Time on a Tightrope

The first daily prompt I’ve worked on for a while. This poem relates to what we’re going through at the moment. My mother-in-law is getting weaker by the day and having trouble walking; often needing a wheelchair when out.  We’re not sure if it’s the brain or bone cancer causing it.  She remains determined to look after herself and refuses any care. Her husband died five years ago, so she’s alone.  I believe she’s hanging on to the hope that she’ll “get over this blip” even though she knows she is dying. She’s so far outlived her life expectancy by 1.5 years, so she’s hanging in there.  By accepting help, she may feel she’s surrendered to the illness?   She’s also terribly house-proud and will struggle with strangers in her home.

Her daughter lives alone nearby her mum but offers limited support (pops in once a week).  I’m not sure if her head is in the sand or if there’s more to it? We’re 2.5 hours away and my husband is struggling to cope right now.  Just received a phone call from him and his mum’s going into hospice for a few days. Perhaps we’ll worry about her less for a couple of days.

Kneels and scrubs and strains;

cleans her show home every day.

Alone with her pains;

weak – as cancer feasts away.

If she stops no hope remains.


Carers, she declined;

says she must live on her own.

Daughter remains blind;

but son’s never off the phone.

No ones vision is aligned.


Time on a tightrope

as the cancer now is rife.

Keeping up the hope –

months are grasping on for life.

It’s her only way to cope.


22 thoughts on “Time on a Tightrope

  1. I’m sorry about your mother in law. I pray your MIL gets better soon. My grandmother lived longer than doctors anticipated and she was reluctant to be confined to a wheelchair. Her strength posed many challenges as we feared she might hurt herself while ignoring her physical constraints. Sadly not everyone is willing to look after loved ones in their final moments or when they require care during an illness. Perhaps there are unresolved issues from the past that created the barrier or caused the lack of interest from your SIL. Otherwise, one can only pray for her heart in hopes that it softens and she can be there for her mom in her final moments – especially if she doesn’t have any strings attached and can be there.

    Praying for you and your husband.


  2. I am so sorry you and your family are dealing with this. Cancer is an evil disease. No matter what it is, it is hard to see those we love go through major health problems. You’re mother-in-law sounds like she has a lot of fight in her though. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your poem is very clear and real… I see that same intention in my brother-in-law who has lung cancer. He is now almost a year past his life expectancy and I’m amazed at how he just won’t give up. Your poem feels very close to home. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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