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An e-mail I didn’t want to see at 4:15 a.m.

My body woke me up 45+ minutes early this morning. However, I felt awake, ready to face the day…
until I saw an email from my cousin informing me that my great-aunt has taken a turn for the worse. She has had cancer for over a year now, but she’s faced it head-on. She looked it in the eye, stared back and it and hasn’t let it beat her. She came to my wedding and even got up there and sang a song with our band, impromptu, which made me feel as if everything would be all right.

But it’s not. Not at all.

So, I sat down and did what I do when I need to make sense of something. I wrote. And since it’s Poetry Friday, I thought I’d write a poem with the hope of capturing my emotions, which are pretty intense. Afterall, my 80 year-old great-aunt, who took me out countless times when I was a college student living in Washington, DC, and visited me so much in New York City, is not well. And with my grandmother’s death still being fresh in my mind, it seems so hard to accept that my aunt is not well. So, this is my Poetry Friday Poem: revised once, but totally from the heart.

The Matriarch

You care for others.
You hold the family stories.
You listen making us feel like
the most important person in the world.

You have walked the city streets of
And New York
More times than we can count.

And now, walking has become a challenge
Because of the most recent test –
Making the simplest things
We all take for granted –

You are the matriarch
My grandma’s beloved sister-in-law
My hip great-aunt
The devoted mother of two
The doting grandmother of five
Friend to everyone you meet…

And none of us want to see you
in pain.

Eil na refa na la.
Please G-d, bring healing.

Writer2b is hosting Poetry Friday this week. (We’re hosting it here next week, so head on over to Writer2b to submit your poem today.)

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

7 thoughts on “An e-mail I didn’t want to see at 4:15 a.m. Leave a comment

  1. Stace —
    You wrote a powerful poem. I hope you are feeling better after capturing your emotions and having time to process it a bit. Thinking of you & your family. You’re in my prayers.


  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your great-aunt.
    I woke up dreaming of tidal waves because I heard the same news about an uncle this past week. Thanks for the reminder to write about it.


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