It was never supposed to be like this

it was never supposed to be like this

chemo hardening her veins with the burn
life sapping moments to try to make her well

Her eyes are closed and her hair fans the pillow
I’ve never seen her so fragile and still

Her mouth moves quiet in the dreaming
and I’m glad that she’s found some respite

it was never supposed to be like this

She held me near in my early golden days
whispering strength into my wayward locks

Her arms held me up, flying through the sky
showing me the strength I possessed was limitless

Her laughter filled all the spaces of my heart
my memories are incomplete without it

Her thrown back head, the smile splitting wide in joy
a million little pieces of glee sent into my lifeblood

it was never supposed to be like this

and now, I watch in agony, hands tied
I wish to give my life blood to see her rise

the dichotomy of new life, and life ebbing
runs my heart ragged, and i’m’ gasping in the shadows

they both sleep in tandem, hands clasped tight
one burgeoning with new life, the other fighting for her life

his tiny mouth gurgles as he sleep content,
her face smoothed of pain when his hand is in hers

and I open my eyes to see her there,
she’s got him in her sights and she’s smitten

it was never supposed to be like this

and how can I have joy in his life
when I know that life can come to this

How can I speak joy and let the laughter bubble
when my heart is constricted in fear and unknown

How can I breathe that same life into him
that she had given her life breathes to speak to my heart

How am I supposed to keep my heart beating
when it lays outside of me in these two pieces

it was never supposed to be like this

Her eyes seek mine in the room that is our sanctuary
I see her breathing deep, her eyes radiate warm

she doesn’t speak for it takes too much from her
but I know the words she’s saying, they beat in my heart

and at night, I hold him close
feel my life blood filling him to overflowing

and know that redemption comes in many forms
in life-giving and in new life receiving

sometimes the sunsets on this earthly body
and sometimes the squalls of a wee babe re-wake life anew


but…it was never meant to be this way.




by Janel Andrews written July 11/2014



3 thoughts on “It was never supposed to be like this

  1. Wow, Janel. First of all, this is just gorgeous poetry, a thin silk wrapped around such deep pain. But what hit me is the heartache, the way it made my chest hurt, and how brave you are in your honest expression. It’s not despairing, but it’s so honest, and I resonate with that. And I don’t know who these dear ones are that you speak of, but I’m lifting you and them in prayer as you walk through this heart wrenching place of “it was never meant to be this way.” No my dear friend, it was not. I love you.

    • thank you dear friend. I am thankful that I am able to write sometimes and get this heartbreak out of my mind and soul. This poem is actually a reflection on a dear friends mother and her newborn son. Its been something that’s ached deep in me for awhile and the only offering I was able to offer was my words. I’m not sure I’ll share it with her…but its helped to work a bit of it through. Thank you for holding me up in prayer. Love you too

      • Truly amazing… this could have been you experiencing this, the way you wrote it. What this tells me is, not only are you a gifted writer/poet, but you are a deeply empathetic friend who listens and observes and intuits things said and unsaid, things felt and expressed. Whether or not she ever sees this, I’m grateful you were able to get some of this out.

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