To My –, with Love

by Charisse Shumate
photo of Charisse ShumateWe are very grateful to Mary Shields for sharing with us this poetry Charisse wrote for her. Mary sent it to the “Our Voices Within” event on April 13 (see story p. 5) and it was printed in the pamphlet issued at that time. Both Charisse and Mary are survivors whose strength inspires us. Charisse’s death in August 2001 was a geat blow, but her strength lives on in her writing.
If I gather up all my wishes for you and put them in a pretty basket, your multi-colored bouquet would look like this… you’d have peace from every conflict you encounter in life, all the love you need, and perfect health to enjoy the journey of life.
Your basket would be filled with dreams come true, goals met, and satisfaction with your achievements. There would be many friendships to enhance your feelings of community and belonging. A variety of meaningful relationships give life spice and balance, so I’d fill your basket with the kind of friends you can call on, go places with and care for.
There would be prayers for your freedom from everything that binds you and solutions to any problems you may have in life. In this pretty basket of wishes, you would have everything you need and want, and every situation and circumstance you encounter would enhance your potential for happiness. May the time and concern you’ve invested in others translate into the kind of love and appreciation for yourself that you so deserve.
You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are loved. As I stir through the memories of what we’ve shared through the years as lovers, I want you to know that I have a bouquet of wishes for you – I wish you love, I wish you happiness, and I hope your every dream is coming true.