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

27 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 2 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 2 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.

      Like

  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 1 person

  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

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