What Is Left?

What is left?

When the things you want to do are hampered or denied

by injury

by lack of time

by lack of space

by lack of money.

What is left?

When those you love are absent

the one who remarries and moves away

the one who lives on the other side of the world

the one who moves away in search of work

the one who would have understood you best but is gone forever.

What is left?

When the friends you had have been driven away

by hurtful words

by thoughtless actions

by irrational emotion

by a lack of attention and time spent.

What is left?

When the structures that held you up and held you steady

the community of faith

the community of theatre

the community of song

the community of writers

are damaged or gone from your life.

What is left?

When you see yourself failing

as a partner

as a parent

as a child to an ageing parent.

What is left?

What is left?

Not much.

Only to try and remember

you have a roof over your head and bombs will not fall on it

you have food in the cupboard that will not vanish with the next drought or flood

you have a home and a place to belong instead of languishing in a refugee camp

you have education, healthcare and technology readily available.

What is left?

Gratitude. Wherever you can find it.

Grateful for the sunrise each day

33 thoughts on “What Is Left?

  1. It can be difficult some days to find gratitude when every little thing seems to be on a downward slide, but there is gratitude to be found. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Such a powerful piece Heather. I listened last nigh ot Amanda Lindhout speak last night about her 15 months in captivity in Somalia. I left there thinking i would be grateful for every little thing, but most of all freedom, for the rest of my days. I hope i don’t lose that feeling. Thank you for such a timely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I went to Peru some years ago to help build a bridge in a village so the kids could get to school safely and I saw how the kids lived in stone huts with dirt floors, no electricity and no running water and how excited they were to receive some paper and pens from us, I found myself, back home, sitting in the school playground waiting to pick up my kids and unable to sit and listen to other parents whinge about how the basketball coach doesn’t give their son enough court time or how the teacher doesn’t understand their daughter. I would have to walk away before I yelled “Get a grip!” The thing is, after a year, I fell back into the same everyday worries about my own children. However. now and again, that experience comes back to me (and my subsequent similar experience in Nepal) and it pulls me up. What I’m trying to say with all that is that be mindful that you feel this way now but you may find yourself taking things for granted again one day. But don’t be discouraged because this woman’s story will stay with you always and will pull you up from time to time and that, I think, is a good thing. We need to remember.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. You are hurting on too many levels right now. And perspective, while well and good doesn’t change your pain, it can sometimes add an extra layer of guilt to an already full emotional sandwich. You are loved, you have folks who will stand by you no matter the weather. And no we can’t replace those you lost, but that was never our purpose. Gratitude allows us to see the rainbow after the storm, the new seedlings unfurling where once mighty oaks stood… Be kind to yourself my dear friend

    Liked by 2 people

    • As always, you understand completely. I’m trying to remind myself that my problems are trivial in comparison to others and at the same time, as you’ve guessed, feeling completely guilty that I feel so bad. Not sure yet how to get through this one but haven’t completely given up just yet.


  4. Pingback: What Is Left? — Master of Something I’m Yet To Discover | michaelsnaith

  5. Ah, H, none of us is perfect, but most of us do our best even if at times it feels as if we’re not succeeding. Try not to be too hard on yourself. You are one of the good’uns!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Darlin, it sounds like you’re giving yourself a hard time, grateful or not. I don’t have much idea of what’s gone awry Heather, but you are a good person, and you can but try. Sending hugs 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heather, I don’t know you and I don’t know what you are currently going through, but can tell from your blog that you have an inner resilience and awareness that will in the end, triumph. There are so many people who you have been touched through your blog and clearly by the comments, and followers, you are not even a smidgen, a failure. I enjoy your globally aware, unique and diverse blog, as do so many others. I can relate to your feelings of your third world experiences, as I felt similarly after visiting Nepal. How experience, and what is important, is fluid and relative to where one is at any given moment. I felt I had an extremely wasteful, extravagant life back home, even though I am not rich by any stretch, yet my life and those of the Nepalese villagers, was rich in many other intangible ways. I try to put feelings of guilt about my luck at being born in the Western style world, into constructive action, as I am sure you do too. Getting involved in community projects from afar, when we cannot be there to help on a local level. When life is hard and gets you down, things can seem disproportionately bad. Our negative thoughts can drag us away from the positivity in our lives, yet know that everything, like bad weather, passes. It might seem little comfort in the present moment, but things do change, and more often than not, improve. For you and, for the folk in the refugee camps around the world, I hope that cloud passes over very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda, thank you. What I have appreciated most from my involvement in the blog world is the ability to put thoughts that are weighing heavily on my mind out into the ether and to receive in return helpful perspective and empathetic support. Things are much better but I do continue to wrestle with difficult changes in my life and issues around trust. But I am still lucky in my life compared to so many others and I am grateful for that.


  8. I came to your blog accidentally. Read this post of yours once. Then I opened it read it once again. Words are powerful. You made me stuck in your post and I was sitting here and thinking what is left when basically everything you want is denied in your life including happiness. Good one👍🏽


  9. Just stopping by to say hello, sugar plum ) 🙂 I took a wander down the people I follow in my Reader and there you were. Sounding miserable! I do hope things have improved for you, Heather. Sending late Christmas hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jo! Thank you for stopping by and Hello to you too! Things did improve. Life has been busy and my focus has been elsewhere so the blog has been neglected. Someday soon (maybe today!) I will finish the half-written post that explains where my focus has been. I also hope to get some focus back to the blogging.
      So good to hear from you. I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas. 🙂


      • Thanks darlin! Glad you’re ok. It was a different Christmas for us this year. My son is living with a lovely girl who has a 5 year old so we went to them and played with Lego and Scalectrix. New Year will be with my Polish family in Norfolk and soon we’ll be selling up and moving to the Algarve.


Talk to me. I love a discussion. I might learn new stuff.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s