Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I feel joy

The following is a found poem created last night by the narrative group for parents of children with brain injury at Holland Bloorview. A found poem is like a collage, but in this case brings together a line of writing each parent wrote in response to the prompt: "I feel joy when my child..." In the narrative group, parents read, write and draw about parenting their children as a way to build self-compassion, resilience and peer support. While parents attend the group, their children participate in a writing club at the hospital.

I feel joy

I feel joy when my child has fits of laughter.

I feel joy when my child is getting better, is smiling, is eating well and is hugging me and saying 'I love you, Mommy!'

I feel joy when I see my daughter happy. I hope she lives happily every day.

I feel joy when my child laughs out loud... and smiles with her eyes.

I feel joy when my child smiles, gives me a giant hug and a squeeze, blows me kisses and says 'Mommy, I love you.'

In speaking about how life changed after her child suffered a brain injury, one parent said:

"We were a typical family who were sort of wanting to live the right way. We wanted our children to attend the right school, so we moved to a better school district. We were wrapped up with our neighbours and with moving and with progressing. We had all of these plans down the road. In six months there was a birthday party, and in a year a vacation.

Looking back, these were things that didn't matter. 

When your child is very ill and you could lose them, none of that matters. No amount of money in the world, or success in the world, can trump health.

I can't predict tomorrow, I can only predict today. It simplifies life. It means letting go and accepting what is. We have now."