A Secret Sadness

A couple of weeks after Bill suffered his first stroke and was transferred to the nursing home, I was invited to a friend’s birthday party for her little girl. I was feeling especially sad that day, and it was all I could do to hold back tears, as I ate tacos and watched the child open her gifts. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver illustrates this.

A Secret Sadness

I fight to keep from crying.
“Push it back, way back,” I tell myself.
Melissa’s eight-year-old cries of delight
mingle with the chatter of her playmates,
the smell of tacos.

Bill suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side.
Will he ever walk again?

I paste a smile on my face, admire Melissa’s presents.
How can I be happy?

I’ll leave you now with a song that also depicts my unhappiness in the first weeks after Bill’s first stroke. This is one of Bill’s favorite songs, and he wants me to sing it at his funeral. I don’t know if I can do that. The link will be available for at least a couple of days.


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.

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