“The Journey”

Eunice is a cancer survivor, and wrote this poem in the hope that it will help others navigate their way back to health.

By Eunice Abrahamsen

I did not choose this pathway.

I had planned another direction for my life.

This is only a detour, I tell myself.

This cancer, this newly discovered threat that wants to consume my heart and soul, Is causing me to lose control.

I feel my life is not my own.

I am certain I will be on track again–

The easy road that I find comfort in.

The scenic route I much prefer

With yellow brick paving.

And wayside attractions.

But I am in unfamiliar territory now.

It is like a darkened tunnel

No easy exit is in view.

The narrow road is rocky and steep.

Disbelief and despair paralyze my mind and body, and I wander aimlessly.

There are so many choices and uncertainties.

No posted signs to guide me

Or map that I can find

No corridor of comfort.

To ease my troubled mind.

Unexpected hazards

Make me stumble

And I struggle ‘neath my load.

Tears cloud my vision of the road ahead.

How much further can I go.

And then a voice from somewhere whispers, you are not alone.

A hand reaches out to me,

One of hope and encouragement–

Someone who knows the way.

The path is familiar to them.

Their tears have settled the dusty road.

That I now trod upon.

I am empowered by their spirit,

Honored by their wisdom,

Nurtured by their friendship.

I am not alone.

I follow in their footsteps.

Their love encircles me

Non judgmentally.

Their courage and inspiration

Are like guideposts

Helping me to find my truth,

To reach the unseen goal.

They urge me to trust my inner compass,

To listen with my heart.

Cautiously, I move ahead.

One step at a time,

Listening, learning, accepting.

Around each bend and curve

I feel their presence lifting me.

I am not alone.

Time and tears soon pass for me as well.

I am stronger than before; a seasoned traveler

On the road to recovery.

I feel whole again, more connected and at peace,

Confident that I can find my way.

Turning back is not a choice.

I won’t seek the wider, easy path,

The fast track of before.

Instead, a more selective route

That God has planned for me.

I am not alone.

As avenues of joy appear,

And energy returns,

I feel my burden lighten

On this street of dreams

With arms outstretched, I’m ready now

To light the way for someone else

Stumbling in the dark,

Whose disbelief and fears engulf

Them too, like an asphalt jungle.

My eyes will be their eyes

Until the daylight breaks,

And their path is cleared.

How long have they been hidden,

These special gifts of mine–

Gentle touches, words of kindness

Healing sadness deep inside.

They are not alone.

The steep and winding trails of life,

The bridges they must cross,

Only serve as  milestones–

Tests to strengthen and reveal,

Challenges to move ahead,

Opportunity to heal.

A never ending journey

Discovering that is real.

Soon they will be

A survivor like me.

We are not alone.

 

Eunice Abrahamsen is a graduate of Corvallis High School and lived at the Corvalis Farm Home in the 1930’s. She said she was one of the kids who spent her days picking peas and doing farm work at the old home, “and it didn’t hurt her one bit.”

Eunice now lives in Camas, WA

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