Posted in art, poetry, writing

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?  She asked the question  in the earnestness of choice, offering me an out despite the unspoken plea traced  in the words hiding behind the weight of decision, my decision to box up my heart --my needs, my fears, my selfishness— and store it on a shelf, collecting dust and waiting.   She explained: you can’t expect anything back, must act without being asked, that’s what it takes, effort,  your effort.  I nodded, a yes flying from my lips  in auto response like an out-of-office email, true and direct, but impersonal, shallow.   She glared into my irises like a lie detector assessing genuine intention. But she didn’t say anything. Did she not see the waver in my thought which screamed in every blink  breaking our locked eye contact? She didn’t say anything, reiterating her faith in me, her compassion to see beyond my flaws, the reason why my mother is the most selfless person I know.      I reach down my throat  and pluck out my feelings. This isn’t about me, I think, but if there’s one reward to this choice it’s becoming more like my mother, my selfish caveat tainting her altruistic purity.

This one’s a bit different. But I wouldn’t be a poet if I didn’t play, right? Thanks for stopping by and as always, have a happy Wednesday!

–Leanne Rebecca

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Posted in art, Guest post, poetry, writing

Endless Remembering by Lori Ortbals

Endless RememberingI know today’s guest poet well. She’s my mother and happens to be the most selfless person I’ve ever met. Let this poem be a reminder that love abounds in multiple forms: the love for yourself, the love for a partner, the love for a friend, the love for a parent, the love for a sibling, the love for a daughter, and the love for a memory glistened in tears of bittersweet heartache. Today as you eat your candy hearts, don’t forget to also love the one beating inside your chest.

Becky PictureMy mom, Lori Ortbals, founded the Missouri Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation in 2010 in memory of daughter Rebecca Lyn. Becky died of a congenital heart defect at 16 months old. Lori started the chapter with the hope that no other parent would have to feel the loss of burying their child from a CHD. All funds raised go directly towards research to develop new technologies and techniques to save lives like Becky’s.

When she’s not volunteering at a fundraising event or running board meetings, my mom enjoys spending time with our family, cherishing every moment to its fullest potential. She’s an avid reader, moviegoer, and superhero.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in poetry, writing

Pure Love

Pure Love

Day 4 of Heart Week is celebrating my mom, who buries her pain every day as the founding president of the Children’s Heart Foundation Missouri Chapter. Even though she went through the tragedy of losing her daughter, she found the strength and willpower to not only keep living but to give unconditionally to those around her. My family is walking this Sunday in the St. Louis Congenital Heart Walk not only in remembrance of my sister who died from a CHD, but in support of my mother, the most selfless person I know. Join us in honoring all those born with CHDs and their families by finding a walk in your area and/or donating to CHD research.

Go HERE for more information.