The Beautiful Mosaic of a Mother’s Heart

Mosaic image of a red heart on a blue and green background

Hello to all~

I have written a small book of poetry.  This project was born from the love and frustration of the care for my son who suffers from SMI (serious mental illness).  I am not a writer or poet.  This work comes from my own cathartic space.  Twelve years of extreme ups and downs of episodes for my son and my family. SMI affects the entire family.  My heart goes out to all that care for and for those that suffer with SMI.  I am with you.   I want to help rid the stigma that comes with mental health illness.   I hope to let others know they are not alone.  I hope this helps you or someone who Knows you, to understand better the burden we all bare.  The beautiful painting was created by my friend Kristina Harris.  Her work reflects my words perfectly.  Thank you Kristina!!

The beautiful mosaic of a mother‘s love

My dear child, 

In the  beginning, I had hopes and dreams that have now vanished. I still see my child and that beautiful baby face and smile. 

My hopes and dreams have changed with and through my survival. I have experienced long periods of denial and the reality of acceptance sets in for what is. 

From dreams of who I thought you might become, turn into small dreams of  trying my best to keep you safe and the hope for the peace not to come undone.

The highs and lows of the in between, and the other pieces of the mosaic that we have not seen. What was once whole is now shards of glass and filled with hopes for the hard times to pass. 

In the end, my love will prevail although, it may be challenged. For the mosaic is the beautiful picture of my heart. All of the pieces of my loves detail, with determination not to fail. 

We experience the pain as things fall apart, but soon again, we will experience the mending heart.

Sometimes it feels like the pain will never end and we will never mend.

Time goes by so slowly. I hope to become whole again because this darkness feels so lonely. Silently, it comes back together. Not as it once was but as another piece of the beautiful mosaic.  

I hope that time goes by quickly when I’m here in the dark. Just then, slowly a glimmer of light, slowly the spark will ignite, slowly, as the light starts cracks in, my broken pieces fit back together, end to end.

We are the broken pieces. 

We are the pieces that break apart and fall away and come back together another way.

The roots of love grow so long. We find the strength to carry on. Love is the blossom and light is the power, my mosaic heart is the center of this powerful flower.  

A mothers love for you my beautiful child will never end. It is a beautiful mosaic of hope and light, broken and bent, but comes back to forever fight. 


LeeAnn Madden

If only it was any other disease

If only it was any other disease. Something maybe that you could see. I know your reaction and compassion would be different towards our family. 

If it was any other disease your reactions would be very different towards him and would change what you see. 

At times when I try to talk about my loved one, the uncomfortable look on your face is what I see. 

I know it is hard to relate and understand, but we are still just talking about a man in need. 

A man who deserves compassion and a family that tries to support and do whatever they can indeed.

I often don’t talk about what is going on with this day to day nightmare. I am unsure if you care. 

I press it down and smile and pretend to be okay, hoping it will all just fade away. 

The reality is that it does not go away. It ebbs and flows day to day. We pray everyday. Your smile and support can go a very long way. 

Please try to understand that not every disability is something to wear. We just need to feel the support of those who try to understand and try to care.

You have a beautiful soul and heart

You have a beautiful soul and have a heart that is pure. You are kind, gentle and empathetic when your mind is clear. This is what I hold close to my own heart to keep memories of you near.

I have beautiful memories of you growing up as a child. Always an abundance of laughter and smiles. You are smart and have good humor. You are now grown and are who you are. 

Your history of an abundance of friends and a twin brother from beginning to end. 

Sometimes it is not always easy and some of those people are missing.  

Memories of your beautiful heart and face I keep kissing. 

Your heart remains pure, where a kind and beautiful soul resides inside.  Your distorted mind with untethered thoughts come to the forefront. What remains is your beautiful heart. 

These pieces of who you are, and mosaic of beautiful colors come together even as your mind is at war.  Although, at times it is hard, it is clear, you are who you are. 

There is love for you from family and friends close and far. We all know the pieces of the mosaic that make up who you are. 

Although those colors can change hue, your pure heart and our love for you remain true. 

Today was a good day.   

There was no fighting, and no distortion of reality, only peace and harmony. 

How long will this last I have got to ask, but the answer is clear, the end is always near.

  Let’s keep on dancing for who knows how long, to the beat of this dreadful song. 

At times, I just try to forget. Same as you my son, I am willing to bet. 

We will get through this together and at times it is not always easy. Let’s enjoy the good days when they arrive. Making the best of this time and gliding on this peaceful ride. 

Today was a good day. 

Please just hold my hand

The pain, the fight, the loneliness of loved one’s mental health plight. 

Please just hold my hand. 

The isolation from friends and family and from my own known self. Who is this person that is pushed down? Who carries this heavy load and wears no crown. For who it is the strongest of all and who stays to fend the shadows that never end. 

Please just hold my hand. 

