Fearing the unknown place,
Remembering the sleepless nights,
Hiding the obvious need for help,
Juggling so many lives.
We share the sense that respite care
Has fallen short for far too long,
And that commitment to doing things better
Means agreeing that no-one is superhuman,
That one size does not fit all,
That there are as many carers
As there are ways of getting from
So stretched, overstretched
To relaxed and renewed.
It also means better ways of exploring the options,
Fresh ways of explaining what we need,
Making manifest our manifesto goals,
Though priorities are different for each of us,
The dogged idealists, the persistent pragmatists,
And those less concerned about what happens next,
Who’ve got more pressing things on their mind.
For ears to hear your cry for help,
For eyes to recognise a crushed soul,
For the heart and the time to offer you relief,
I wish for you
A careful pause
Before making your three wishes.
And along the untrodden path,
Travel safely through the unseen,
Beyond what you're used to,
Expecting the unexpected
And embracing complexity.
It’s about living for now with impossible challenges,
It’s about the dark night of the soul,
And the risk of not knowing where you're going,
And not getting there in time.
Through you the voices of those throwing the lifeline,
Through you the voices of those expanding horizons,
Through you the voices of those saving lives
With scant investment,
Through you all, the voice of the person who cares enough
To make the breakthrough from the hard times
To the better times,
Through you the voices of those not used to having a voice,
Through you the voices of vigorous involvement.
Doing what needs to be done
Preventing things getting worse
Nor can engagement with the catalyst of hope,
Nor the action that bubbles up as a result,
Nor the unstoppable momentum that comes
When workers and gatekeepers,
Carers and the cared for,
Old hands and newcomers,
Those who’ve seen it all and
Those still coming to terms with it,
When so many begin to see things differently.
This is less to do with crisis and more about urgency,
Deciding now to work with the hopes within the fears,
With your particular bit of the iceberg,
Tying good opportunities to real resources,
Deciding to celebrate uncertainty,
And deciding that in this story
You’re not the victim but the hero.
© 2007 Elspeth Murray
For Shared Care Scotland
April 26th 2007