Paula Wychopen, a seeker of beauty in the everyday, is a writer, mother, widow, and former caregiver for her chronically ill husband, Forrest. The eighteen years she cared for her husband at home were the most difficult and blessed years of her life. Their four children are her most treasured gifts, and she writes to leave a legacy for her children and grandchildren.

My heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
No sliver of light hanging in the sky above,
no sound of crickets, or cicadas.

No wind to rustle the leaves.
Just darkness, and silence.
You’ve gone.

Walked into that mist, through that veil
that lies just beyond my view.
Beyond my reach.

I dream of you,
strong and tall,
walking quickly, as always.

Talking about your day,
your dreams, your hopes.
Always talking.

I see your dark hair peppered with gray,
wrinkles around your eyes from all the smiles
you once shone upon me.

I can see the color of your eyes,
ever changing,
with the colors of autumn: green, gold, brown, grays.

It is impossible to describe
those eyes of yours.
Those forever eyes.

I dream the dreams of those who wake
to find they would rather dream than live
in the reality of their greatest loss.

You’ve faded from sight and yet,
I can feel your presence
in this quiet.

At times the warmth of you creeps into my heart
and I say aloud those things I often said
when I could reach out and touch you.

When I could feel you,
knowing you were real and true.
And mine.

I say I love you.
Simple words with meaning so deep
that only you and I understand them.

I whisper I miss you.
And I know you grasp the pain that drips
from those words, because you know me.

You know us.
The us
that used to be.

I cry, and long for you
the way I have always longed
and yearned for you.

The comfort of your words,
the joy of your smile,
the thrill of your embrace.

I sit in these thoughts,
and wonder,
when will the light return?

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