Undefined by kkc

They were labeled, stamped, put into a box.

The rules and stereotypes defined them.

You must look this way, act that way.

Society dictated how they were to be.

Defined people are not truly free,

they answer to the powers that be.

It is the undefined ones that rise up.

They worry not about what is supposed to be.

Their spirit is free, their minds are released.

Live outside crushed boxes with no labels.

It is in them to thrive with no boundaries.

Undefined people answer to no one.

Undefined people answer their own call.- kkc

Find my paperback of soul poetry “Undefined” at http://www.lulu.com

also my work is on Amazon for Kindle at Kimberly Cunningham- Verra Licht, Aurora’s Borealises, Rise Up For Love and Undefined…more writings in the works.

 

My writings come from my heart about people I know or do not know or never have known. The pen is mightier than any weapon there is against mankind. I write what comes to me and have no boundaries. Listen with your heart, read with your soul…peace.

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Little Kids Lost

Little Kids Lost by kkc

School pictures on the wall, yearbooks packed gone are the days of school buses and snacks

Little kids played in the yard in your sight
you tucked them into bed every single night

Went to their concerts, shows and games
what you do now will never be the same

Hours spent on homework, projects and such
told them everyday you loved them so much

Held them while they cried and sat by their side
clapped and cheered loud as they really tried

Washed marks off walls and their messy hair
always showing them how you love and care

Time went by fast but you thought it would last
longing for more time from the years past

Grown and on their own living their life out
left you standing there thinking what is it about

Adult in front of you but all that you see
is those little kids that were ages two or three

Smashed Shards

Smashed Shards by kkc
Smashed shards of her heart lay scattered across the floor all the way to the door.
How could she move on from this spot? Gave everything that her soul had to give, she is depleted. Love cost her greatly. Condition of her heart is now fatal. Blinded eyes were fooled by what she thought she felt, now she sees crystal clear. Wanting to retract into the shadows from which she came, she weeps. Again she must rise up and rebuild herself. Instinctively she is aware of the ease of quitting but intuitively she know she cannot. There is but one twinkling piece on the floor, that is her destiny. Soft footfalls trapse across the broken pieces to leave them behind. With her she brings the one piece in her pocket. Smashed shards of her heart lay scattered across the floor and she has closed the door to them.

The Buttons On The Coat

The Buttons On The Coat

Shiny buttons on the coat are placed there
to keep you secure and warm from the air.
You needed her hands to get the buttons done
it was so hard to do even just one.

As time went by, you needed her help less
not even to get ready or to get dressed.
You could do it all on your own,
A true sign that you had grown.

When you had kids, they needed help too
and you do all the stuff your mom used to do.
As life got busy and flew right by
Your mom’s aging caught your eye.

She puts her coat on to go right out
but on her face she has a doubt.
Her once strong hands are now just weak
She opens her mouth in order to speak.

Can you please help me with this coat?
And now you have a lump in your throat.
These buttons are so tiny and small
so you make sure to do them all.

Love’s True Color

Love’s True Color

You love a person not a color of skin,
there is much deeper content down within.
It is about the heart of a person and the look
in their magnificent magestic eyes.
Who cares about someone else’s heavy sighs.

Forget about what other beings have to say,
we are here to love and not hate in any way.
When two are deep in love with eachother,
it doesn’t matter who has what mother.

Real color of love is vibrant and true,
contrary to what has been told to red,
white and screamed to the blue.
You love who you love and that’s the truth.
Exists no need for man made rules.

Love has been locked up, tortured and beat,
all because someone sat in a powerful seat.
People were denied of their basic right,
to love one another with all their might.

Keep your eyes open and your heart free,
remind them what it is to really unsee.
Love is felt and then given to the other,
hold on tight to your beautiful brother.

No one should ever tell you a scripted rule,
you love who you love and that is just truth.

