"This was not in the plan." How one Croydon carer used poetry to tell her story.
After reading Carers Information Service's recent newsletter, local carer Pauline was inspired to get in touch. She sent them 'This was not in the plan', a poem about the ups and downs of looking after her mother, who is now in her nineties. Pauline hopes the poem will encourage others in a similar situation.
This was not in the plan
When I retire there will be more time for just me
For unfinished crafts, for visits and afternoon tea,
Holidays, adventures, day trips and lunches out,
That's what retirement is all about.
Our children now all have lives of their own
Their own families too and how they have grown!
Such busy lives with so much to fit into their days
They seem to be pulled in so many ways!
But we can make plans now to enjoy those days out
We still have the energy to get out and about.
We can be selfish and do whatever we please
Find somewhere new for those afternoon teas.
But life doesn't always work out in that way
And it can often change course in under a day.
We enjoyed the freedom and thought it would last
But now those days are a thing of the past.
Six years have passed since I first had that plan
Of day trips and freedom and to do all that I can
It's all just a dream and is now put on hold
But I hope I can manage it before I'm too old.
Giving care is rewarding and of course that is true
But leaves little time for just being you.
You love them dearly and are loved in return
And a place in heaven is what you may earn.
But it's hard at times when folk think you're so good,
To always seem happy and in a good mood,
When you want to achieve things while you still can,
Much as you love them, this was not in the plan.
Have you got something creative to share?
Carers Information Service are looking to create a section on their website for local carers to share creative writing, art and photos inspired by their caring role. If you would like to share your piece with others, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8649 6288.
Pauline's poem was inspired by the recent Carers UK creative writing and photography competition - read the winning entries.