How I Healed with Help


My life has changed so much over this last year and a half
I have a machine “ICD” connected to my heart – I’ve entered the weak heart draft
Started out so weak, so, so very ill, so, so sick
I could hear the timer on the bomb connected to my explosive heart tick
Not being able to walk more than 10 steps at a time
Literally standing up too fast would place me really close to dying
And since dying was my rhyming word, I also did a lot of crying
I’ve never been suicidal, but this challenge almost ended me
When I gave up hope because I couldn’t make it, 3 things kept my mind free
Very important people who, through Free Minds, showed me pure love
A very strong passion and belief that my Dear Mom instilled from above
Family and a helluva team of doctors from Mayo Clinic, which in my old mind frame I’d of never began to trust
And also a part of #1, my Free Minds family that showed me while I was down, that standing behind me is an unforgettable must
Most people would think that most healing comes with meds and tools and doctors and stuff
I found that some of the best form of healing is having someone in your corner when times get rough
If my soul don’t heal when my body’s doing just fine
People see me physically on the outside, but on the inside I’m losing my damn mind
I can’t lie, recovery for me was really a kinda battle I had to face
Then when I got control of it kinda, I’m reminded that I’m at this far-away ice-cold snow place
So along with my healing came a lot of conditioning as well
My mind and body both are healing up good through my poems, I hope you can tell
Spiritually my life is in a balance that I’m yet to stand completely solid on
Things got very shaky at times and I often feel alone
But I have a reason for healing that’s much better than most
Thanks to all you guys I love ya
I’m just saying, I’m not trying to boast
See, I was broken physically, emotionally, and mentally also
There was some type of pain at every direction I chose to go
I was confused and alone I’d convinced myself that I couldn’t do this
My biggest motivation came from Free Minds letters and family sending me letters saying, “Come on SC, write more, your poems are being missed.”
I want to leave out the therapy of my little friends that came in the forms of squirrels and some awesome little birds
Not to mention the wild geese who run through the prison, not having a care for human affection in their large herds
Never in my life would I have found myself looking around to make sure no one’s watching so I can baby talk the squirrels
Then, after a while, it became therapy that was so precious to me I valued it like a pearl
Because I started to see it was survival for the both of us
Me trying to heal from my heart failure and watching the squirrels hide all its food for winter, which surely was a must
Let me say some thank you’s because I know there are many well overdue
Thank you Free Minds, thank you family, thank you Minnesota nature and Mayo Health Clinic too
There a few more thank you’s that also go out to a selected beautiful few
Don’t even trip if I didn’t call your name and you’re reading this, nine out of ten times it’s also you
I’m blessed, I feel good honestly, I’m doing just fine
I need for you to know I put the best of me, for you, in each of these lines

What helps you heal?

On The Same Page Group Poem: My Home

We had an amazing On the Same Page session last week with the Georgetown University First-Year Orientation to Community Involvement (FOCI) program, which introduces incoming Georgetown students to social justice issues and opportunities for service and social change in Washington, DC. To close the session, the FOCIans (as they like to be called) and our Poet Ambassadors and staff co-wrote a group poem to the prompt “My Home.” We were inspired by the FOCIans’ commitment to social justice, and it was a great reminder for all of us: we may be coming from different backgrounds and different homes, but we all share the same need for love, support, comfort, safety, and family. And we all share the responsibility for making every community a safe, welcoming, and supportive home.

My Home

My home is where I have struggled, prospered, experienced pain, and rejoiced
Through it all
I have grown into the person I am today

My home is a place of comfort – a place of serenity + safety
No fear, no struggle
Surely, my home is not all homes

My home… 4 people
Sometimes in sync
Sometimes not
All doing their things
But bound by some things in common:
Caring, understanding, love

My home is governed by God
So joy + peace is not a façade

My home is bowls of warm tortellini
Late night Mets games
And hugs with my sister

My home is a place of support, humor, and hope
Grounded in the faith of my family
Committed to making ourselves live for others
By letting our hearts soak in the salience of unrecognized societal signs

My home is in the trees
Bark under my feet
Thoughts bouncing and breaking
Finding the places I keep hidden
I listen for the night to tell me
What’s inside myself

My home is what shaped me
My home is why I’m here
My home is what defines me
I did not choose my home

My home is a place of comfort – a place of serenity + safety
No fear, no struggle
Surely, my home is not all homes

Home is nowhere near
But is everywhere dear to my heart
Home… is my sanctuary
My place of hiding
Where my soul finds solace in me
Unconditional love from my mother
Weary and tired, I walk
Into my mother’s arms and cry
Until I have let it all out
Home will always be

I find my home in the love of my family and friends
It is where I feel comfortable yet challenged
Sharing life with others while being wholly myself

Three daughters with blue eyes
Two hard working parents
A fireplace on a cold autumn night
An Irish blessing on the wall
& Georgetown blankets on the couch

I look out the window and watch as the waves hit the beach
Unending patterns surround me
Do I notice the monotony anymore?
Sometimes I need to step away from it all
Exploring the unknown like the heron soaring overhead

Fresh, home-cooked food
Is a pleasure I have come to know
All too well
I have a bed to sleep on
Clothes to wear
And a family to love
But sometimes I wonder
What would I be like if those were gone?
Would I be different? Or would I be the same?
Would I frolic in the warmth? Or writhe in the cold?
I know what I have, and I am grateful for that
I praise God every day for what he has blessed me with
But sometimes I can’t help but wonder
What it would be like
If all that I had come to know
Were to change
A change that would challenge me
Alter the world as I know it
Force me to probe the inner depths of my soul
To find what I really feel
About the world in which I have come
To love
But then I realize that my home is my solitude
A place where I can go to drop
What the world has forced upon me
I can go home for a bed to sleep on
And a nice piece of blueberry pie
And then I realize, whenever this change comes,
My home is what will keep my life together
My home lets me go on

I am lucky to have a home
I am even luckier to call it mine
My home isn’t just a place where I live,
But more importantly it is a place where I love, laugh, smile
Not everyone has a house,  but I have been given a home
How did I get so lucky




The woman that raised me since birth,

the same woman that cleaned me after I’ve been playing in dirt.

She read me stories, then tucked me into bed,

and when I done wrong, she’d never hesitated to go across my head.

When I was ill or came down with a cold, she was my doctor,

and when I had a role in the school play, she was my director.

My mamma is great, Ma used to help me with my homework, and even a spelling test.

Then Ma would send me off to school with a smile & kiss,

and she’d say, “Don’t worry I know you’ll do your best.”

My mother’s cooking is amazing; everything is delicious and made with love.

I know there’s a God, ‘cause my mother is a gift from the heavens above.

Ma was there when that girl broke my heart,

 She’s the one that repaired it, and said, “This is just the start.”

I can go on & on about how good my mother is, but this poem will never be done.

So never take your mother for granted, you only get one.

A wise woman said that, “that’s why I can’t imagine life without her…

I just don’t wanna.”

She’s my rock, the leader of my support team,

some call her L, some call her auntie,

but I call her Mamma