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Minnesota, United States
As I walk along in life, my muses dance with reflection inspiring me to release the thoughts and emotions of my pondering mind through poetry.

Prompt Poetry & Promotion page for The River

*plus the archive of my older poetry

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I begin this post with a reading of the prose Grateful. I feel it is a piece that has to be heard not just read.

People ask me if it sucks to have MS. If life is really hard, especially; being a single mom too. What can you say to that? “No! It’s a snap!” or “I barely make it! I have no idea what to do any more.”

Neither of those answers works for me. I don’t want to be too revealing or a drama queen. I want to strive for balance and be more honest with fewer words. Is that possible?

I used to think MS was a burden upon my life. Always taking something away from me and leaving nothing in return. I felt my legs get weaker and my fingers loose feeling. I felt my pride lessen and my confidence dwindle.

Then one day, I realized I had it all wrong. My daughter and I were complaining about how much it sucked that MS interfered with our lives. I needed a relaxing quiet home day and my daughter wanted to spend the day at the beach. We were both disappointed in our own ways in our own corners. Then it dawned on me, it all mattered how you were looking at it. At another angle it could look quit different.
I began to reflect to the day my legs stopped running and I received the gift of a slow pace in all its entirety. I glanced down at my hands and thought of how they used to create works of beads and wood but clumsiness took root in them and now words bounce forth. I pivoted to be face to face with my daughter and remembered how lucky I am to walk with her throughout her day.

It took awhile for my eyes to open and for me to recognize the life teaching lessons that I am acquiring living with MS. It is so much easier to notice what is disappearing from ones life and a great deal harder to see what one is gaining from living with a disability.

I am grateful for receiving such treasures!


click on the link there is a lot of good poetry
by many great poets


Sherry Blue Sky said...

River, I so love this, for so many reasons! (I hope it is still up when your interview gets posted so others will come and realize what you have to teach. I love your reading, and especially when the thing got stuck! hee hee. I so relate to what you say about the gift of a slower pace. When I got ill, after the fast pace of working-rushing-never catching up,I,too, loved the gift of time my illness brought, and being able to finally live at my own pace, not a Taskmaster's. Also the gift of gratitude, of seeing what one has, not what one has lost or what has been removed. Learned this in a big way when I have to leave the home of my spirit in Tofino, and learn to be happy in the last place I ever wanted to live. A medicine man once told me "Your strongest pain is your greates medicine" and that is true. You beautifully encompass these lessons and we are so lucky to read the "words bouncing forth" that you share. You rock, River. Seriously. Your daughter is a lucky girl.She already knows this, but you can tell her I said so:)

Eric Alder said...

Simply beautiful, River. It's truly a blessing for one to be so grateful. A great lesson for all to take to heart. Thank you for this!

River said...

Thank you Sherry :) It's important piece for just about everyone. You don't have to have a disability to relate at least to the end.
The mess up lol I left it and didn't record another b/c why hide mistakes or how goofy I am... lol

Eric Alder said...

I adore goofiness. Too many people are afraid to let that come out. (Not me though!)

Anonymous said...

"It is so much easier to notice what is disappearing from ones life and a great deal harder to see what one is gaining from living with a disability.

I am grateful for receiving such treasures!"

I am grateful I started blogging otherwise I would have never met you.

Carrie Burtt said...

River this is wonderful and amazing!! I love your humor and grateful heart! I recently started having some medical problems for a while they thought I had MS, and ran a million tests on me....i still move at a slower pace than I used to....God bless you! :-)

dustus said...

Inspiring, River. I'm grateful to have learned more about you. Sherry is right, your daughter is lucky :)

River said...

Eric, Michael, Carrie, Dustus, and Sherry thank you. Your words have touched my heart. :)

Brian Miller said...

you rock river...thank you for being a champion for MS...and using it to touch others...

June_Butterfly said...

Thank you so much for sharing this.It is not always easy to be grateful especially in time of pain and diffuculties.We are but humans and we do have our weak moments.But it is so inspiring to know someone like you is beyond it.Being grateful inspite of the hardships.I salute you.And all those other people who strives to live to the fullest.

You are a great inspiration.Wish you all the best.Days filled with joys and smiles for you and your daughter.

budh.aaah said...

Beautifully written and so touching. You are so brave and I think of you when I get bogged down by small things (Yes they start appearing like small stuff) I admire you River

G-Man said...

In your case MS stands for ...
Mighty Super!
You are a Treasure, Thanks....G

One Stop - The Place For Poets, Writers and Artists said...

Your gracious attitude in the face of hardship is admirable.

Best to you dear River as you face a challenge each day

Hugs from the Moon

Brock S. Henning said...

River, and I am grateful for reading/seeing/hearing this today. Thanks for being's turned into a blessing for all of us out here in cyberland. 8-D

Anonymous said...

River you are a special writer amongst all those I read. Always love reading you and feel a hopefulness come over me. Believe me, that's saying a lot. Love and Light, Sender

LauraX said...

I too am daily discovering the blessings of living with MS...I'm so glad I found your blog today...yet another blessing, if I was out working I wouldn't be able to discover so many gifted souls in blogland...I wouldn't have the gift of time!!!

Emmanuel Ibok said...

So much courage and vim here...More support to your elbows..keep rocking and make that girl's life shine in the process.


Daniel Jay said...

I surely appreciated your newfound point of view and how it applies to life - everyone's life. I have had the incredible opportunity to care for those with MS and have made some great friends and learned much. Keep your determination and show the whole world what it really means to be alive - not everyone can do that and it sounds as though you will be a wonderful representative:)

Chris G. said...

Absolutely wonderful - I've known several people with MS, and this is really touching, I must say. You manage to be grateful in the face of pain and hardship, and it is humbling and admirable both. Just a beauty - I wish you all the best!

Anonymous said...

Strength and beauty with so much to offer for your sweet daughter, and others who've had the honor of hearing and reading your beautifully inspiring and encouraging words, and I'm sure, so sure in them, another in a similar place will forever be grateful to you as well, giving them what they need to keep stepping ahead no matter what. Such a treasure...~April :)

Eric Alder said...

Hey, River! I just saw your interview with Sherry Blue Sky at Poet's United. Congrats on the feature!

Knowing your penchant for Mother Earth, I think you might appreciate this post of mine that I think you missed: Earth Mother’s Song


William A. Sigler said...

That is a truly beautiful sentiment, and exactly what I need to hear right now.

Many blessings to you!

The Unknowngnome said...

River, you are a treasure and inspiring! I, we, should all be so grateful. I am so happy to have met you through your interview with Sherry.

As a fellow Minnesotan living out of the country, I salute you and I now follow you.

Peace and joy.

(P.S. Is that the St. Croix at the bottom of your page?)

River said...

Yes, it is the St. Croix a little north of Stillwater. :)

DeLi said...

moving, and so INSPIRING!

Wysteria said...

A wonderful insight to living with MS or for that fact any disability. Mental of physical it can bring you to your knees if you let it. I know there are days you struggle to get up from your knees.

Keep writing and thanks for letting us in and meeting YOU


Kavita said...

Oh.. there is so much to be learned from this... so much to be learned from anything that life has to offer!
It is easy to complain about the difficulties we go through... and tough to honor them for making us who we really are!
I really liked listening to your reading, River.. most heartfelt and very moving and inspiring!
This is THE One Shot of a lifetime!!

Asobime said...

You are so beautiful, River...inside and out.

You inspire me.

Lady Nyo

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