HE

Alone most times, HE often found himself searching for a mate. Over the years, HE had partners, had a spouse but did not have deep love. HE did not know what love staying around even meant. Lost his dad when HE was a mere kid, never saw two parents together, at least he can’t remember it. Saw his mother have one or two relationships if you could call it that. Mostly, the men did not stick around. Society told him HE had to be the head of the family. Rules said HE needed to be for better or for worse. He did not know the way. In an effort to love, HE took on many lovers, surrounded himself with women who were safe and would not leave. Letting the ladies lead, HE just went along with the flow. HE did not want to be disliked so HE told them what HE thought they needed to hear. Problem is, they did not want words but the total person. They did not want smooth talk leading to nowhere, they wanted to see all of him. HE acted inappropriately, almost to destroy bonds¬†and push away anything that had potential. HE ran from commitment, shied away from permanence, stayed solitary, yet surrounded. HE saw his mom’s heart break when his dad died and HE was terrified of having that same heartbreak so HE broke things first. HE is lost. HE keeps waiting for a she to find him, but the truth is HE needs to find himself first.

Too Me

Too Me by kkc

Too me it is never right to cross boundaries,
Too me is is incorrect to ask for a peek.
Too me your hands on me without my say
Too me is a huge trespass onto my space.

Too me my body deserves respect.
Too me I do not need an invasion.
Too me you soliciting my services
Too me is way out of hand.

Too me it is never okay to go all the way
Too me you need to have my permission.
Too me you are not entitled to push me.
Too me you need to hear me say no.

Peace in Rest

Peace in Rest

Loved one struggled lots towards the end
hard to recall good times had with your friend.

Life slowed to a hault when your buddy took ill
hospitals became the hangout and all was still.

Diagnosis of terminal written on a chart
how can you even think of it, where to start?

Constant pain for your mate every single day
wondering how will you know what to say.

Remembering days of playing as small kids
wishing you had more pictures of stuff you did.

No peace for the pained, a few minutes at best
soon relief comes, there will be peace in rest.

Suspenders and Flannel

For grandpa

Suspenders and flannel tucked into jeans,
grandpa was an average man yet very keen.
If he dressed up,his suit was perfectly pressed
lines so sharp in those pants when he dressed.

Quiet, unassuming and neat as a tack
everything lined up in garage on the racks.
Car was so clean you could eat off the floor
oh how he loved that blue LeSabre four door.

Rode his John Deere all around on the lawn
got up every morn as the day began to dawn.
Man of little words but yet had a lot to say
longing to see him for just one more single day.

Grandpa lost grandma and said goodbye
walked away and he sat down and he cried.
Got to a point that his health was bad
no longer could stay in his home he had.

Traded his flannel for hospital gowns
no more would he be coming around.
His breath was leaving him by the day
soon it was his time to go away.

Slipped through quietly in the night
time to get his suit pressed just right.
We gathered to say goodbye to our gramp
knowing he had the heart of a champ.

Gathered his stuff and that left a hurt
in the bag was suspenders and a flannel shirt.

Grandma’s Empty Chair

Loud creak of the rockers, the worn spindles
from these things my memory slowly kindles.

That old faded chair holds moments shared
of days spent knowing how fully she cared.

Stories were told, stitches were cast
these things in my mind will always last.

The wisdom she imparted always on me
is held deeply inside for all to see.

Played cards for hours, built domino towers.
Looked out at the glorious beds of flowers.

Big chair that was smoothly slowly rocking
the dresses, the pearls, hair net and stockings.

I felt safe as I sat quietly and closely nearby
she answered all my endless questions of why.

Grandmother’s chair was clearly her throne.
It was at the heart and soul of her home.

Now it just sits lifeless, still and cold
there is no more aged hand for me to hold.

Long arms are worn out, the seat has cracks
I would give it all up to get her back.

This great chair seems so giant each day
how it felt will remain in my mind to stay.

Her seat is just too hard to fill
it always has been and always will.

