on teaching you kindness.

i turn you

into

gentle

words,

every

day.

so that

kindness,

will

always bloom

from

your

mouth.

— on teaching you kindness.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I am Mum to a boy who is autistic.

Years of struggling with social interaction sees him confused whenever he is rejected by peers, or even adults.

He cannot understand why children reject his attempts at interaction and it is heartbreaking to watch, at times.

I don’t ever want his gentle heart to harden and after a failed attempt at making friends, we always talk it through—we try and figure out whether the other person was perhaps having a bad day, or maybe they didn’t hear him say ‘hello’.

I shower him with praise for trying—trying to reach out when it is easier not to.

I speak kindness over him, so that this will be his default language in spite of how others might treat him.

And perhaps, this is something we should do with ourselves?

Turn ourselves into words—kind, trusting, hopeful, compassionate, empathetic.

So that we can care deeply for our hearts when they are hurting.

xx

on mothering diabetes.

in my fridge,

in

the

shelf

that

is

designed

to

hold

cheese,

there

are

vials

of

hope,

and

a kit

with

pre-filled

hormone,

that

will

bring you back

if

you

should

ever

slip

too

far

away from me.

i,

keep

nocturnal vigils

with

foxes

and other

mothers

who have to

keep

on

keeping

on,

before the day breaks.

i,

punch

a calculator in my head

with

every

meal, and

i sing songs of

no, you cannot eat that now

and

please, you must drink this

now,

or, else…

and,

in this home

we

know

needles

and

we belong to the ones with

sharps containers

on

their

kitchen counters

where others

have

no

such

things.

and,

we

are

intimately

familiar

with

the fear that words can carry,

hypo

hyper

ketones

coma

death.

but,

i

also

know

the

hope

in glass vials,

where

every

drop

holds

life.

i,

know

that

cells might

forget

how

to

keep

you alive,

but

i

will

not

forget,

or

give

up,

and,

for

you and for life,

i am grateful.

— on mothering diabetes.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Today, 14th November 2018, is World Diabetes Day.

In our home, we sing a different song and we fight a daily war that involves needles and insulin and fear — if I am honest.

But, we know hope and we are grateful for the simple miracle of insulin.

And, life.

hidden.

autumn,

is turning her shoulder,

lowering

her

gaze,

gathering

her

dying colours

as she prepares

to say

farewell.

until

next

time.

but,

first,

winter

must

pass

through

my

bones.

and i

am left,

exploring

the

empty

spaces

where

what

was

once

impossibly green,

is

now

dust.

and,

i pray.

pray,

brave

kitchen

prayers

of

i know there’s

more,

whilst

wiping crumbs

from

this table

like

another

desperate

woman

long,

long ago,

and

faces change,

and

stories

are diluted

with

time,

but,

loneliness

wears

the

same

cloak,

and,

women

have whispered

the same

desperate

hope

for

roots and belonging,

and

healing

and

another heart to call

friend.

and,

you

were

bread

then,

giver of hope.

and,

so

i

wait

to

be seen,

to

be

enough.

hungry,

for

my

spring.

— hidden.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Sometimes, the bravest prayer you can pray,

is for

more.

be gentle (with yourself).

you,

are a life made of seasons.

do not apologise for

the starkness

of your winter.

— be gentle (with yourself).

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It takes a great deal of courage to live transparently.

We are encouraged to put on a brave face, a happy face — think positive, pray more, hand it to God.

But sometimes, these things do not lift the burden.

And, this is ok.

Learn to be gentle with yourself and the season you are in.

Learn to be gentle with others and the season they are in.

Sometimes, a kind word and quiet companship are more powerful and more healing than (well-meant) advice.

self (worth).

does the sparrow

count

her worth,

in seeds found,

at the end of the day?

a tallying of

numbers

lining up

with avian goals

to achieve,

until

the figures

nod

approval to

her

existence,

or does she simply

rest,

content,

with full belly

in her warm nest,

a life

lived.

— (self)worth.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

I have been working on my internal dialogue — the driven personality that seeks to find (my) worth in what I do.

A counting of what I can tick off my to-do list at the end of the day and only once that list is long enough, full enough, allowing myself the pat on the back, the well done.

(there is) life after death.

the wild cherry tree
that stands
sentinel
below my kitchen window, had

until today,

lost all her leaves,

but two.

and all morning long
i kept watch
over her labour
as i rinsed the remains of

give-us-our-daily-bread

from plates, and
somewhere
between brewing tea
and folding laundry,

she let go of the last signs
of life,

and i stood with my head
bowed
in that solemn moment, but

she swayed in the wind
and said,

‘there’s no need for sadness,
i have been expecting this loss
and
it is good.’

as two leaves became
one
with all the others, and

gold

lay like love,
all over the
very ordinary
lawn.

— (there is) life after death.

© Liezel Graham 2018.