Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dads of the Dying

A heart mom I adore and love had recently made a dedication to her husband for being the support she needed during and after the loss of their baby due to complications surrounding their son’s heart defect. I must say I was touched to see this recognition, for I too have often felt, and feel, as if I do not provide enough credit to my husband for his unyielding love and support. While our daughter is a heart baby, we did not lose her, yet we grieved the loss of a child free of worry. In times of great despair and heartache, we pull from everywhere, just to hang on, often abusing the life lines being given to secure our own life line. Husbands and fathers often play many roles while also tending to their emotional well-being. They are our magnificent rock that prevents the waves of devastation from taking us under to drown in the tears of a broken soul and from walloping us when we are already down. When we expose the emotion that comes from a heart that is breaking or has broken, it is often our husbands who come to patch the wounds with love and caress away the tears into a sanctuary of safe keeping. They can’t make it disappear or stop or even go away, but they certainly provide the much needed crutch to our falling house.

Our children are our ribbons of life, wrapped around our entire being, even existence, often times wrapped so tightly we feel suffocated, but a comfortable nurturing suffocation, one that we thrive on and seek out – a sort of love addiction. When our children are sick, we feel paroxysms from the inside out that cannot be measured by any other life event for nothing is comparable to the agony of a sick, dying, or lost child. I know for me, I have to stop and make sure that I turn to my soul mate and ask him if he is okay – often left to deal with the grief and pain in times of silence – away from the suspecting ear and when he is alone, for he feels he must be strong for me. I want you to know I am here for you too, you are always strong when I am weak and when you are weak, know I will be there to carry the weight of your broken heart in my hands and do my best to wash away the burdens of this new found life, and provide you with a sanctuary of safe keeping.

Simply put, our husbands and fathers to our sick and dying children are the silent partner that provides in moments of great weakness, sadness, and despair. They provide the light to guide the days to free us from the eternal night that surrounds our heart and darkens the mind. My husband is my greatest love, supplying the greatest love to me and our family. That is priceless and something a billion lives cannot repay. Thank you for always putting us first even when you put yourself at risk of breaking. Thank you for your selfless acts to ensure my sanity at times I wanted to put my head through the wall, times I wanted to give up, and times I just wanted to die. Thank you for pulling me back from the ledge of guilt, uncertainty, and insecurity. Thank you for taking on all that came along with the title of dad and husband, at times I am sure more than you bargained for, but I know all you wanted to be was the best dad and husband you could, and know you are so much more than just the title. Thank you for being you, just when I need you. Today, tomorrow, forever. I am the woman I am because of you. For that I am eternally yours. My love, our love, always.

Cael, son

Ryleigh, daughter

Lee Ann, wife

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Here Today

Desperation is all too familiar of a feeling, my heart latches on to every free emotion trying to keep from slipping in the quicksand of despair. She is hurting, he is fighting, and they are dying. Life is fragile yet there are some who fear living and there are some who fear nothing and throw caution to the wind. Find balance, find equilibrium, find peace. No one asked me if I wanted to be a part of this life, no one asked me if I had the strength. I have never hated something so strongly, loathed something so greatly, admired something so little. I am tired, weak, and yet I must find the will to sink my fangs of strength into all that tries to take her from me. From my cold, dead, lifeless body will I ever give up this fight, for her, for me, for us. For she is a fire that burns through my soul, she is the light that guides my way to goodness, for evil is knocking at my door, she is the wind that lifts my mood and carries my sweet surrender to greater heights out of reach of hopelessness. It is not fair so many fight to live, so many live to fight, and so many have no fight and seek death as a comfortable retreat from the problems that tumble down the hillside of life. I get it, I have felt it, I have lived it. No one has to like it, but everyone has to respect it.

