for when your body is broken and your mind is free


the first thing you should know is that I know you didn't plan for your life to be this way. 

you were not a child who dreamt of life trapped in the four mint colored walls of a hospital room.

you did not dream of doctors and nurses, some kind and some not, and

I know you never wanted IV's pumping magic water in your veins 

you did not want the painkillers that entice you with promises of relief (and trap your mind)

or the tests with little answers or the ambigious diagnosis

I know that you wanted to stand tall and upright and make something of yourself

uninhibited by a broken body


I know, but the rest of the world may not know

they will look at you, at your cane, at your limp, at your wheelchair or your oxygen tank

and they will not understand. 

everyone has their trials, but theirs are not yours and yours are not theirs

this world just doesn't know how to act towards sick people (yet)


face a window, and open it when it's warm enough outside

listen to what the birds are saying and what the bugs are doing

listen to cars if they're nearby, or trees as they swoosh

when you hear laughter drift inside, do not brood because you are so desperately envious

be glad that laughter still exists in a world like ours.

when it's too cold, leave it shut

but look outside for something beautiful, look for the snow falling,

the hidden elegance of a building you previously thought ugly

people watch and look for a smile (they can be contagious)

remind yourself that you are apart of these beautiful things and they are apart of you



cry on a sad train with Anna Karenina, cry with Cathy while she desperately searches for Heathcliff across the chilly moors

you can be sad for them and sad for you and sad for the whole world

scream, "Goddammit!"

let the frustration of your situation overtake you and weep, because this is difficult and unfair

better a little at a time than all at once

sob if you must. do it alone if that is what you want. let someone hold you if your trust them.

sadness is a part of a free mind, and this world is at least half sorrow (maybe more)


but on that note, be tough.

tell the nurse which arm your good vein is in when she goes for the IV, and don't be afraid to ask if she's good at it first

when someone asks how you're doing, don't answer fine. 

say you're fighting. if that day is good, tell them.

(remember how your mother told you any day above ground is a good day)

if you went outside for an hour, celebrate

try today. try tomorrow. try the day after that. keep going, and when you can't anymore, go anyway

don't stop looking for answers, don't stop painting or writing or drawing

don't stop learning and expanding that mind of yours (it is the only way it will every have wings)


your body may be broken but your mind is free, it is free if you want it to be

don't let anyone define what that freedom is for you

let your friends make you laugh

let them tell you about their lives too, and when you're alone and it's dark

and it hurts just to breathe, think of their faces when they smile

think of your mother when she hugs you

of your father when he tells you he's proud

picture how gorgeous your sister was on her wedding day, feel blessed she gave you a nephew to spoil

don't forget any advice your grandmother gave you, and thank her when she says she prays for you

open your eyes every morning and keep them open

keep looking, because there is so much to live for

and so much to see



Grant-Grey Porter Hawk Guda

Powerful expression! 

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