Choosing to Live

Mourning Mom, grieving with Dad,
responsible for another person’s
health and finances and life,
and a target for gossip and fabrication
by a pillar of my community –
I am battle-weary and sick –
at maybe the lowest point in my life.
And I’m thinking that maybe
I could just slide down deep into
sickness, slip into sleep forever, fade
out and die, and that wouldn’t be so bad.

And from some somewhere there comes
a moment of clarity – a question
at the crossroads: You can consent
to death, or decide to live.
It’s your choice.
Life won’t always be fun and easy.
Choosing life will mean complications,
responsibilities, and battles. It will mean
a commitment. It will take some courage.
That path is not going to be all rainbows
and butterflies and starry nights.

And I nod my head. I understand
what I’m taking on if I choose life.
I will encounter mean people. I will
have to balance checking accounts. I will
have to deal with grief and mourning
and loss and heartache and pain and lies
and disappointment and failure. But there are
people depending on me to choose life.
I am needed here. And there are people
that I need, too. And people here I love.
And sometimes there will be rainbows. And
butterflies. And starry nights.

And so I choose life.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

13 thoughts on “Choosing to Live

  1. Karen, we have never met but you must know you are cherished beyond what you realize. The blessing of you carries far and wide and deep. You can never get away from either Life or good, and while sometimes that can see hard or uphill, I speak for a lot of us that are so very glad you are here with us, sharing your beautiful, sincere self. Be comforted. Know you are loved by a Love beyond imagining. Nights do not last forever. And even butterflies and stars go through excruciating transformations for their magnified glory. Sending hugs and gratitude…

      • What we appreciate is your honesty and authenticity. So whine or cheer or reflect or rest. Whatever feels real. We are here for you, not just the other way around. Xx

  2. Karen, I have been in the exact position you are in now, just a different locality , I have no idea who is targeting you with gossip and lies, but know that other people you have never met, who have been enriched by you work and words are with you . Do not let these negative people get to you. Take care of your father and be strong. Rick

  3. Hello again, I forgot to tell you that I just happened to be reading from an old Journal tonight from February 2013 right before I read your post. It is a article written by Phil Davis titled “You have a Duty to Live” it is very good and one of my favorites.

  4. If you only really knew that amazing inspiration you shine in my life alone! You are in my prayer!

    I love you


    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Sometimes we live for what I call our lifelines. You know, those who truly need you ….like your dad. When I can’t find it in me for myself, I usually can for them.
    You have so much love Karen and like light it draws people to you. Unfortunately there are those who are jealous of that light and they will try and diminish it. I am so glad your not going to let them!
    For a moment it might have flickered dim but you just keep feeding it with love and shine so bright that the darkness flees!
    Praying that the love of God will soothe and heal your heart.

  6. After my husband died, the window I had into his world closed. Or, did it. One night after watching a Princess Diana movie (a sure tear enhancer), I wept and wept and wept. This, years after his passage. Haltingly, in the silence I heard him “I am right here. Always here”. We live our lives, and they theirs. But it is never far from ours. We are free to send love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s