When one is sick and in pain, we all feel it, when one is lost to the angels, we all grieve it, when one is happy and doing great, we all enjoy it – relish it, savor it, seek more of it. We move together like the waves of time, seeking a better place, a better life, and a better dream. So easy to crumble into ruins with the slightest of change. Move hastily to enjoy the special times and moments for they may be removed without call from the story line of life. You’d be best to live in the present and not dwell on the past for there is no changing it, no magical wish, no genie to rub, no time machine to set you back and enjoy the pleasures of a redo. The present and future is all that remains. Do we really need anything else?

I see hope in her eyes, a glimmer, a spark of how great life could be, then with the slightest change in tide, I also see remnants of one of the worst days of my life running the length of her chest. It is never far from my thoughts. I weep for those that have lost, I mourn those that have been lost, and I seek contentment that I may find a place and time to accept this life, for there is no other I will be given. For I desire the in between. I see that now. There is no changing it tomorrow. When she smiles and looks into my eyes, it is moment I want to freeze time, for I never know if tomorrow, it will be the same. Sadness seeks a place to hang its eternal hat in my heart. I will fight with heated steel, until my weary heart fails to respire life in my living form. For she is here today.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


By Lee Ann Walker

Wrecked by the words, devastated by the blow of the moment, seated, shaken. Life around us swirls so quickly - faces and movements can no longer be made to form, words erupt, unrecognizable, yet distinct, reminiscent. Simple is no longer the way of life, for all has changed in a single element of time – capturing the past, present, and future. Hostage is the sanity that once was reveled in freedom and yet finds comfort roaming in the mind of naivety and weakness.  For the wool has not besieged my eyes, it has collapsed over my body, smothering hope like an eternal flame brought down by a feather weighted with cement. What will become will only be revealed in time and what will be known may never truly be known for how can you change a foreordain path. Swirls of life all around yet none so close to grab hold, an elusive concept really. The pain that embitters the mind and entwines the process of reason with despair. Quash the fury that rises from the pits of the darkness for no one can be to blame. Evoking a sadness that is deeper than the Marina Trench. Eerier is the thought that the bad luck of your day has become the bad luck of her life. There is a dungeon not too far away, it holds a place for me, many days I welcome this journey into the arms of the darkness – ready to close my eyes and fall into a slumber of defeat.  The lightest sense of life is heavy now, dragging me behind like a wrecking ball and chain. I am scrapped and bruised, unshielded from the devastating blows and cuts of an odd new normalcy. Yet there is a spark, while small and at times squelched – it is there waiting to erupt into a flame that devours the darkness and rises above to claim the throne is once resided upon. Claiming back hope and a new normalcy of life. Prosperity will reign in a time where not much else would survive, yet we are not talking about money or riches, we are talking about life, her life. For her life is my life and living is not possible without her. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Dad, A Best Friend

A Dad, A Best Friend

By Lee Ann Walker


Haunted by a decision made of his own,

living with pain he should never have known.

He sees his life a different way,

reminded through his son, his pain will stay.

A child then, deciding to leave in search of a good time,

America his heart screamed, now a bad memory in his mind.

Leaving his dad and saying good bye,

boarding a plane to give a new life a try.

Could he have known his actions then would be so regretful,

wise reason says no, but he holds on so resentful.

A child should never have to choose,

for in the end the child will lose.

Words of wisdom cannot lessen his fears,

all I can do is wipe away the tears.

Life occurs as it is meant to be,

challenging us in ways we don’t always agree.

He thinks the divide has cost him a bond,

but in reality the love his father has is quite fond.

Solid and strong and remaining so true,

distance and time were no match for these two.

Hold steadfast in your heart my dear man,

for this bond is one that can withstand.

Never forget, in his heart he will love you to the end,

for in him, you have a dad and a best friend.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

In My Words...: Shared Emotion

In My Words...: Shared Emotion: Shared Emotion Written by: Lee Ann Walker 01/17/2013 It is not without a blow to the gut, a desperate plea to the mind, that fate finds...


