Being Carin’s parent has not been an easy life
In fact it’s often been full of strife
From the moment her head popped out to say hello
It seems nothing went with its normal flow.
As a babe she had to sit up day and night
Because her little tummy was just not right
If she lay down for just a jot
She was promptly sick – and out it shot!
Then came the time to go to school
But she couldn’t understand the endless rules
Because she didn’t know how to read
And it was when she was eight this was seen as a special need.
The fight to be heard, the fear of doing wrong
Caught her up in endless knots. Whether it was from
Sleep walking, ticks or talking in her sleep -
When she DID sleep, after counting endless sheep!
When her dad went to bed, late at night
He always heard as he turned out the light
‘Goodnight’ again as a last-night call
Its safe to say he wasn’t exactly enthralled!
Then came exams, oh my oh my
How her little brain struggled and tried
She kept up in class with no problem at all
But when sitting the tests there was nothing to recall!
But Carin had developed by this early stage
The art of determination and a vibrant rage.
If anyone told her she maybe could try less hard
She would push that extra hundred yard.
‘Become a secretary’ her parents cried
The more they said it, the more she tried
Until her poor parents just shook their heads
As she took a post grad exam, instead.
Boys were another story altogether
She never quite seemed to get their measure
So broken-hearted wherever she was
Her parents were quite at a loss.
Australia gave her a chance to be free
A chance to be as she wanted to be
With people saying ‘go for it’, ‘give it a go’
Instead of ‘I wouldn’t Carin, it’s risky, no’.
Here she excelled in work and life
But like anyone growing up she had some strife
With cancer at 28 and then profound fatigue
She had now hit the typical Type A exhaustion league.
Her poor parents were worried and very far away
And couldn’t help her day to day
Instead there were short-term visits and long term calls
Where they did their best to soften her frequent falls.
But Carin has a backbone of steel and bones of grit
And it wasn’t long before she tried again to find her fit
She volunteered, travelled, retrained and studied
And true to form, excelled, and pushed back times previously muddied.
She was in demand, earning well but bored
So she got a job in San Fran, and her courage once more soared.
But just when organised, it all fell through
And she had to think, again, what to do!
Back to the UK, to spend time with her family
She had years of bliss before another calamity
This time, it took everyone, even she by surprise
And from the ashes, she had to once more up and rise.
Her poor parents really had now been socked in the jaw
And her big concern, was not just for she, but that they suffered no more.
But this is where the difference came
Because it’s now that her life, once and truly, finally changed.
She was no longer the child, the little girl
Trying to please others and look out for their concern
She was now at last grown up, an adult and on her own
Instead of striving, feeling all alone.
The parenting could finally stop
Because she found herself, from her bottom to her top
She was she. Her art, her words flowed easily out
And it was with joy and laughter that she could be seen about.
Her parents and she were at last good friends
And it was here that their painful parenting was at an end.
Carin had learnt who she was and that she was OK
As she was, with who she was, every day.
So up she picked herself once more
And dusted herself off, up off the floor
But this time with a confidence and a spring in her step
And a grin and cheeky wink it was to her future she set.
She now had the focus to look after herself
With enthusiasm, confidence and a new-found stealth
Because she had learned that nothing ever in her future life
Could be as bad as her recent strife.
And she had come through, with strength and courage
She shook off her bad days with a flourish
And took herself off once more to the land of Oz
Where she knew she could save her pennies, because
She wasn’t now going to find herself and be free
Because she had learned that she was free wherever she would be.
Instead the move was purely practically based
And it was practical things, not emotional ones, she faced.
Carin’s parents had had a long hard rocky road
And it was their endless love, support and faith through which she now flowed.
They had been there, for her, at the most important time of her life
They had listened, and cared, and provided support through her biggest strife.
She could never reconcile in herself the pain they’d been through
And would rather have lost both arms and both legs too
If it could have stopped their pain on her behalf
But she could hear them now saying ‘don’t be daft.
‘A parent’s role is to support, love and care
No matter what age or what tragedy life lays bare’
‘But’ says she, with a sincere frown
‘There comes a time, when parents are not around.
‘And the child has to be the adult, in body and mind’.
Her parents could at last find
That their life was theirs, to enjoy, to savour
With their own special pizzazz and flavour.
Carin’s parents had cared as much as they could
And she and they knew that they always would
But she also knew that instead of ‘are you sure?’
Her new cry was ‘I like life! Give me more!’
Thank you, to her parents for being resolute and strong
And supporting her for so long
Thank you, for their love and care
Thank you, for giving her the courage to dare.
Thank you for valuing her determined streak
To do things not intended for the meek
Thank you for accepting her free spirit
To embrace everything and everyone important to her in it.
She is now a woman in her own right
With confidence, and a giggle, and an ability to fight
But, whether near or far, their parenting will always be her mortar
And she, in turn, with love, will always be their daughter!
Like paintings, words have the power to connect. I share my insights and poems here with you in the hope that they benefit others.