Saturday, December 23, 2017

Lost - an introvert in a crowd

by Cheryl Merrick
Invited to a social
just to be a part of the crowd
invigorating the extroverts,
I feel lonely, tired, and lost.

I feel painfully invisible
amid the crowd.
I feel like the soft music of a wind chime
lost in the blaring of a band;
like a delicate pastel painting
washed out in harsh light; 
like hushed country twilight
disturbed by garish partying, 
like gentle candle glow
obliterated in flood lights.

My voice drowned out
by superficial chatter,
my identity is lost in the crowd. 

written April, 24, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My "Healing"

by Cheryl Merrick

Viewing both my body and spirit as weak,
I endured poor health.

I prayed for decades to be healed,

only to finally realize that
the "healing" I wanted
would have meant changing
who I am, my very nature.

In great wisdom, the Lord,

instead, has led me
to see myself
as He does,
and to be what He knows
I can become.

As Intended

by Cheryl Merrick

I saw myself as weak,
abnormal, and defective,
when I couldn't do all
I felt was expected of me.

Now, seeing more clearly,
I realize that The Lord
has given me the gift of empathy.

As I denied this gift,
I pushed myself beyond my limits,
destroying my health.

It is time to finally accept who I am,
and, with realistic expectations,
become the light
I was intended to be.

The Key

by Cheryl Merrick
For 45 years, I pleaded to be be healed.
I tearfully begged.
I prayed, and even offered "deals",
promising service for health.

As the years dragged on,
I came to accept the Lord's
promise that though
He would not remove my problems,
He would help me cope with them.

Resigned to a life of chronic illness,
I tried to serve others from my home
through my writing, encouraging notes,
newspaper editing, tutoring children,
and sending answers to questions about lds.org.

Suddenly, a key appeared to my doorless room
and, realizing that both the door and the key
have always been there,
I walk out, whole, into health.

Fitting In

by Cheryl Merrick
Pushing and shoving,
I tried to force myself
into the prescribed mold;
"be outgoing",
"have an active lifestyle".

Assured that this is
the way to happiness,
I diligently persevered until,
stressed beyond my endurance,
I collapsed.

Why Wasn't I Healed?

by Cheryl Merrick
I pled for healing,
but it didn't happen.
I had children. They grew up,
and now I'm a grandmother.
Was I ever healed?

Yes, the Lord is making me whole,
but not by correcting some
defect in my body.
Instead, He is healing my soul,
by helping me understand
and accept who I am.

With this understanding,
I can set the limits I need,
avoid becoming over-stressed,
and, at last,
be healed.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

I Made it!

by Cheryl Merrick
Stepping into the large hall,
I am bombarded by the
movement, noise, and feelings
of a multitude of people.

Tightening my muscles,
I will myself to stand still
and not bolt out of the room.

Seeing a couple of older women I know,
I make myself walk over
and chat for a few moments.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why Did We Need to Move?

by Cheryl Merrick
For clean dry air to breathe
For a warmer winter
For not needing to shovel snow
For not worrying about slipping on ice
For not being snowed in during the winter
For sunshine and clear skies
For a newer, fresher, one floor home
For great cooling and insulation
For not having a floor which out-gassed or mold in the walls
For being able to paint our walls beautiful colors
For the kitchen we always wanted with pull out shelves
For good kitchen and home lighting
For a large pantry and laundry room
For a large master suite with an ample walk in closet
For a Great Room with high ceilings

Friday, December 15, 2017

Immovable

by Cheryl Merrick

Like waves endlessly crashing
upon the stone cliff,
the mother's relentless taunts
selfishly strive to pull her daughter,
and all that she has, out to sea - to her.

The Matriarch,
claiming that she has the "right" to all family resources,
and that it is her children's duty to meet her needs
and enable her to live in her "deserved" affluent lifestyle,
relentlessly pounds upon her daughter
trying to use the love and faith of her daughter
as weapons to enslave her.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Red Christmas

by Cheryl Merrick

Trading snow for red sand,

shoveling the walk for hiking trails,
heavy coats for bright sweaters,
snow boots for hiking boots,
and putting lights on palm instead of pine trees,
my traditional White Christmas
has morphed into a rousing Red Christmas.*

*Christmas in the desert

The Empath

by Cheryl Merrick

Open to the energy around me
     I feel both others warmth and their joy,
     and their fears and anxiousness to be loved.