May I clear the webs that surround my heart. May I clear the thoughts that overwhelm my mind. May I feel the storm that breathes life into my body that has been tattered and torn.

Shared Emotion

Shared Emotion
Written by: Lee Ann Walker

It is not without a blow to the gut, a desperate plea to the mind, that fate finds us locked in a corner of our heart trapped by emotions that should not be felt by anyone. It is with longing that we look to the past, a day where we were free, smiling without reason, smiling for an emotion called happiness. In the face of despair with an injured soul, we seek to find others who have shared a similar fate, hoping they hold the map to Happy Town – together we mourn and grieve as if it was our own twisted fate all over again. With a dubious cover to feel no pain, we try to block it out, ignoring it, filling our lives with other trinkets of contentment, all the while this pain lingers like an illicit friend gripping you, shaking you until you’re unable to see what remains.

Our paths in life seem so different at the beginning, but soon we realize our beginning also belonged to someone else and someone else before them. Our situations are rarely unique in fact almost everything has happened to someone else at some other time. Suddenly we realize our life’s history is not being made it is merely being relived. What makes us different is how we chose to deal with the emotions of a situation that so many others have taken to know. In the wake of the storm, devastation is inevitable, but repairable; we must find healing, for if this is not found – we will be lost. How can we make change if we are lost? Nevertheless, how can we heal such pain that funnels our thoughts and makes every action seem irrational, unjustified, and untimely? We share our story to anyone and everyone who claim they want you hear it, only to find that others too have been through it. We grieve all over; we share the emotions of others as a form of healing. Their hurting collides with our own making a kaleidoscope of pain that turns and turns shaping us into a different person.

It is easy to see your life before your life began because life is so much easier before you had to live it. We find that balance does not exist and while my luck may be bad one day, it is great the next providing unguaranteed hope that the day after today might share a similar consequence. The loss of a loved one, a child, a job, a pet, no matter the reason for sadness – it is repetitive, ah yes, life’s one guarantee – loss. One almost never forgets a loss, but rarely revels in the glory of the moment of knowing what it was like before the loss. The happiness that filled our body cavity with ribbons of warmth, tingles, and butterflies. Life is full of this up and down emotional turmoil, but it is wise to share the facts and observe the challenge and know that there are certain things you can control and things you cannot no matter how hard you press the reset button.

In the end, the only thing that ends is…we. So live like there is no ending. Do not fear what you do not understand; fear what you have not achieved. This life is limited. Share in the emotions of others who share a similar fate and heal these tattoos of life. Mourn the life you will never know and live the one you have been given. Know it will not be easy, but know there are others who are ready to walk this path with you, together may you find peace, comfort, and healing.

I wrote this piece in honor of my daughter. I always wanted a child, a girl to be specific. July 24, 2012 I had my girl, and her name is Ryleigh. She is the light at the end of my tunnel, completing my jigsaw, every piece is now in place. No, she is not perfect; in fact, she is my imperfect slice of perfection. She was born with a rare life threatening heart defect. My reality is knowing - she will never be okay, she will never be healed, and she will never know any other life than this one, I can’t change that.

She in reality, is a stark comparison to the little girl I had envisioned having. I mourned this loss, the loss of a perfect child.  Her life will not be easy, I have immense guilt in some ways that I did this to her and that by my choice to choose life - I am choosing this life for her and what if she does not want it? Every time she hurts, will she blame me? I shared my story and realized Ry is not alone and my thoughts and emotions are also shared by others. I have met other heart kids and their lives are filled with happy times, challenges, and triumph, but - through it all they have amazing courage to do whatever they desire. This is my hope for her.

I realized I, too, am a survivor of her heart defect. I realized I cannot save her, I cannot fix her, and I cannot take away her pain. As a mom that is incredibly hard to handle. I also realized her time is precious, her life is not guaranteed, and so I must enjoy her and focus on what I can control. I am one of the lucky ones, not every heart family is so lucky. I hold this dear to my heart and I know I share this emotion.