A Mother Seldom Asks

Where does a woman store her dreams
while children need chauffeuring
and parents’ health is in decline?

What goal does she dare strive for,
that won’t supersede obligation,
nor tax already waning energy?

Why is it that her efforts –
exceeding expectations –
often fail, demanding more?

How does she keep hope alive
when illness usurps functioning
and the off-ramp is miles behind?

Who will carry her when winter’s grasp
makes passage undependable, and
she has no choice but to surrender?

(V.J.’s challenge this week is questions.)

Published by


Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

29 thoughts on “A Mother Seldom Asks”

  1. Am lucky to have grown up in a family with many strong women around and with men who were there to constantly pull their own weight. I know it is not always the case but I am grateful to be able to say that the women in my life have influenced me deeply. A beautiful piece offering a question that should never have to be asked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully penned V.J. I remember those days. Thank goodness I was young when I had my own children, with energy to spare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whether or not to become a mother was a question I never asked. I certainly have no regrets, but I do wonder about the things I’ve penned here. I honour your ability to have that foresight.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel the strength a woman has in her delicate framework from reading your words. these questions are the very ones we all ask ourselves, the stages we go through always leave us torn between guilt and duty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your poem echoes something of my own journey through life. After all that carrying I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I then plunged into a dark well of depression and inertia. For a while I wallowed then I found that the only way out of the well was to pull myself out. The journey back to health is ongoing but I have made a great deal of progress. Good luck with your own journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, we have more in common than you know – I too suffer from ME/CFS. These questions hover, although, I too, have made much progress. This time of the year seems to come with decline – not sure if its seasonal or what?


      1. I am sorry to hear of that you have ME/CFS too. I agree with certain times of the year being harder. Do you have Fibromyalgia too? I do. A specialist I saw once told that the two conditions often occur together. There is some very interesting research being done into both conditions at present. I read an online article yesterday that explored the idea that CFS could be genetic. It was about certain genetic factors creating a predisposition for CFS. Last week I read an article where scientists have discovered that Fibro is linked to blood vessels. Cold hands and feet can cause shunts (whatever they may be) in the blood vessels to contract which then triggers the pain in the body.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do have fibromyalgia also and many of the other accompanying illnesses. Each day a new challenge. Not much help from traditional medicine but I do benefit from alternatives. I try to keep up with research too

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I put my recovery down to lifestyle changes, Chinese herbs, meditation, rest, pacing myself and (perhaps strangely) listening to music I love. I would say I say I am 80% cured now – I was diagnosed in 2009. I now have other health issues I am hoping I can oveercome with more lifestyle and dietary changes. I can understand how debilitating CFS can be when it is acute.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is sop lovely and so time appropriate. As he first generation to have elderly parents (my husband’s mother will be 94 this month), we are having to write the book on caring for multiple generations at once. Lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Where does a woman store her dreams…hopefully in her heart, to be awakened again when the empty nest sets in. The last verse is very sad, but part of growing old.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.