Recipe for Sanity Amidst Heartbreak

Recipe for Sanity Amidst Heartbreak


1 heartful of courageous hope

Multiple Hours of patience

Some hours of tender care (include your favorite friends)

Three sources of solid information (from authority in this case, from others with similar experience; from credible internet sites)

Prayer, added as needed

  • Sift the heartful of courageous hope into the bowl of trouble, being sure to sift out as much fear of the unknown as possible.
  • Allow the hope to set for whatever hours necessary in rooms that are temperature controlled to be warmed by love, but not overly warmed by those who arrive in curiosity.
  • Mixing in patience oh so gently, to offset the anxiety that often tries to occur — sort of like lumps trying to form in gravy.
  • Stir in the tender care whether it is in person or delivered as kind encouragement, text messages, flowers, or sandwiches.
  • Spread a dusting over it all of nice quality information, being careful to cover the entire surface.
  • The amount of this last ingredient will be balanced by the size of the heartbreak.   Short-term heartbreaks can benefit from a few favorite prayers, while life-changing heartbreaks will require significantly more, maybe even the whole town contributing some of theirs.

Spoon into a dish that is large enough to handle the multiplying effect.   Bake in the oven of life until sanity is stronger than the heartbreak.


by Nancy Ann Smith,  Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020    Poetry Marathon


An Empowering Woman: Michelle Murray

Michelle Murray’s very full heart
fights for a better world
cleaner, wiser, kinder, Earth-mates.

Speaking to a church basement crowd
describing the Cosmos glory
explaining interdependence.

Challenges us to learn and share
and most of all care
dare to protect; dare to join her fight.

Michelle reminds us, every one of us
to see our connection, our duty,
change the Sisyphean effort
to the realm united for all.


by Nancy Ann Smith, Amherst, Ohio

June 27, 2020

NAS Prompt 12

NAS Prompt 12  Moving


Moving on my own, determined and excited,

thrilling new adventure taught me

all the basic things new brides learn —

take charge of many household chores.


Moving into a home of our own

a two story home gave us lots of room

so we filled it with babies, every year or so

a home that the children still love.


Moving  on, as in divorce, I did that once.

Misery and grief — survived and grew stronger

Eight years later, wounds had healed, kids had grown

chose a better match.


Moving through the familial losses —

Happy losses to marriages; I approved of every one.

The sad losses were in death;   Mom and Dad and little Mari, too

Celebrate their lives, and let them go; to whatever Heaven holds.

by Nancy Ann Smith

NAS Prompt 11

I can blame it all on Cinders

she always licked the kitchen floor clean,

so I did not learn to sweep with a broom

till long after I had any interest.


Cinders gets the blame again

when it comes to not being very attentive

she loudly proclaimed whenever

siblings were crawling into danger.


But the neighbor, with his fish-burying garden method

gets the blame for my broken heart.

My first, best pet had to move to Aunt Rose’s,

and life was never the same.

NAS Prompt 10

Her face has seen six decades

with freckles in the first ten years

that life eventually covered.

Those teen years survived the popping of zits

and make-up, and dripping of “Dippity-Do.”


Motherhood years brought a broken nose,

falling on a snowy concrete step,

but she saved that tummy full of baby.

The next decade of her children’s teen years

brought worries and demands and a few gray hairs.


The grandma stage has a slower pace

it wears smiles — and other looks if needed —

through storytelling, and lesson sharing.

They just love to hear what Mom or Dad did

that made Grandma smile or laugh or give them trouble.

by Nancy Ann Smith

NAS Post 9


Grace is more than a wish,    more than a prayer,

more than an answered prayer.

It is all of the love and providence

that goes into being loved and fortunate.

Some choices cause us trouble.

Some of us just cannot SEE that we are loved beyond our asking.

Sue’s Mom didn’t know how to love her

without expecting her to be bad

God’s grace led Sue to succeed

as  a mother determined to love her children.

Toni’s mom didn’t know how to love her children

without broadcasting their every mistake to the community.

God’s grace led Toni to love her Mom anyway.

My mom loved me enough to want me to be healthy and happy

even more than she wanted me to be good.

God’s grace led me to live up to that trust much of the time

and follow her example, and trust in God to help where needed.

NAS Prompt 8

We need to be kind — So many people are hurting

We need to be patient —  solutions take time to develop

We need to co-operate — in order to come together

We need to unite — many hands make light work

We need to see the best in our neighbor —

to eliminate fear in our streets

by Nancy Ann Smith

NAS #7

Birthday rose

the color of purity, or brand new, unused cloth diapers,

(I remember those days so fondly.)

The green leaves are the same shade

as the grass my sweet husband mows.

Standing as tall as 150% the height of the vase

(I don’t really love math,

that’s just keeping those skills from getting rusty.)

Each day on the way to #64,

it opens a little more,  gently,

as carefully as we open the door

when we KNOW April 1st is hiding a trick somewhere.

The fragrance is subtle, but oh so pleasant

so subtle that it can only be sniffed deliberately

and worth the effort.

by Nancy Ann Smith

NAS Prompt 5

NAS Prompt 5   Peter, years later, receiving his last meal from a guard


The Guard says:  Here, (as he slams the bowl of over-aged olives down)

Your friends are telling people all around that you CHOSE the upside down cross.

You follow a dead fool and you choose like a fool.


I am much worse than a fool.

A fool at least stays true to one thought, crazy as it may be.

I was a cowardly liar — just once, but it haunts me forever.


The Guard says:  Yeah,  Marcus told us how you denied you knew him,

but we have you now.   You get to die the same pathetic death.

That’s going to prove something.  (snickering as he walks away from such a fool)


Thanks, God, for this food to quiet an empty stomach!    Why did I lie?

Jesus forgave me — he found ordinary guys, not a single prince amongst us,

watched us fail to listen,  watched us worry about who was first,

watched me lie 3 TIMES, He never lied to us, yet he gave me another chance.

How did he care enough to trust US to keep on teaching the world his better way?

How can I do this?   Oh, thanks for coming, Jesus!  You came to help me?  Of course.


By Nancy Ann Smith — an imaginary play of how it might have been.