At times, I feel as though I am just one grain of sand. 

Do not wish to understand this my friend as this is a fight I wish on no man.  

Please Just hold my hand. 

There is no escape though we may try to hide from the burden of all the pain. I must say it is all in vain. 

Please just hold my hand. 

Waves of the shadows ebb and flow without relent. Peace is dressed in disguise as sun and clouds in the sky.  

Please just hold my hand

One by one the shadows come and may go. I hold the hope to stand and fight.  I try and try with all my might. I may rest but please don’t fear, as I will return to stand and fight. 

Please just hold my hand. 

I am his mother

The judgment comes from an ugly place 

If only it came from love to help us feel safe. 

In the end, please know I have done my best my friend.

Some days I can’t get out of my own way. 

Some days I wonder when it will all end. Once this cycle ends and a new one begins again. 

I’m so tired of feeling all the judgment and dealing with the system that lacks justice. Or should I call it “lack of justice“ system. What I wish for is support and not to fight battles in court.

I put on my perfect face and pretend everything is okay just for today. 

I may not be your cup of tea as it’s difficult to understand me. My road is my own like no other. 

I am his mother. 

The mind of a mother who fights battles that can’t be seen, to the end I will defend. 

Where are you

Where are you? 

I don’t understand.

 I keep looking, and now you are a man. 

That sweet smile upon your face is a dream that I continue to chase. 

Someone please help me understand what has become of my sweet child who is now this man. 

The dreams have ceased, and turn now to prayers for peace. 

Keep fighting my son and I will too. As I hope someday to find the ease of peaceful days with a smile upon your face and gentleness in my heart. 

Every new morning is another start.  

Friends and family look from afar as I seek refuge from all the scars. 

I seek to find his mind. 

Please tell me what has stolen his mind?!

Please come to my home so I don’t feel alone. I will come to your home so neither of us feels alone.  

The slippery slope of hope

Ah, the slippery slope of hope.  

After being so low. 

The calm after the storm. Just when things begin to appear as the norm.  

What does this mean to most, You ask?

  Things feel calm as life begins to coast. The heavy burden of struggling times smooth out into fine lines. 

We begin to breathe with a little ease holding onto the possibility for the disease to cease.  

And just like that, without any warning, we are in the midst of choppy seas. Here it comes again as it begins storming. 

Just as daylight eases into night,

The darkening cloak covers the peace of light. 

Despite me hoping with all my might. 

We brace ourselves once again. 

Will this cycle ever end? 

My promise to my precious child is to hold on to you until this evil cycle ends again. 

When there is peace in the air

A scent of normal aroma, when there is peace in the air.

A sense of calm to my heart, when there is peace in the air.

A feeling of lightness to the burden I bare, when there is peace in the air.

Memories of good times come back to my mind, when there is a peace in the air.

My hopes for the future fill my thoughts, when there is peace in the air.

What I wouldn’t do to keep this glue holding everything together at this time, when there is peace in the air.

We get to come back to that space of love that fills our souls, when there is peace in the air.

A Broken System 

 I fight and fight to keep your rights. The system fails despite my plight.  

It is almost never easy to navigate the twists and demands of a broken system. The many failures go on so long I can barely list them.  

What I thought could be used to help you, turns out to be something that at times is useless and rude.

  Is there anyone out there who cares and can help us navigate this nightmare?

The judgement from many and we fight for every penny.  

It goes on and on and never ends. Why isn’t it easier to help you mend.  

Judgement from friends, family and strangers. This only fuels my disappointments and list of angers.  

As you judge from a distance, let me tell you that life can change in an instant. 

The system that was put in place. To help?? It fails over and over as I keep trying to win the race.  

How do we help our loved ones? In a world where  the system does not love them.  

The struggle is there to spite my despair. At times I lose the energy to fight. I lose sleep at night. I keep trying to win with all my might. Please someone help to make it right!!!!

Help me understand your mind 

Help me to understand. 

Help me, to help you understand. 

You do not see that your mind is different.  

This world inside your mind. 

At times I see the glimmer of the you that I was hoping to find.

 Just then, as quick as that, your gone again. 

I hold the hope for this nightmare to end. I fear acceptance is my only friend.

Stay strong my child. Hold on to hope and a smile. For I will to, as I keep looking for you. 

If you are reading this

If you are reading this, then I want you to know that you are stronger than you think, my dear, this I know. 

Stay strong and stay true, this is what I wish for you. 

When times get tough, please know that you are enough. And you are strong enough to weather the storm. 

Sometimes it feels impossible. Everything is possible.

Hope is the strongest rope. Love is the glue. Breathe deep and hold on because better days await you. 

If these stories appeal to you, whether for a family member, friend or a stranger, remember, there is always hope.  When love finds you right where you are.

  Hope is alive in the best of times or the worst of times. Love is the right by your side. It is in you and all around you. Love is the glue.  

Hold on to you.