I too, know the loss of a Mother

Before she ever left the body

Vacant eyes, saddening sighs

Questions, seemingly so silly

No longer there

To comfort or encourage

To chastise or swear

Admittedly, I had thought 

It would be better 

If she were gone

But when that happened

Anger came to the surface

What was going on?

I wanted to understand

How could I be angry

And, miss her at the same time?

Through the tears and the years

Brooding and brooding

Questioning and analyzing

I prayed, “Please, help me understand”

Why her and not them?

There were times

When all I did was undermine 

I didn’t want to accept that she was leaving

Right before my very eyes

I was so selfish

Only thinking of me

Then, one day it came to me…

The challenge is in loving 

Beyond my anger and my fear

I had to accept

She was not her body

Or, her thoughts

Her actions, nor, her inertia

Not her fears,

Or, sorrows, or, her pain

This lesson I have had to learn

Again and, again

And still, every now and then

People keep me guessing

Who are they?

Why one?

And, not another?

I must constantly remind myself

These eyes fail me

They cannot see reality

I need to remember you 

For that’s what you taught me

When you left way too soon 


I feel you near

You have given me the greatest of gifts

You help me to see

Beyond mere physicality

Thank you

For being exactly who you were

Every moment of every day

Mom, you remain in my heart

Never to be apart

For, you and I are one.

In the spirit of Christmas…This poem is dedicated to all of you who lost a loved one, who was a Mom or like a Mom, who may or may not have been affected by mental illness and/or dementia.

Rest In Peace, Aunt Shirley Risser, Aunt Bea Risser, Aunt Marion Wamboldt, Aunt Shirley Himmelman and Mom (Jean Louise Morrison).

Featured Image- Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia, 25 December 2016

© Dec 2016 Judi Risser All Rights Reserved




Why ask what I do?

Who cares what I do?

Does my work define me to you?


Will you come to know me better

When you find out what work I do?

What can a label tell about me, him, her or you?


From a title, a role or a phrase on a scroll?


Letters reveal absolutely nothing at all.

Why not ask my what I like to do?

Or, better still

Ask me what gives me a real thrill!


Ask me what sorts of things

I love to read, see, hear, touch, smell and feel

Why ask what job I do?


Look into my eyes

See me, please care…

Take a deep breath…prepare to see me bare.


I bleed, I dream, I desire, I smile, I cry

Just like you

What can you tell about me from the work I might do?

Ask me how I feel

Wait for my response

It’s not the job that’s real.


When you care

You will know a little something about me

Something that matters


By asking me how I am

And, listening to me, too

Yes, we must go through this again.


Because, it shows you care

Thank you

 I care too.


I may not know you

But, I care about you

Yes, yes I do.


How are you feeling today?

And don’t tell me about your work

I want to hear about you.


Tell me what makes you smile

Laugh, cry and ache

Tell me what you really love…

To touch, feel

Smell, see hear

And, create.


Thank you for sharing a piece of you, and

Please know that,

I really do care about you.



Featured image- Northern Coast, the Highlands of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

© Dec 2016 Judi Risser All Rights Reserved

Instrument of Peace

One of my favourite songs of all time, Instrument of Peace, by the Canadian Tenors is derived from the Prayer of St Francis.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do….:)

In October, I visited San Damiano, Italy, and became better acquainted with St Francis through the things he left behind…



wpe2.jpg (8065 bytes)

Lord make me 
an instrument of your peace 

Where there is hatred,
Let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, Joy.

O Divine Master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled
As to console;
To be understood,
As to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are
Born to eternal life.


Featured Prayer-Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, by Saint Francis of Assisi.

Featured Image- Statue of St Francis, immediately outside the Church of San Francesco, Sorrento, Italy.