Listening to My Heart

by on December 13, 2011 · 27 comments

in From the Soul, Life Events

Though I know not
what a prayer really is
and so many
“How to live”
theories and
lean towards Show Biz –
I never-the-less
bask in the multitudes
of petitions to a higher power
and self help psychology
that my family has realized
since my daughter
began her struggle
to remain alive.
They comfort me,
inspire me,
and as much as I understand them,
they validate my take on spirituality,
my belief that
our views
our attitudes,
whatever they might be,
reside in our hearts.
Our hearts.
For isn’t it through our hearts
that we are
connected to the universe,
vibrating with its energy,
receiving its never ending love,
every day,
each human being,
since the beginning of humankind?
Isn’t it through our hearts
that we survive,
that we are alive?
Is the heart not
where our feelings lie?
And I’ve been listening to my heart
like one wouldn’t believe,
emboldened and energized
by all the prayers
and New Age good wishes
that have come my way
in these challenging days.

And my heart tells me
that my girl will heal,
that she will rise,
that when she moves her head
from side to side,
opening her eyes wide,
she’s saying that she
is resisting
moving on to the “other side.”

And when she moves
her arms
and hands
she’s trying to do the “hand jive.”
Would my heart lie?

And when she reaches
out to the air above her bosum
she’s grabbing a hold of life.

And when she moves her legs up and down
and wiggles her toes
she’s trying
to put some “git up” in her “go,”
to step,
to dance,
to skip,
to prance.

And when she grimaces
and squints
like she’s trapped
in a nightmarish dream
I feel like saying to her,
you are, baby, so scream,
scream, scream
and wake up and
walk away from this dream
or run away from this dream,
or jog,
or do-si-do
away from this dream.
Leave the dream
to the dream world, baby.

Listening to my heart
allows me
to envision this woman,
my very first child,
waking up
to enjoy the gift of a new start,
back on the path
she once walked
when she used to:
mother and grandmother;
cook and clean;
go to work;
smile and laugh;
take the good
with the bad;
have a future,
not just a past.

Listening to my heart
leads me to believe
my pleas to the universe
for my daughter’s return
is not too much to ask.

Photo courtesy of wandering angel via

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Shane Finneran December 13, 2011 at 11:18 am

Wow, my heart goes out to you, Ernie, and of course to Debbie, and to all of her family and friends. Yes, indeed, may she wake from her dream, and may those leg movements and toe wiggles soon turn into full-fledged steps as she gets back on her path.


avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

Thank you, my friend. I like the way you think.


avatar jeff light December 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Beautiful poem, Ernie. My heart goes out to you and your family. We are all pulling for you.


avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm

And I feel it; and it’s most comforting.


avatar Marcia December 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

You have such a beautiful ability to express your deepest feelings. I think of you and your family constantly and always my heart goes out to all of you. I pray that you receive your heart’s desire.


avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Hooray for the heart!


avatar Lauren December 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Dear Ernesto,

What a beautiful beautiful expression.

My thoughts and HEART remain with you and your family.



avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm

We love your heart.


avatar Cathie December 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm

My thoughts are with you. Like Marcia above, I pray your heart’s desire will come true and you will get your daughter back. Love to you and your family!


avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm

And much love to you and yours.


avatar Joe Powers December 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm

thanks for sharing the poem . . .

I will echo your pleas . . .

and hope the universe is listening . . .

take care my friend . . .


avatar Joe Powers December 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

all for now . . .



avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Echoes are more than welcome, old buddy.


avatar Sherry Engberg December 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm

She hears you. We’re with you all the way.


avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

And I appreciate it, all the love.


avatar Peter December 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Hi Ernie…
Keep on talking
Keep on loving.
Keep on hoping.
Keep on writing!

Do it for yourself,
Do it for ALL your children,
And do it for us all.
You are a very important person to more people than you could ever remember at this moment.
We need you and we need your words!



avatar Ernie McCray December 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Okay, you asked for it (smile).


avatar Igor Goldkind December 14, 2011 at 2:42 am

From FB Posting: The yearning of a human heart is unlimited in its eloquence. In this case the eloquence is in the words of my former high school principal Ernie McCray as he expresses his hopes for his daughter. The reason for posting this is to point to the words as the messengers of his heart. Let’s stop (in this era of mass empathy defecit), mistaking sympathy for empathy. Ernie alludes to religious and New Age best wishes, good intentions from good people, I’m sure. But I do not know his daughter’s condition. I do not know how serious or how much hope he can afford. I do not have any sympathy. Instead, his words take me directly to where he is speaking from and I am with him, shortcutting time, space and context.. That is the difference between empathy and sympathy. Our hearts are beating in real time, in this world. That is what connects us to each other and to the grand indifference we call this universe. I am so often frustrated by religion, New Age-ism and Spiritual good intentions because in coming so near but falling so short, they seem even more distant from the truth of the lives that we are living. Platitudes, best wishes make me so weary these days because I know it is as much braver as it is difficult to just connect with the heart that is feeling pain and own that feeling. There is so much in life that is beyond us, that we can do nothing about but keep each other company. I offer you no sympathy old friend, but I’m right with you.


avatar Ernie McCray December 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Hey, Igor, from our history from way back when, at Muir, I accept your being with me, right where it connects us, as you have so eloquently stated: in my heart. We’ve been connected a long time.


avatar Virginia Franco December 14, 2011 at 8:01 am

I have Debbie’s picture on my fridge door; waiting too long, a reply to your unforgettable last piece. I frequently look at her and remember those memorable, and visually descriptive terms for your lovely child. I hope with you, for that miracle.

Today, I will share, as before, your post to another poet; a retired teacher who knew you and appreciated my sharing your letter to Debbie.


avatar Ernie McCray December 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

I love the energy that flows from the image in my mind of Debbie’s picture on your fridge, the energy from my poem being shared.


avatar Tawny McCray December 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Beautiful words dad. The heart don’t lie.


avatar Ernie McCray December 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Gracias, mija. And the heart definitely do not lie.


avatar Kim December 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm


Debbie is there but in another reality. Your daughter is able to hear,and feel you and those around her sharing so many healing and loving thoughts. She may not be able to express herself, but I know it to be true that she is reaching for this reality and will do all it takes to return here. Sending loving and healing thoughts to Debbie and all of your family.

“Don’t stop believing.”……Kim


avatar Ernie McCray December 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

Thank you, Kim. I’ll never stop believing.


avatar Carrie Peery December 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I seeyou in your eloquent poem. Love is all we know for each other that seems to touch the heart. Stay connected to your daughter through the Love.
Carrie Peery


avatar Ernie McCray December 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I will do just that.


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