Illness and Me
Georgianna and Joan

Thinking to myself I wonder,
Why do I get sick?
Is it my fault,
Or is chance the culprit?

Chance it is, I believe,
But it is courage to accept
The limits, the meds, the treatments
And to act upon them.

Difference confuses me.
My illness marks me as different
Yet my heart beats as does yours
I laugh, I cry, I learn like you.

I wish you could see as I do
That the important things about me
Are not unlike the important things about you.
Compassion, humor, curiosity, wonder

They are what make me the me that
Wants to get to know the you that beats beneath your surface.
I hope that we will like one another.
Why ever not?

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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

 Last updated: November 14, 2004