Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why Me?

As I've been wont to do these past two years since coming down with Parkinson's Disease, I've written a poem for Parkinson's Awareness Month, which is April. Last year's can be found on this blog. I didn't want to let this year lose out, so I created one for it.

My wife said it was the best poem I'd ever written. Maybe, but it did make her cry, so that's a good sign. So I introduce to you this year's Parkinson's Awareness Month poem.

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Why Me?


R. L. Copple


A somber doctor's face meets my eyes.
His wrinkled forehead foreshadows bad news.
My future transforms to shadows
As I hear the words echoing in my ears:
You have Parkinson's Disease.

I ask, “Why me?”

As limbs stop responding to my desires
While fingers take on a mind of their own,
In a body-wide rebellion against my will—
Popping pills works, sort of, but is not a cure—
Jealously I see others walk with steady ease . . .

I ask, “Why me?”

Watching the march of PD's progress,
Looking to science for a brain time-machine,
Finding no counter-attack to halt its surge,
I'm tempted to shelve future plans and goals,
To hunker down and survive day by day—

I ask, “Why me?”

But then the truth dawns on me.
Which of us are free from tragedy?
Rare is the one who escapes unscathed
From diseases, death, and shocks in life.
Why did I think, “It'll never happen to me”?

I ask, “Why not me?”

Actually, there is still much I control:
I can love and enjoy my wife and kids.
I can push the boundaries of my abilities.
I can fight against the overwhelming odds,
Like the brave soldiers of the Alamo.

I ask, “Why not me?”

Hardships teach us the reality we skip
In our daily hustle from birth to grave.
We are not alone, but interconnected.
So selfish dreams are replaced with
Empathy and compassion for others.

I ask, “Why not me?”

Who do I think I am to demand
An escape from the furnace of fire
That burns out ego-centric impurities—
Focusing me toward humble submission
To God and my fellow life-travelers.

So I say, “Here am I, O Lord.
Only You can make the bitter waters, sweet.”

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