Unbreakable by kkc

The minute he said ” I can’t feel my legs,” I knew our lives were forever changed. My husband had felt flu-like symptoms for the past week and pain behind his left shoulder blade. We had made a trip to Urgent Care then a follow up to his internist. The usual blood tests and x-rays revealed no problems, so it was “here is a script for some muscle relaxers.” By the end of the week, he was no better and had not slept in days from the pain. We were to see a specialist on the upcoming Monday for what was believed to be a pinched nerve behind his shoulder blade.

As is turned out we never made it to that Monday appointment because my husband woke me up on 1/9/11 and said his legs were numb. He had tried to get out of the bed but his legs wouldn’t swing over the side. I jumped up from the bed to help him. My heart was beating out of my chest and he was calling out in pain. I grabbed cell phone and called 911. While it seemed like forever for 911 to come, my neighbor who is a first responder came to help. When the ambulance arrived, the EMTs all worked together to safely strap my husband to a backboard. They loaded him into the ambulance on that cold, crisp morning in January.

My neighbor called ahead to the ER about my husband’s paralysis, as a result a specialist was already waiting. It ended up being the best specialist in our area. My husband had a fever and was in excruciating pain behind his left shoulder blade and back of neck. I brought the MRI film we had done a few days ago but it was a bad copy. A new MRI was done immediately and to our surprise it revealed an abscess on his cervical spine the size of a golf ball. Neurologist Dr. Smith explained that an abscess on the cervical spine this size is rare and that 1 in 100,000 people get them. Furthering his explanation, he stated that this abscess was working quickly and it was shutting down my husband’s body organ by organ and we had to act quickly. Once we understood the urgency of the situation, we needed to make a decision to either do the procedure locally or send him to Syracuse NY. Dr. Smith showed us the MRI and where the cervical bones 4 and 5 were deteriorated and needed to be removed but his partner was out of town. The procedure required two doctors or he could do one part of it at that time and the rest when his partner got back. We were given five minutes to decide.

Decision to do it local or go to Syracuse, snowstorm outside, my husband’s body was shutting down, time couldn’t be spared. Dr. Smith had experience doing two of these rare abscesses during his time at Columbia University Hospital, one was successful and the person walked again, the other was not successful and the person remain paralyzed.¬† Clock ticking loudly on the wall, we sat just staring. Information was given to us that there would be a minimum of three months spent in the hospital either way. Looking at each other we knew a decision needed to be done now and we chose to stay local because Dr. Smith had experience with this. As he came in, he asked what did we choose and we told him. Responding with, “I will do everything I can to get you to walk again and for now we put it in the good lord’s hands.” After that he was off to prep for surgery.

Nurses came in as out of nowhere and began to get ready. “You can go with your husband down to the prep area and stay with him til he goes in.” My husband was in pain still and was uncomfortable from the neck brace but he said. “let’s do it.” Whisked him away and I followed behind finishing up paperwork for the hospital. Once there, he was given a gas to relax him to get the tube down his throat for surgery. Due to the nature of the spine injury, it took four people to get the tube placed as he was awake and had to swallow the tube. The entire time, he did everything asked of him without hesitating.What seemed like an eternity later he was ready to go, I kissed him and he was on his way.

Standing there taking it all in, I went to the chapel and sat there. One by one I began contacting family members and explained what was going on. It was a long process because of all the complications, I got a hold of as many as I could til my phone died. From that point on, I sat in the chapel feeling the energy. Warm presence, quietness, comforting space, I stayed in one place. In those moments, I asked God for nothing, I surrendered it all to Him and got out of the way. God has always been there for me and I talk to Him every day so I was not going to start wheeling and dealing now. I knew the greatness, I experienced it several times. My thought was that I wanted people to see just what He could do, as for me I already knew it. During that time in the chapel, I dozed off and went into a dream state. While sleeping, I was shown my husband at home walking around in his jeans just as he normally did, at that point I had zero doubt.

