Cronkhite Canada Syndrome

Today is Thanksgiving and like last year, I am just so very, very grateful to be alive. Not so long ago, I almost wasted away in my own sh**. It was disgusting. I had diarrhea for months. I lost 58 pounds in just one month. I lost all my hair--everywhere--not only on my head, but no eyelashes, or anything. I lost all nails--fingers and toes. I was so weak. My voice sounded like I was 100 years old. I was a mess. Worst of all, I almost lost my faith. A terrible coldness came over me. That's the only way I can describe it. Cold, dark, lonely thoughts oppressed my soul. I couldn't shake it away. The prognosis wasn't good. Since the disease is an late adult onset disease, it is not unusual for old people to die from it. I was afraid that there was no God, not because He didn't cure me, but because He wasn't with me. I doubted that He was there, or ever was. I tried to write my thoughts down, but it didn't really express my feelings. This is the best I could do.

Shackled in chains blurred by ennui
My world is my bed
sometimes the couch.

Hovering or
between death and
wishing for death.

Sleep wasn't easy,
but dreams abounded.
Praying wasn't easy,
but dreams abounded.

Shouldn't there by
a difference
between Jesus
and Zeus and Mars?

How would you know?
Same result.

Shouldn't there be
feelings of comfort,
assurance from angels,*
warmth from a Presence?

Worm that I am,
crawling in sin,
not worthy to be
heard nor loved.

Surely no one
is righteous to You?**

You are there.
You are there.
If repeating
makes it true,

You are there.
You are there.

There or not--
same result.

How do I know?
How do I know?

Same result.

Beyond human


Lord, help my unbelief. ***

*Luke 22:43 **Psalm 143:2 ***Mark9:23

First published in The Map of Life, Poetry from the Third Annual OPrize for Poetry, ed. Robert Curtis, Dominicus Books, Inc., 2007.


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