Woking Writers Circle member Heather Cook was invited to read a special poem this month. She read her ‘The Carer’s Prayer’ at the Carers UK Celebration evening on 1 February – a poem that had previously been aired on Radio 2.
Heather explains: “I entered ‘The Carer’s Prayer’ for the first ever Carers UK Creative Writing Competition in 2014. It wasn’t selected by the judges, but was chosen by a group of volunteers and Carers UK trustees.
“It was included in the anthology and was read out by Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, on the Radio 2 Clare Balding Sunday morning show on 7 June 2015. I had a lovely email from Helena telling me that Clare had been very moved by the poem and Radio 2 had many appreciative tweets and emails.
“I was invited to read the poem at the Carers UK Celebration evening on 1 February this year and had the pleasure and honour of meeting many other writers as well as the chairman and chief executive of Carers UK.”
A CARER’S PRAYER
Let me be kind when tiredness overwhelms
my weary brain and turns my legs to lead;
let me be brave when truths must be conveyed,
confronting the past and all things left unsaid;
let me fight on for you when various rules
make nonsense of your rights and reinforce your fears;
grant me the stamina to speak and treat with fools,
remaining calm when biting back the tears.
Help me to know somehow that life goes on
beyond this time of stress and sleepless nights;
help me to smile and love you in the midst
of endless pointless and exhausting fights.
And when the caring ends, help me to be
kind, in my guilt and weariness, to me.
Heather Smith (now Cook)