I cringe in pain
     when I see an animal hurt or
     a tree with a branch broken.

Cruelty, selfishness, and violence
     are incomprehensible to me.

Feeling others pain, suffering, and stress,
I yearn to heal them.

I Wish She Knew

by Cheryl Merrick

*I wish she knew the woman 

     who danced in the living room
           with the neighborhood children;
     who sailed across lakes and climbed mountains;
     who jogged in the mornings
           and daily ran up several flights of stairs;
     who took two babies to the zoo
           on a snowy New Year's Day
           and for a winter hot dog picnic at the lake;
      who baked cookies on rainy afternoons,
           and sang, explored, and rode a bike around town. 

She does not know the woman

     I am now;
     who walks a mile each morning before breakfast,
          then works in the yard;
     who goes into stores, to church,
          and manages her home;
     a person who enthusiastically approaches projects,
          and laughs.

*written August 2016 after moving to the desert; thinking of my youngest daughter who never saw me when I was younger and had better health

Back into the Snake Pit

by Cheryl Merrick

*Though grateful to be able to still
             take a deep breath
             care for myself
             and walk around a little,
I cringe as I sink back into
             the snake pit,
             as my old life envelops me.
Once again I am in its clutches
            suffering as it squeezes the breath out of me,
            leaving me dull and dazed,
            with my head reeling in pain,
            my body exhausted,
            my mind muddled,
            and my spirit depressed.

In the pit I huddle,
            helpless and imprisoned,
            confined, once again, to my home,
            my independence dissolving
            as I am left a blankly staring lump.

*October 2016 I collapsed back into adrenal exhaustion after months of moving stress, the stress of trying to sell our old home, and the physical stress of falling on my face on cement


Doing Well

by Cheryl Merrick

Realizing that scripture study

had become merely another "should"
to be checked off on her list,
the woman prays asking to have
the Holy Ghost with her,
as she focuses instead on
becoming closer to
Heavenly Father and His Son.

Though she longs to have time

to quietly sit at her desk
thoughtfully considering
each verse of scripture,
in the few still moments
when she is not rushing
to meet someone's needs,
she ponders a verse,
and, feeling The Spirit,
is reassured that
she is doing well.

Impressed

by Cheryl Merrick

When we met at college

I noted as you unselfishly
enabled the women on your co-ed
volleyball team to score.
You stood out from the other men 
who grabbed and pushed
as they sought to show off
their prowess.

I watched when you shared your car and skills

by giving people rides to the city
and by teaching a genealogy class.
So when you asked me out,
I enthusiastically said, "Yes!"

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Misfortune or Blessing?

by Cheryl Merrick

As the kind words, and sympathy
about our "hard times" arrive,
we are surprised.
Yes, we have had five surgeries in five months
(3 for me and 2 for my husband),
but we are grateful for them
and feel that the Lord is blessing us.

Knowing that we have come
to earth to learn and grow
from our experiences,
we do not expect the Lord
to prove His love for us
by removing the normal affects of aging.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Seasons

by Cheryl Merrick
Seasons
(Read by one person)                 (read in unison)                          (read by other person)

Winter

Hobbling                                                                       Hopping
                                           to the window,
the old man                                                                   the young boy
                                           definitively declares,
“Too cold out there!”                                                   “Great sledding!”
                                           and so, with one last               
chilling glare,                                                                longing glance,
the old man                                                                   the young boy
settles back in                                                               rushes from
 his chair,                                                                      the room,
                                            thinking
                                            of snow,
                                            and hoping it
will soon                                                                       will not
                                             melt.

Two Men Facing Death

by Cheryl Merrick

Knowing the end is near,

one man sits blankly in his chair,
his eyes looking hopelessly
out into nothingness.

His wife withdraws
consumed by fears
of soon becoming
"just a widow".

