Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Healing

TO ALL MY FRIENDS: This is the reason I’ve been absent the past couple of days. Thanks for your patience. Amy

Candles For Nina

Nina, who is far away
I know you hear my prayer
My heart and soul (my daughter)
is right there, been there

since it happened,
the Horrible Thing
Wrong place, wrong time
The pavement, no springing

up from this blow, it seems
As your friends stared
the ambulance came
Carried you with care

Now Nina, you’re in limbo
Twixt here and no one knows
Through my girl, in spirit,
I’m there, I feel so close

Your friends, angry, crying
and Nina, that’s for you
Sad, praying, lighting candles
And God is right there, too

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Nina Fitzpatrick is a student at Laguna Beach Institute of Arts and Design. One moment Nina is a vibrant, artistic, cool woman…the next, it’s moment to moment. It happened in a crosswalk at the school – a crosswalk students have complained about repeatedly,
WHAT FOLLOWED WAS WRONG INFO AND I HAVE APOLOGIZED TO SCHOOL AND TRIED TO EMAIL. WRITER WAS ANONYMOUS BY EMAIL AS WELL:

…but about which the school did nothing, citing budget concerns. Seriously? (END OF MISTAKE, what follows is redaction)

Real story: LCAD (Laguna College of Arts and Design – I wrote wrong name) was indeed the recipient of numerous complaints, including near misses – BUT the road is apparently privately owned, and the OWNERS would not do anything, even when the SCHOOL offered to help pay. The only good news is that LCAD went public and it looks like their demand for stop lights at the crosswalk is being heard; it made the paper, etc. I logged into my edits to write the person who said I was “kicking them while they were down” (see comments, lower portions) but they did not leave a valid email. This sort of sucked, but I get it.
So I am mailing a hard copy of the original plus the redaction to the school and hoping they distribute it widely. In the meantime, my complaint is valid; however, my blaming the school was TOTALLY based on numerous instances of hearsay. So much for that. Nothing can bring Nina back, and I am so sorry I hurt folks who may have read this comment. LCAD is a marvelous school and has done wonderful things for all its students. Amen.


First, I’d like to congratulate Laurie Kolp and Beth Winter for joining the Pretzels and Bullfights arena at dverse poetry. Both are wonderful, warm, talented women, and they will no doubt present us with challenging prompts!  I am adding this to the dverse Open Mic Night in their honor.

Sunday Scribblings (#344) asked for poems about healing. This is also at my “home base” blog, Poets United.

Healing and Healing

“But Aunt Nelda, God didn’t answer my prayer.”
And your prayer was…?

“I prayed for my mother to be healed.”
And what happened?

“She woke up one day in hospice – and,”
the boy breaks down in tears, tears hard won in a world that
doesn’t afford males the luxury of such a balm.

And?
“She was talkative, told me to stay in school,
reminded me of the walks we took in the forest,
pressing dried autumn leaves, all sorts of stuff.
Must have been hours, all about how I should
go to college and not decide my major right away,
that I should dabble with everything until
something catches me by the throat and won’t
let go! Funny, I’m only in eighth grade. Oh, and
the year she helped coach my baseball team, even though
she was the only mom to do that in the whole league. I
was embarrassed then, but I told her that day I was
so proud of her for doing it. I told her she had balls,
and she laughed so hard!”

And then?
“She seemed so well that afternoon, we thought she was
making a comeback, and that night I got on my knees and
thanked God for healing her. The next day, she died.”

Are you angry with God?
“Damn straight. Really pissed. I don’t give a shit about God
anymore. He didn’t give me what I needed most, my mom.
First, He made her suffer with the cancer, the chemo, the
radiation, and then he didn’t let her live.”

What do you think your mom needed?
“Well, healing, coming home, taking care of Dad, seeing
friends. Like it was last year.”

Honey, listen to me.
There’s healing and there’s Healing.
The first, you come home from the hospital, back to
the way things were for the most part, until the cancer
returns, as it often does, and you go through all the pain
and suffering and indignity all over again, until eventually,
your body gives up.

The second, you go home to God.
It’s called the Final Healing.
Your mom went through three rounds with the cancer, and
she didn’t have anything left to fight it. But one thing
God did give you was one last day to talk. It was her way of
saying goodbye, giving you the best memories as a gift.
Don’t blame your mom; she didn’t give up. And yell
all you want to at God, because God has the
widest shoulders you can imagine. God’s giving you
the gift of tears right now.

“So she was healed… but not in the way I wanted?”
Hon, we pray to God for all sorts of things, and
you prayed for your mother to have the best. It
wasn’t what you expected, but remember this:

Your mom doesn’t hurt anymore, doesn’t cry out
in her sleep from pain at 2 a.m. And she left with us
her greatest gift to the world – you.. You hold her
stories, you have her eyes. And trust me:

One day, you will know that God loves you.
Even when you yell and swear at him, God
still “gives a shit” about you. I know it.
So go to a counselor, here’s a card. After my mom died,
I screamed into pillows at my therapist’s office.
Sean, it was cleansing and it healed my grief.

So go ahead, rail at God, and you’ll do fine.
C’mere and give your auntie a hug…

and I dare you not to let go first.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Heart.
Muscle.
Pump.
Can be defeated by eating “to your heart’s desire,”
yet your heart desires it not,
only your want to fill
that empty spot.

Heart.
Symbol.
Red.
A child hangs his Valentine on the fridge,
only to find the dog
thought it interesting;
she nuzzled it down, chewed it to bits.
He runs crying to Mom.

Heart.
Soul.
Passion.
She now grants access carefully. Her heart
has been broken before,
but it healed, gained resilience.
The scars may show,
but she will live
to love again.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads: We were asked to post the song that helps us through our heartbreaks and write a poem about it. This prompt caught me by the tear ducts.
The YouTube track is, of course, Rickie Lee Jones (not “Ricky,” spelled wrong on the title page). Tom Waits wrote this song for her, and she sang it every night as the encore during her first national tour. I went to this song for solace time and again, in the years before Lex. She is a treasure trove of writing talent on her own, but here is where an angel’s voice meets the song the actual writer could never sing to great effect.