In Poetry Therapy, we use poetry as a way to heal. It’s a back door way to heal. Actually, in my opinion, all writing is healing. I took some sample poetry from an amazing compilation of teen poems by Writer’s Corps called “Paint Me Like I Am,” and asked my dad how he would want the world to know him. At first, this was too right brained for him. Usually he operates more left brained. So, I read him some more samples and then I used adjectives he had used previously to describe himself and asked him to delineate more on that.
Below is what Ernest, my dad, wrote, with little assistance from me. (He has arthritis and Alzheimer’s, so I’m his hand and placeholder.) What is amazing to me is that my dad was invested and even got excited to do it. He has started to call me now and has more days he talks about his life than not. He has written something our family can treasure, and I’m so proud!
PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU LIKE IT! HE GETS EXCITED ABOUT
PEOPLE READING HIS PAGE :0)
PAINT ME AS I AM by Ernest
Paint me working and doing my best
For I liked to make things better
Taking things that work that didn’t work before
Engines, motors, broken chairs and making them new again.
Paint me determined.
I made up my mind not to have any booze at all…
Or anything that would come near it…
I didn’t want any part of what I did before…
Paint me as keeping my thoughts and good emotions toward others
Requesting forgiveness for my stupidty…
Paint me as always looking for making a difference in life.
As time goes by, I make sure each day of my life that whatever I do and say is better…
Never wanting to give or get trouble…
Paint me independent wanting the peaceful life,
less noise and misery from people or cars and traffic and busses and sirens…
It gripes me a lot…I had enough of all that…
I have to get away from the racket.
Paint me as one whose mind holds onto better days
(don’t really care about money)
Whose richness is in the simple life,
The more simple the better
Let me just work on my cars and trucks and lawn mowers.
Paint me as determined to keep life in balance
And I’m skiing away from life itself
(the house, the dogs and the cats, and even plants.
Leave me with my critters.
Paint me without hateful words
Or holding onto hatefulness
For it puts me out of balance…
Paint me happy and content with my life.
***It might need some editing, but it’s great for a first draft. :0)
April 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm
I’m so happy for you. This brought tears of joy. Thank you. ~ Michael
April 22, 2014 at 11:04 pm
Ohhh, Michael, thank you! Your comment means so much. Really, my daddy will be overjoyed. I’m so surprised how much this time has helped him have a more positive attitude!
April 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm
You should read Sheri De Grom’s blog. She is very sharing with her experience with her husband and it’s equally inspiring and anguishingly beautiful. (I know that’s not a word, but it fits).
Let me know if you would like her blog address. TY again.
April 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm
Now,it is a word! Thanks for the invite. I will pop on over. I guess I will need her address.
April 22, 2014 at 11:24 pm
I think you will love her blog. I recall one post where she speaks about her father in law, a very distant man. At least toward her husband Tom. Very touching story, all of it. I hope that you like it. http://sheridegrom.wordpress.com
April 22, 2014 at 11:35 pm
You’re an angel for sharing. I LOVE these kind of stories. Have a blessed day. I look forward to reading more of your poetry as well.
April 23, 2014 at 12:35 am
This is wonderful. And now it is time for your Dad to see he has painted a self portrait that is a masterpiece.
April 23, 2014 at 1:00 am
Dean, you touched my heart with your comment. I appreciate you taking the time. And yes, it us time for him to see that a simple life is a great life…especially lived truly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
April 23, 2014 at 1:22 am
The poem is so heartfelt and filled with a true voice. A voice of experience, of love and also loss. Most of all, I hear a voice of contentment and I love that voice most of all–it wraps the picture and places it in a frame. Thank you for sharing.
April 23, 2014 at 1:31 am
So well said Sheri. Thanks for sharing your gift of words. I can’t wait to read it to my dad because it will let him know that his voice matters, and that people will appreciate his simple, content life. Nemaste.
April 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Thank you for the follow, this is so soulful, splendid piece:)
June 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm
That is simply beautiful!
June 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm
June 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm
It doesn’t need any editing. It is perfect. 🙂
June 5, 2014 at 2:13 am
I’ve come to believe the same thing. It’s the first time I have witnessed him being vulnerable. Any changes would taint it’s raw energy. I appreciate your comment. It reaffirms what I was thinking.
June 5, 2014 at 10:48 am
Happy to help like that. 🙂
English is not my mother language but I think I speak and write it fluently, so I saw really no “problem” with the poem. It is his. 🙂
July 10, 2014 at 10:03 am
It’s beautiful; full of heart 🙂