Exactly five hours after they took my husband into surgery, Dr. Smith came to talk to me about the procedure. He explained that the abscess was eating into my husband’s bones and that my husband had severe spinal stenosis, which we had no prior knowledge of. The abscess had settled into pockets in his spine that existed because of the stenosis. Cervical bones 4 and 5 were almost dissipated. At this point it would now be wait and see and let the high fevers go down before the next surgery. It was not known if he would walk again or not. Waiting to be called into recovery, I walked around, got some fresh air and regrouped. I knew we would have a major journey in front of us and I had to be there for him and my family and take everything over. In addition, I knew that I could handle it and my husband was the strongest man I knew and we would fight.

First thing I saw when I went to my husband’s room was him wiggling his toes on his right leg for the nurse and saying, “can I get something to eat,”, meanwhile he was doped up to the gills and tubes were coming out of everywhere! After examining him, Dr. Smith said that his left leg remained paralyzed and his left hand was curled up as it had become paralyzed as well. ICU nurses were getting him prepped to go to the ICU in a few minutes. Body temperature was fluctuating between 103-104 and his entire body was shaking from nerve damage. Tubes, cords, a neck brace, leg braces all accompanied him on the way to ICU. This would be home for the next two weeks. His signs near the bed displayed, no food, just liquids, fall precaution, spinal cord injury. Sit and wait was all we had to do until the results from the abscess came in, which would take two more days.

During the waiting period, he battled high fevers, trembling and shaking, elevated heart rate, severe pain and to make matters worse, the morphine he was given made him break out in hives. To compound the situation, his family that lived hours away was dealing with snowstorms preventing them from making the trip. At that time we were just going day by day to get him ready for the next surgery which needed to happen soon if that left leg ever had a chance of moving again. Meanwhile, my neighbors stepped in and helped with my daughter and getting her off the bus everyday while I worked then made my way to the hospital, people were dropping off food at our house, my mailbox was flooded with cards and checks from loved ones that wanted to help. We cashed in all his time at work that we could to help with the bills because at that time I had only been working part time as my job had less hours from months before. On paper, things were not looking too good. I knew that when I surrendered it to God, that meant all of it so I didn’t tell anyone that finances were going to be diminished soon.

Finally the results were in and we found out that he had a bacteria called Streptococcus Pneumoniae, and it needed two antibiotics via an i.v drip for months to treat it. Big question in our minds was how did he get this? This bacteria is the main cause of pneumonia, but my husband didn’t have that. He had flu like symptoms and extremely severe pain underneath his shoulder blade, that is how all this started. We learned that Strep can manifest itself in other parts of the body. Elderly, children and those with a weakened immune system such as my husband can get very ill. About a week prior, my husband had punctured the inside of his elbow at work. The doctors came to believe that the bacteria entered his system through that puncture because there was a black line of bacteria visible from that puncture almost to his shoulder. It is speculated that the bacteria damaged his left hand, and then spread to behind his shoulder blade, then traveled to his cervical spine settling there. It was killing him and in another 48 hours he would have been dead. Now our battle had a name and we were going to do everything we could to crush it!

So it began, double antibiotics to attack the bacteria, plans made with specialists to come in and assess the damage on my husband’s body, Center for Disease Control daily reports, case worker, social worker, therapists. Entire team of medical personnel assembled to make a plan for what would come next. In between that was visits from co workers, close friends, people to pray, and more doctors, not to mention daily updates on the phone to family, and a few hours of work for me. Wait and see mode for the next ten days gave way to a newly scheduled surgery date. When we arrived at nine days out from the first surgery, his fevers were gone and the neuroligist team was ready to do the second surgery. Briefly meeting with them, we found out that they would go in at the site of the laminectomy which was the first surgery and add screws there to the fusion to pull the spine up in an attempt to decompress it. Both specialists confirmed to me that this may not work, it may be too late and be prepared in case my hub was wheelchair bound. I heard what they said but my soul rejected that, I already knew and had a sense of peace about it that he would not be paralyzed. Second time of kissing him and sending him off for surgery in just nine days. For me, it was sit and wait.

