh Glenda, thank you my precious friend. This is such a lovely comment and I knew you would totally understand and feel the sentiments in this poem.

      Im going through a particularly sensitive time with the MS at the moment, so every little incidence shouts at me. My ‘walking’ is slowly but very clearly worsening and my right leg is now only just short of useless, kept going only by the electrical stimulation in the box I wear. And yes, you are right, it is a bit scary. I can feel a few more MS related poems coming on, although I’d much prefer to write about anything but! 😊 hugs for you too xxx


  17. kathryningrid
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 01:15:05

    Dearest Christine. All of your other commenters obviously feel, as I do, that this is yet more evidence of your growth as a poet, your gifts as an artist, and your insight as a passionate and compassionate human being. One of the particular beauties of this piece, for me, is the subtle but intensely clear way you’ve reminded us all that suffering and struggles, particularly health-related ones, never belong only to the ‘patient’β€”they are the suffering and struggles borne by everyone who is deeply attached to her as well. Each has his or her unique part to play and scars to show, and some (I count myself among them) rarely come to any appreciable level of grace in dealing with the trials, whether as the impatient patient or the ill-equipped partner in the process; others, like you, find powerful and lovely ways to convert the pain into more positive things, like art.

    Well done.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 08:26:17

      Kathryn, your constant support, encouragement and very meaningful comments mean so much. They urge me onwards especially at times when I feel beaten by my own self criticism and feel ready to throw in that great big sweaty towel. This comment has lifted me up from a dark, boggy place which I think I plunged into after falling badly five weeks ago. It has affected me mentally and emotionally as much as physically and the physical has been excruciating. I think I need to wash the mud off now. Thank you xxx 😊❀️


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 20:42:05

      Thank you! 😊 xx


  18. Libby
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 14:19:03

    This is so moving. Your brave honesty never ceases to amaze me.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 15:19:02

      Thank you Libby. It was a moment that seemed to cry out to be written about. Also now that I have grown into this condition more, I am realising it’s impact on everyone else in the family too. We are all in it together and sometimes I feel their pain much more than I feel my own. x


  19. roughwighting
    Aug 08, 2015 @ 18:05:50

    Sobbing as I got to the end of your poem. Yet, I see love inside there, too.


  20. Wendy L. Macdonald
    Aug 08, 2015 @ 22:56:49

    Christine, your honesty is poignant and beautiful. I’m loving your poetry book and finding it an encouragement to be more genuine in my own writing.
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy


  21. beckarooney
    Aug 09, 2015 @ 11:41:20

    Very moving and deeply poignant, moments like this which go unnoticed yet which you’ve written a beautifully honest poem about. Thank you for sharing this Christine xx


  22. sofiakioroglou
    Aug 16, 2015 @ 15:05:04

    Absolutely brilliant!


  23. Suzy Hazelwood
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 19:36:05

    This is packed with emotion Christine, so good, so truthful, so absolutely how it feels. You got me quite tearful there for a minute! This must have been how my parents felt when my mum became ill with rheumatoid arthritis, and then many years later even worse, a mysterious illness that turned out a misdiagnosed brain tumour. I cared for my mum as well as my dad being her main carer, and even though my mum had a will of iron to remain to a large extent cheerful, that slow loss of everything that used to be was incredibly sad. I think we had more tears while she was alive than after she died. And this happens to multitudes of people, it’s not something that can ever be avoided.

    I think I mentioned to you before about being ill myself when I was in my 20’s. I had three years of knowing what it was to be the one cared for too. Neither one is better. I think the only difference with my illness was there was hope – that I would eventually get well, that makes all the difference to how much freedom you and your carer have lost.

    What made this all the more emotional for me is my friend is going through this kind of trauma with her husband not only illness but dementia. She married him when he was in his 70’s, he’s now in his 90’s, but it’s no less sad even when you know the person has had a long life. And I wonder how ‘he’ feels in his confusion?

    Poetry like this Christine is priceless, and only seems to be found on blogs, I’ve never read anything quite as beautiful and profound as this in a poetry book I’ve bought in a shop. It’s quite a gift to be able to write about what you are going through with such profoundness and boldness. And when you read insane amounts of poetry, prose, and short stories like I do, it’s wonderful to read those occasional ones that stop you in your tracks, and make you stay a bit longer to read it again. Emotional as it is, thanks for the profound moment Christine! πŸ™‚


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 18, 2015 @ 09:41:44

      Thank you so much Suzy, for this lovely comprehensive comnent. And as you say, age has nothing to do with how we feel. These things can hit hard at any age, young or old.

      I’m really pleased the poem worked for you. It was one of those that seemed to write itself, quite effortlessly and I knew immediately I wanted to share it. 😊


  24. thevelvetsoapbox
    Aug 27, 2015 @ 05:28:59

    Brilliant writing, so descriptive, we get a glimpse of your reality…


    • journeyintopoetry
      Aug 27, 2015 @ 09:03:39

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment. Writing as a therpeutic exercise is where I began with poetry. It still helps but hopefully my words are.universal and if they reach out and touch others then that’s a huge bonus and makes me smile! 😊


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