Sitting in this garden, alone with my thoughts,

I think of my life, the zero's, the noughts.

I'm forty-five years old, but what have I done,

That will be remembered after my life is done?


Yes, I served my country, and of that I'm proud,

But I'm one of many, just a face in the crowd.

There are lots of things I could have become,

But now it's too late, most still left undone.


I have a loving family and a place to call home,

But with all I've done wrong in life I should be alone.

The alcohol and tablets, the moods and the rage,

How have they stood by me, while watching me change?


But since coming here there's a girl I have met,

Her name is Melissa, just nineteen but yet,

She's been through her own hell in those few short years,

And is now struggling bravely to conquer her fears.


I have known your sweet beauty but a few short days,

Yet it seems like forever, an eon, an age.

You have shown me something more than I possessed,

The will to get better and go on to success.


There will be times of soul searching, and times of great doubt,

Times when you question what life's all about.

But that's when your inner strength will help you get through,

To show your true courage, to show the real you.


The future ahead may not be what you'd planned,

But you will accomplish that to which you turn your hand.

Because within you is talent, within you is zest,

The strength to succeed, no matter how hard the test.


When in the future if you look back on this time,

To when there was a mountain seeming too tall to climb,

I hope you'll remember, just spare a quick thought,

Of that time of tranquillity to me you have brought.


You are shortly to leave here, go on with your life,

To face many challenges, and forget your past strife.

Go with the blessing of one who watched life pass by,

And go with the knowledge that you've taught me to try.


(Written about a 19 year old fellow patient in hospital, who became a good friend, and a person who was prepared to listen, and be my "shoulder to cry on" despite all her own troubles)

Copyright - John Casey - 7 January 1995