The "Carousel" of Life

Wendy Speigner

In 1973, my Mom was diagnosed with complete renal failure. She had both of her kidneys removed and was put on dialysis 3 days a week, come rain or shine. I was about six years old, then. She has had four transplants, but all eventually rejected within a short period of time Although she remained on dialysis, and was usually in a lot of pain, she always found time for our family�ways to make things special, up until the very end. To me, she is the most amazing woman I know, and I hope if ever confronted with such a situation, that I could face it with as much fire and determination as she has done. She finally gave up the battle at the end of March, 1999, after 26 years of fighting.

She dearly enjoyed carousels and carousel horses, so I wrote the following for her. It is also for my Dad, who is still alive and well, for his courage and strength in staying by my mom throughout her illness, and never leaving her side. I will always love you both very much.

The Carousel of Life As very small children we were ushered into the line at the Carousel, assured that it will be an experience to remember. That� it will be... an experience of emotions.

We felt anticipation and excitement while waiting in line... just to see the gate close right behind the child in front of us. Then, we realized what it really meant was that we would be first in line to choose any horse we wanted, on the following ride.

Standing there, we seemed so small in proportion to the carousel's massive size, but we felt like kings and queens ready to take on any battle, once we saddled up on our "hand-chosen" stallions.

At first, we had reservations about climbing onto the horses that traveled up to the skies and back down again, and opted for the more stable prancers which kept their feet on the ground and kept us within our boundary of safety.

As we grew older, we realized that the most fulfilling ride on the carousel was actually upon the horses which moved up and down, for it added so much excitement and drama to the ride. How true this was....

We'd go 'round and 'round on the carousel, waving at the people we knew, parting from them for just a few short moments until we would see their smiling faces once again.

We never knew exactly how many times we would get to go around on this magical ride, for each ride was different. We did know from the beginning, that at some point, our journey would come to an end.

When our time came to disembark, after what seemed to be the shortest of time, we did so with a tinge of bittersweet sadness, for we were leaving behind such an array of people, feelings and memories... but we were also headed to other exciting rides and places.

While we were on the Carousel, we took part in many emotions... fear, anticipation, excitement, joy and sadness. And although there were a few moments that we might have considered to be less than delightful, the ride in itself was a wonderful experience that will forever remain in our hearts. Even when we are unable to hear the enchanting melody of the Carousel, any longer.

Dedicated to Donna Welty, my Mother and friend.

Wendy Speigner

You can send email to Wendy at: [email protected]
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anniversary date March 1999
date of post 3-27-99

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW