Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

We Are Needed

 

It takes just a moment

to pause and let go –

to notice.

Presence always waits patiently for us.

She is found in the smallest of things…

 

The slow drip of water 

off a rock

which holds the riverbank in place….

Presence is there.

 

The thought that gives birth to the word that spawns a tear…

Yes.  There.

 

In that moment between

the reach of your hand

to the lifting of another –

Or when the homeless man 

catches your eye and

a generous smile blooms…

There!

 

How short our time is!

We squander Presence like we waste water…

We forget to look,

to hear the slow drip,

to speak the unspoken word.

We get lonely in this poverty

of connection.

 

Sad, isn’t it?

This slip of a rose through the grasp of our fingers.

We ignore the dropped flower

and miss out on the bouquet,

the colors…

And then we grieve the loss of 

a flower to cheer us –

it’s brilliance unwitnessed.

 

Love is like this , too.

It can hide beneath.

 

So, let’s elevate the 

Presence and the Love, too.

For without them,

we aren’t even here.

And we are so needed.

 

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2019

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Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

When the Poems Do Not Arrive

When the poems do not arrive,

it is time to sit and quiet.

Rest is needed

so trust in Life can

bubble up for expression

and flow in a new way.

 

When the poems do not arrive

and the wings of inspiration

do not lift and lighten,

one must look within with honesty.

Where are the blocks?

When found, raise them up

and bless them.  

Be grateful for the freedom they bring

when discovered and set aside.

 

When the poems do not arrive,

grieve a little and

then let go.

For there is no one to blame.

This is not about you.

There is only understanding

waiting for the dawn.

It always comes.

 

When the poems do not arrive,

be patient.

For when Presence returns,

so will the words that illuminate it.

 

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2019

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Uncategorized

A Pastoral Care Glimpse

Yesterday, we had a new patient who I could not get to see easily as I was already scheduled to see patients in a whole different part of our large geographic territory.  She was the matriarch of a very large Cape Verdian family and was 99 years old.  The family had requested Sacrament of the Sick (SOS) for the patient as they were devout Catholics – and so was the patient. I called her daughter who was the Health Care Proxy and offered to set up (SOS) and visit today, the next day, and in the morning to provide presence and comfort.  The daughter was grateful for my assistance and had agreed to the plan.

I arrived today after my morning meeting at ten to find several crying family members leaving the floor.  I went to the the RN and stated, “She died, didn’t she.”  She affirmed my conclusion.  “Did the priest come?”  “No.”  I was so disappointed and surprised as this particular priest is very reliable.  I went to the patient’s room to find many more family members still present – probably 15 to 20.  I found my way to her daughter and introduced myself.  She graciously brought me to  the deceased patient in the hospital bed.  She began telling stories about what a great mom her mother was – a matriarch of the family who never had conflicts with anyone.  “In all her life, I only remember an issue she had with one person.  She was a saint.”  

Meanwhile, family members continued to cry and honor their lost matriarch.  The family presence was intergenerational.  I was impressed by the presence of many young people, along with the elders.  I affirmed the family for their great presence with the patient and let them know that what they just accomplished was hard work….but that they had done a good job sending her on her way.  They had been present for her.  I said to the daughter, “what can I do to be spiritually supportive?”  “Pray,” she said.  “Just pray.”  So, I placed my hand on her mother’s forehead, bowed my head, and gave thanks for her life and love. I prayed for her comfort and peace.  I asked God to hold her in his Everlasting Arms and bring her home.  I asked for comfort to the loving and grieving family.

The daughter expressed gratitude and continued to tell stories of her mother.  Family had gathered more when I was praying.  Funeral plans began to be discussed.  It was clear this was a very spiritual family.  I was feeling badly that no priest had come to bless this beautiful soul.  So I offered a blessing.  “I have water blessed by a priest in Ireland with me.  I can give your mom a blessing, if that would be helpful.”  The family was pleased about this idea.  “Yes,” was the answer.  More gathered around the bedside and I invited the family to participate.  I asked them to place their hands somewhere on the their loved one’s body.  I instructed them that together, we would recite the Lord’s Prayer.  After that, I would make several blessing statements.  After each statement, I invited them to affirm with “Amen.”  I then stated I would close with a blessing with the holy water placed on the loved one’s forehead and give the her a benediction to send her home.  Then we all did just that.

The family continued to cry but they were at peace.  I let them know about our bereavement services and asked if there was anything else I could do for them.  They stated all was well and expressed appreciation for this pastoral support.  I left.  Shortly after I left, the family felt free to disband, more at peace with having honored the death of their loved one.  This is what my pastoral care looks like. It is part triage, part loving presence with a big dose of humility and love.  To include divinity and presence in the process of saying goodbye at end of life is the highest honor and privilege. I am so blessed to have this as my life’s work.  There is nothing better than being there for others when it matters the most and to be able to elevate God’s presence  and make it visible.  Blessed be.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, April, 2019

 

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Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

Nurture

 

You are but a drooping plant

with a bowed-browned bloom.

Your light is not reflecting –

the shadows grow.

Grief visible like this

is more easily watered.

It calls out for nurturance.

When hidden,

it festers 

and roots into every pore,

making us sick –

stealing the colors.

This is the usual way…

for we are all good at facades

and hiding.

We smile brightly,

despite the pained cracks within.

    Where does it hurt, my friend?

Show me the place

and tell me the story.

Dig out the pain from

your hardened crusts – fashionably covered.

Lift your voice and let the cry be born.

Let me know what is needed.

Take the covers off

and allow the hurt to move you

to a new place of freedom.

All is well, and

I am here with you.

You belong.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2019

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Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

Be a Tree

 

You can stand in your ground

with roots that grasp to

all that matters

and holds you in place.

You can reach for the light and

blossom in its glow.

You bloom and grow,

bloom and grow –

shedding what is no longer needed,

in the appropriate season.

Other beings are attracted to you…

they sense your peace.

Its good to allow them

to hug you,

and be in your presence.

For sharing the strength and life

of your core

brings healing –

and releases the knots of

tension and contraction which cause

unnecessary twisting.

As the winds and storms arrive,

remember who you are.

You are not the weather.

You are a tree.

You observe.

You lend air.

You stand tall and alert, and

your stillness blesses.

Copyright © Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2019

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