As the other man's friends and family
gather to say goodbye,
his eyes twinkle
as he lovingly shares
these last moments of his life.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Big Brother"

by Cheryl Merrick

The ominous "Big Brother",
predicted by a 1950 futuristic novelist,
who watched your every move
and controled even your thoughts,
morphed in the second millennia.

The fearful black-hooded figure of doom
has donned the colorful, excessively helpful,
and incredibly persuasive guise of
Google, Bing, and Yahoo,
and the chatty friendliness of Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Second Chance

by Cheryl Merrick

Who would have thought,
after 50 years of illness,
that I would have a second chance?

Instead of being confined to my home
with headaches, nauseousness,
achiness, and extreme fatigue,
most days I'm out walking.

No longer am I restricted
to a few rooms in my home,
but roam hillsides and parks.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

New Sight

by Cheryl Merrick

Eye surgery complete
and eye patch securely in place,
I went to bed.
A new world greeted me
when the patch was removed 
in the the morning.
A world where images
  focused clear and true
 into the distance.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Balancing

By Cheryl Merrick

Ever seeking to balance
my longing to help others,
     with my need to recharge;
my desire to interact
     with my yearning for solitude;
my joy in experiencing the world
    with my drive to analyze it;
my dedication in applying concepts
    with my thirst to discover principles;

Age Adjustment

by Cheryl Merrick

Now that my eyes are "fixed",
   the ptergium growth and cataracts removed,
I expected to immerse myself in reading
    and work on the computer as long as I wanted,
but my aching 67 year old eyes
   reminded me that they tire quickly.

As my body gains strength,
I envision long energetic hikes,
only to find that my several injuries
     and weak adrenal glands
dictate a more sedate ramble.

Yes my ageing body will never return to
    its youthful state in this life,
but it has given me both the wisdom and capacity
    to live a life more full, balanced, and loveing
than I have never known before.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Desert Adjustment

by Cheryl Merrick

Seeing miles and miles of desert landscape
stretching out desolately before me,
I cringed.

Could I be happy here?
With a heart longing for 
refreshing green canyons,
cool rushing water,
and towering trees arching overhead,
I began my new life in the desert.

Now a year later,
my eyes are soothed 
by the many greens of the desert shrubs,
and my heart gladdened by the exquisite beauty
of even the tiniest desert flower.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Retired One Year

by Cheryl Merrick

Seeing retired people
as people who spend
their entire day playing golf,
or wandering the world,
I'm surprised that after
 our first year of retirement,
we remain clubless
 and travelless.

It is wonderful to finally retire
from the constant strain
 of earning a living
and raising children.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What is Fear?

by Cheryl Merrick

Fear is the robber of peace,
and the destroyer of hope.
It is doubt in yourself, others, and God,
     running wild and taking you with it.

Fear is a knot in your stomach,
a thumping in your heart,
and an invisible hand gripping your chest.

Fear is the preemptor of love.
As we focus on our own needs;
"What will I do if --
     he dies? if they do that? if the baby isn't perfect,
     if we lose our job, or our relationship?" ;
our concern turns inward where, like weeds,
fear crowds out our love for others.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Easter

by Cheryl Merrick

When birds sing again
and green shoots push through bare ground;
When seemingly dead twigs
burst into blossom ,
and newness sparkles in the air;
We remember our Savior
who brought new life to man
giving us hope that after death
our bodies will live again,
and that our spirits may be healed,
and with new life,
blossom into greatness.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Needing Each Other

by Cheryl Merrick

He needs predictability
I need opportunity

He needs order
I need flexibility

He needs routine
I need variety

He needs time to work
I need time to think

He needs a plan
I need follow through

He needs my enthusiasm
I need his calmness

We both need each other

Friday, January 20, 2017

We're Home!

by Cheryl Merrick

Everything is strange.
I don't even recognize the trees or birds.
Who lives in the houses around us?
Where are the stores and parks?

Having trouble sleeping,
I open my eyes at night
and gaze apprehensively
into the dark cavernous living room.

I feel lost and so alone.
This new house doesn't feel like "Home",
but our old house doesn't either.