This time I chose to sit in the family waiting room while he underwent another 5 hour procedure. Seated myself on a couch next to and end table. I had brought a stack of books for the wait. Next to me on that table was a lamp which was off. I really gave it no regard until it started turning on and off several times. After a while it caught my attention because it kept doing it. I got up and went to get some hot tea and the light stopped but when I returned next to it the light started back up. Whatever, was my thought. Once the five hours dragged slowly by, the team of docs approached me to give me info. Things went well they said but his stenosis is very severe, your 50 year old husband has the back of an 80 year old man, no guarantees this would work. More wait and see over the next few days. I thanked them both, shook their hands, and sat back down in my spot to wait til I could go to recovery. During this time, the light completely stopped the flashing on and off and ceased it completely. Eventually, my name was called to go to recovery, I dropped one of my books on the floor landing under the table with the lamp. As I bent down to get the book, I noticed the lamp cord unplugged under the table, the plug part of the cord had been cut off. I sat there the whole time, no one else near me, I stayed right there when I talked to docs, no one came near that lamp or table, I cannot explain it to this day. I would have seen a person come to unplug it or cut the cord off. When the docs came we were right next to that lamp, it was in our view. Still I got nothing, no explanation.

No time to think about that lamp now, I was on my way to recovery to see my husband. By now, he had been moved to another floor. As I approached his room, I saw he was alert and talking. At that point his left leg and left hand were still paralyzed. Time would be the teller of the truth. It had been a long day, I went and got some cafeteria food and sat with him and helped feed him his dinner. His nerves were so damaged in those early days, he couldn’t even hold a fork or spoon without shaking all over the place. Groggy from the meds, he needed rest now and I had to get home to see my daughter, so we called it a day. It was Martin Luther King’s birthday in 2011, there was also a snowstorm so I had to go home and clean out my driveway. Weary from the past week, freezing from the cold weather, I was hopeful and as long as one has hope one has a chance. I remember telling my daughter that God is here with us and we will all be okay. Meanwhile, there was only a small amount of fuel oil in our tank, funds were low and eventually I had to find a full time job as soon as we were out of the woods. We had enough funds to make the next mortgage payment and vehicle payment but I was worried about what was after that, this process would take months. My husband probably was going to be disabled and how would we be able to make ends meet? Again I reminded myself, “you surrendered all this, so sit with it.”

Shining bright sun greeted us the following morning as I got my daughter off to the bus. My first mission was to go to the hospital to see my husband. Upon arrival to his room I heard him say, “woo hoo,” and I stepped in to see his left leg now working and his bent and damaged left fingers wiggling. First thing out of his mouth after that was “now when can I start walking again?” His nurse was so excited she went to call his doctors with the great news. My hub got struck down but now he has a chance to rise back up.Walking was going to be a task because he was still hooked up to a bunch of stuff, including i.v antibiotics for the next 8 weeks, and a huge neck brace plus he shook so hard it almost knocked him out of bed. Upon assessments of his legs, we learned his left foot had a foot drop and was spastic. It is from the paralysis and to this day, his left leg spasms if he moves too quickly. More news was given to us, his bladder had been damaged, his kidneys had been damaged, needed catheter for who knows how long, maybe permanently. He had sphincter dysfunction, his salt levels were off the charts, his left hand was permanently damaged, his blood plasma counts were off, he was severely anemic and a few other issues. Prior to this, my husband was physically fit, extremely active, worked very hard on his job, he was my superman. Strong man, now weak laying in that bed. However, it was his strength and sheer determination that he would need to get up. His focus stayed on getting out of that bed.