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Saturday, October 2, 2010

“Defining Moments” Poem: Hospice Volunteering and Life


Each chapter of my book “Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes” ends with an original poem relating to the chapter. “Defining Moments” was written after I realized that a series of events having nothing to do with anyone close to me dying had led to my becoming a hospice volunteer. Previous to these events, I was not attracted to being actively involved in the healthcare profession as a caregiver and advocate for seniors. Nobody is more surprised than yours truly that I am an eldercare consultant, author and blogger now.

Several readers have told me that “Defining Moments” resonates with them. As a writer, I appreciate knowing when something I have written has connected with other people. But I was especially surprised one day when a reader who had actually memorized the poem approached me while reciting it. This was followed by a heartfelt explanation of a defining moment in his life. Perhaps this poem will remind you of a defining moment in your own life.
Defining Moments
They come without warning,
grab us in chokeholds of change,
fling us into outer space
where past meets future.
In this realm resonating
with first-time knowledge,
we awaken wide-eyed,
infused with wisdom
to turn around, stand still
or move forward with clarity.
No matter how they smack,
stroke, lift, drop, push, kiss
or kick us to get our attention,
when they finish their mission,
we are permanently scarred.

©Frances Shani Parker

Frances Shani Parker, Author

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