Present and Absent


Present and Absent

What you see and what you don't in care scenarios

Presence. Absence.

Often unnoticed or overlooked, certain experiences, people, or expectations come to light in specific moments. For example, I notice:

  • The presence of a nurse and an IV stand in our home two days per month.

  • The presence of dear family members and friends bringing dinner to our home on these days.

  • The presence of medicine bottles in our bathroom and medical bills in the study.

  • The presence of determination and grit on the part of my wife.

  • The absence of running or lifting by my wife.

  • The absence of whining or complaining by my wife.

  • The absence of carefree rhythms of life often associated with younger families.

  • The absence of despair. The presence of hope.

  • The presence of a latent sense of concern, but also the presence of a latent sense of beauty and appreciation for the moment.

Presence. Absence.

Perhaps it strikes you in different ways. I could certainly be more specific.

But it isn't just one or the other. Not all bad and not all good. But rather, care scenarios bring with them plenty of both.

So, when you are struck with the presence of something you don't want or the absence of something you wish were true, embrace it, acknowledge it, grieve it. But don't get stuck there. Intentionally, move your mind toward the absence of what could be worse, toward the presence of the beautiful and appreciated.

And thrive anyway!

Worth Repeating

In the midst of winter, I found there was within me, an invincible summer.

-Albert Camus

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Very inspiring. I've been coming to that place. I'm getting there.

Lillie Fuller

Beautiful. Thank you.


Thank you for sharing your beautiful observations. So simply but effective ly worded-A lovely poem.