Bertha Gray


I think sometimes of how

you hurt us.

I donít believe you ever

planned to.

The addiction to alcohol

consumed you.

You walked away, I suppose

to protect us.

It hurt not knowing where you were or

if you were safe.

What hurt more was thinking that you didnít call

because you didnít care.

Then you would just appear acting normal,

as if you hadnít been gone.

We tried to join you on stage,

playing the happy family.

About the time we accepted our roles,

you disappeared again.

It was easier to just let you be gone,

build my life as if you didnít exist.

But there was always a hope in my heart

that wouldnít die.

The hope that said you would change,

we would be a family.

Years passed with my dream always

just beyond my grasp.

One day amidst tears and pain I took the hope

from my heart.

You werenít ever going to be what I dreamed of;

the time had come to let it go.

As the dream faded and hope vanished,

another took its place.

Forgiveness came to reside permanently

in a way that hope never had.

Forgiveness gave me a firm ground to stand on,

a certainty of a tomorrow.

No longer was my happiness dependent on when

you would change and return.

You could just be you, however you could,

whenever you could.