Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 74

Each in His Inmost Heart

John D. Sheridan

We are so lonely - all of us -
Each in his inmost heart seven times prisoner;

Neither can leave nor ever entrance grant
To those we love and would have share our being.
They only stand without and try to grasp
The meaning of our signs - who cannot sign!
For who can know the full portent
Of those eternal things that echo chill
Within the cloistered spirit?
In that deep place there is a sanctuary,
A sacred shrine where no man ever comes,
A secret dwelling single-tenanted.

We are so lonely - all of us -
Each in his inmost heart seven times prisoner.


In August of 2010 we said good bye to "Lois", confident we would have another guest in a matter of months. But no guest has arrived. We are not sitting back doing nothing. And I use the royal "we" here, because it is Mike doing all the leg work, and newsletter writing, and visiting with social workers. I do my best to keep up with the house, occasionally host an open house for said social workers, and support him in his efforts to work his normal job and get our elder house up and running.

But we are beginning to feel as if our dream of a boarding house is just that, a dream. Our original purpose was to open our home to the elderly poor. With that in mind, we signed up with the state for a new program they have called Adult Foster Care. It is run through Medicaid and any person availing themselves of our services would use a Medicaid Waiver. In the summer of last year, due to budget cuts, all new Medicaid Waivers were suspended. A few months later even current Waiver budgets were cut. Dire news for our little operation.

We would love to open our home to anybody and everybody, regardless of financial status, but we do have a family and we must live on something. And this is our dream. We want to do this as our only job. Mike WANTS to be home, helping old people, hanging out with them, doing the things old people do. He does not want to work a regular job, come home to a frazzled and over extended wife and try and pick up all the balls that were dropped in his absence. Our dream is to create a happy home for elders in their later years. Too much to ask? Sometimes we think maybe it is.

We are changing some things around. We will be accepting private pay boarders, we will be placing ads in all the local papers. We will continue to send newsletters out to all the area social workers and anyone else who might be interested. (if you want a newsletter, just let us know, if you know someone who should receive one, let us know!) There are so many ways of being poor, not only financially. Our original thought in reaching only those with very little monetary resources is changing. There are elders who are lonely, with little family, or with very distant family. Maybe they would like to be a part of our little life.

It is a struggle to stay hopeful, especially for Mike, who bears the brunt of the work. He must support a family, he must think of the future, he must figure out which direction we should go. This boarding house has been years in the making, and we are tiring. Quite frankly, we are tiring of praying for guidance, praying for God to lead is in the right direction. We feel as if we take two steps forward, only to be met with a brick wall. We are wondering if He wants us to wait, to shelve this idea of a boarding house right now, but that thought is heart breaking and we are not sure if we would come back to it if forced to give it up. Surely there are elders out there who would love to be part of our family? With our country aging at an alarming rate, there must be one or two people who like kids, bluegrass music and sometimes spicy food? Ok, love of bluegrass is not a requirement. Spicy food is hard to get away from in this house, though.

As with last Poetry Wednesday, I would ask that you pray for us. Pray for our dreams, pray for our wobbly steps towards salvation, pray for our faith. We depend on your love, friends and family. Even if not all can be at all times revealed and understood.


Beth Hanna said...

There´s at least ONE OLDIE out there there I know of who could use your home as a safe and happy haven. But I´m not quite ready to retire! But I will someday - maybe - then again, maybe not. And YES, I´m praying for you!

Beth said...

It is so beautiful what you are attempting to do, a Catholic worker hospitality home for the elderly. God bless you. Do not lose hope because your endeavor gives me hope that someday our home can be opened up and shared with others. Love to you.

Molly Sabourin said...

Kris, I so agree with Beth that your dream of sharing your lives, your home, your love (and spicy food)is truly beautiful. I just want you to know I pray for your sweet family regularly, and appreciate very much your friendship. Peace to you during this time of waiting.

Michelle said...

Waiting is the hardest place to be, but also the most fruitful.

I say those words not as a platitude, but as truth I have lived myself.

I didn't have the same dream, but I did have a waiting time - time that felt like forever. Yet, in God's perfect time, everything came together and my dream came true.

I would encourage you, during this waiting time, to find ways to be content. Continue working towards your dream, but think of the good things about your current situation.

I found that once I decided to focus on the positives, to be content where I was, it was then God decided to move. Not right away, but He moved.

Be encouraged! Your family & friends(including me) are praying for you.


clairesd said...

Thinking of you and saying special prayers today!