I am

I am Strong and resilient
From a rock thrown at my forehead at age four
blood dripping down
Sweet smell of acetone
I am From Paths through the woods
From the sun shining through the trees
Golden lit leaves glistening
And the wind blowing through my hair
I am from Mudpies mixed in a bucket
And jumps through backyard sprinklers cold water rainbows
AM Radio playing Abba
“Take a Chance on Me”
“Shining Star” Bad Company
Monkeys I made from Pantyhose
With scraps of fabric sewn clothes
Shayna Maideleh
I am from Grandmom Esther’s arthritic crooked fingers Detangling
birds nest knots from my hair
I am from Grandma Diane
Silky satin nightgowns with lace
I am from bike rides down a hill
I felt a need to race
blacktop scraped skin
when I fell on my face
I am from broken front teeth
lip stitched and broken jaw
Milkshakes through straw
It’s not so bad I learned to say
I will be Ok
I am from salmon croquettes and ice cream, candy and cavities
I am from music that touches my soul
I am from mountain biking over roots and rock scrambled trails
From mountaintops I have climbed to the snow covered hills I
ski raced down.
From feeling like I’m flying
Along the trails edges
snow covered steep slopes and adrenaline flowing through my veins .
I am from snowshoe walks in the woods
the full moon lit trails at midnight
I am from bike tours around lakes
The wind against me and the wind
Behind me. The wind through my hair
Pushing hard to climb up endless hills to fly down the hill , feeling weightless
From heavy barbells I lifted and boxes packed and carried then unpacked
Homes I created becoming just houses
To survive I had to leave
I am from A life to appease
Climbing out of a bottomless pit
I am from being thrown to the ground, and shoved around.
I am from smiling with bruises.
From an invisible cage no one could see
I am from the wind of the ocean waves that healed me
My strength is a faith that freed me.
I am from every step away from the containment
The paths ahead in the woods are exciting and beckon me
The wind blows and the leaves on the trees glitter and shine with diamonds of golden sunlight
I am from Sunsets with pink cotton candy clouds
Purples, gold and orange to red
the soft yet granular sugar sand
Under my feet and the taste of salt from the ocean spray the water turning into liquid silver as the sun lowers
Water splashing with every step of my now dragging left leg, foot flopping.
I am from walking along the beach under a full moon starlit night
Making a wish on a falling star
I am from pieces put back together into something stronger
I am determination to live life on my terms. I carry the love and light from finding my faith and that carries me forward.
From my painful body contortions I never give up the stretch to escape it and I’m fearless
cold feet and hand, stiffening and knives in my back between my ribs pulling me down but
It’s not so bad – I will be Ok
From acceptance of the needles and pills that allow movement out of the invisible cage
I am unstoppable
I am free and confident to push myself beyond pain to move because it makes me free and I can feel the wind through my hair
I am strong and resilient

Used by permission of the author.

Karen Rosenbaum

Karen is 55 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2019. She lives in Glen Rock , NJ ...more