Day 11 of 30 Days in June “Remembering and Gratitudes”

Day 11 of 30 Days in June for PTSD Awareness

Poetry created from February 5, 2014 blog post for PTSD Poetry Project

“Remembering & Gratitudes”

Get out of bed

Get dressed

Drink coffee

Giving up would be a luxury

One I cannot afford

Paying the bills

 Leaves only small monies for food

Screw this! It’s too hard!

This is constantly in my mind

The only option left is to survive

I survived

The luxury of giving up

This I cannot do

Memories of so many call responses

Of babies and adults who died

Of ones I took home to die

Held their hand until their last breath

Held their hand until they said their good byes

Memories of CPR

Countless minutes until the last beat was gone

Hearing doctor’s words confirming

We had been too late

Happier memories of those who hugged me

Those who said “I love you” to the stranger I was

Memories of flying many hours to see

Lumber jumbled where homes had been

Boats swept up onto the highway

Spray painted signs, crude in construction

With the words of strength

“We will not give up”

Driving back to my hotel

To the beach to cry in the sun

Memories of all their stories of survival

The days I fear going into the grocery store

Seem belittled next to these

Home again to ‘thank you’s’ from people I did not know

Years later funerals for those I’d worked with

And barely known

I could hardly breathe watching those DVD memorials

For the person they had been in life

And now were gone

A decade later I’m the one who is lost

I’m the one saying “screw it! I can’t do this!”

A decade later and all I have is to

Get out of bed

Get dressed

Drink coffee

Pay the bills

And pray there is enough left for food

The hard remembrances remind me of who I was

Who I had been

And I know that I am not alone in this

I know what I had been through

Before I came back home

I survived

So I surely could find my way back to me

As I briefly look up

A stranger says to me

“You can do this…You are NOT alone”


“The hard days of remembering and gratitude”

         Posted by Bree N. on February 5, 2014  

Even on the days I realize all I have is me to count on to get out of bed, get dressed, coffee, etc I know I won’t give up. It’s almost as if it would be a luxury I can’t afford. Pay bills, try and live off the small amount left for food. Yes I have days I think “screw it, its just too hard” but what option is there? None.

So to those who have those days of just wanting to say “screw it”? Know you are NOT ALONE.

I think of all the horrible ambulance calls I did, all the people who died, took home to die or babies that died, all the minutes of CPR and hearing doctors’ pronouncements. I think of the ones who lived, I think of the patients’ hugs and “thank you”. My trying to be brave and just go to the grocery store alone seems so very small. I think of flying to Florida and seeing all the jumbled mess of lumber where homes used to be. I think of going door to door checking on people listening patiently to their stories of survival. I remember conversations with national Guard men protecting the hospitals and medical trucks. I remember the crude spray painted sign propped up that said “We will not give up” and crying the entire long drive back to my safe hotel to sit in the sun on the beach and just cry for all the lost.

I remember the 4 PD funerals I was part of and how my heart, my soul ached to see their lives via a DVD of pictures, realized how little i really knew of them, and those days were too much to bear too.

Now I’m the lost one and I’m on the walk about journey back home to a different, stronger me. If I was able to get through all those things? Surely I can find me again. Knowing others pray for me, that strangers who say to me “you can do this”..

It means more than you know.


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