Relay for Life


Vicki L. Flaherty, author of Mostly My Heart Sings, read the following special tribute caregiver poem at the American Cancer Society Johnson County Iowa Relay for Life Caregiver Ceremony on June 15, 2012.


Vicki Flaherty

Into the Light

               When a diagnosis spins our world out of control, 
               You are the balance that steadies us from the fall.  

               When we wait impatiently for answers to questions we don’t want to ask, 
               Your soothing voice calms and reassures us. 

               When decisions swirl around us as if we are drowning, 
               You are the air at the surface that helps us breathe.  

               When we are afraid and uncertain about what’s next,
               You are the fortress protecting us from the storms ahead.

               When the noise in our heads murmurs incessantly,
               You are the quiet sanctuary where we find peace. 
               
               When we feel ourselves melting away,
               You are the earth angels with outstretched arms holding us.

               When the pain in our weary, tired bodies seems never ending,
               You are the medicine that soothes our aches. 

               When we don’t have the strength to take another step,
               You are the wind at our backs guiding us gently forward.

               When the emotional wreckage is more than we can sift through, 
               You are the helping hand sweeping away our grief.   

               When life feels like a scorching desert wasteland,
               You are the oasis filling our souls with nourishing waters. 

               When our worries fall like a heavy rain,
               You are the shelter protecting us from the damp and cold. 

               When we are lost with our destination unknown, 
               You are the home from where we find our way.

               You are our husbands, our wives, our partners
               You are our mothers and fathers, our grandparents 
               You are our sisters and brothers, our daughters and sons
               You are our aunts and uncles, our nieces and nephews
               You are the family who hears our feelings hidden under the surface.

               You are our friends, 
               You are our colleagues, 
               You are our spiritual guides, 
               You are the community who sees through the strength we wear like armor.

               You are our doctors, our nurses,
               You are our pharmacists, our therapists, 
               You are our healers and our providers 
               You fill the hospitals and clinics with wisdom and comfort for our pain. 

               You are the lights, like a million stars in the sky, 
               guiding us as we walk through the darkest hours of night.

               You are the blanket that wraps us when we awaken from the dream, 
               warming us to the possibility of the sun rising and golden light.
               
© 2012 by Vicki L. Flaherty
This poem was written for the 2012 Relay for Life of Johnson County (IA).