When Illness Comes

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When illness comes,

what once was a flawless sky

becomes laden with pending rain.

Clouds begin lurking, spreading, darkening…

intent on swallowing the sun.

Thunder rolls in

on the tail of an erratic wind,

obscuring vision with the downpour it brings.

But beyond the threatening storm,

beyond the darkness,

beyond the fear,

is a place where the moon

flaunts his friendly grin

and, one way or another,

the sun will shine again.

Shortly after retiring, I became a volunteer for a local hospice organization. One of the services they provided was the preparation of a life journal for their patients. As a volunteer, I would spend time with a patient, gather stories and photos of their life, then organize that information into a book they could give to their family. I volunteered for several years, taking a hiatus when a new grandchild needed my care. My grandson will start preschool in the fall, so I decided it was time to get back to journal writing. I contacted the volunteer manager who said they’d be happy to have me return. I look forward once again to being in the company of genuinely honest, often courageous, and always appreciative patients who prompted the poem above.

This is my response to RDP#46 – Open.  Sgeoil has challenged us to “Open your eyes…Open your heart…Open the door”, so I say – Yes, let’s do that – with volunteerism! There is always a cause out there that can use our help!

Photo was taken in the Highlands of Scotland


  1. The end of life will come to us all but for those living it in the grip of a terminal illness it is awfully tough. What you do in your voluntary work is absolutely wonderful – a gift to the departing and a gift to those they love and have no choice but to take their leave of on this earth. I bow to you, Grammy … I am humbled by this post and privileged to ‘know’ you in this place. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Osyth! You are too kind… it is a pleasure to do something for those who have little time to do for themselves. I remember posts where you are equally generous with your time helping others!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful gift for the people in the hospice and their families, it sounds like a wonderful way to volunteer 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My goodness! Another blogger suggested I read your post today (I usually ALWAYS read your posts). This strikes a chord so deep with me. My post was asking for ways to help elders tell their stories. I want to pick your brain!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful gift to leave a family. I would have loved to receive such a life journal from my dad. I don’t think there is such a program for volunteers here. It would be a lovely way to minister to the terminally ill.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful way to use your time and talents. I’m a Road to Recovery driver, though the American Cancer Society and often take patients to their chemo and radiation appointments when they have no other way to get there. It certainly makes me grateful for my good health.

    Liked by 1 person

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