Bearing Witness

After all these years
You finally share realizations.
Your heartfelt apologies
For what you did, said.
You recognize their love
For each other often exceeded
And excluded us.
You appreciate that
As an adult perhaps you possessed
Skills to navigate her cruel words,
Deeds that I did not
as a child inside the
Oak Hill House.
After all these years
You wrote that you see, hear, value me.
You celebrate the voice I found, the happiness,
Love I live.
You awakened and
Opened your eyes,
Compassion, kindness,
Love matter the most.
As the sole courageous one
To step forward after
All these years, you must
Know how grateful I am
To be fully vindicated,
Birthed from a darkened womb of denial,
raw, real truths
Grow, run free with
Strong muscular legs
Around deep waters of peace.
We can embrace in the radiant light
Of mutual awareness
After all these years.

January 13, 2021

With heartfelt gratitude and love for my sister.


Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. After having listened to your conversation with Frank Zaccari there is so much written and not written in these lines, Laura.

    Once we have seen, it is impossible to unsee.
    That my reality
    Might not be your reality.
    Even if we were in the same room
    At the same time
    And witnessed the same thing happening.
    What is your story?
    Humble inquiry going forward.

    • Yes, there’s something quite profound about what you’ve written and asked. How can people not see or not know? What do people choose not to see, hear, or feel? Know that bullies (even parents) often do their cruel behavior out of view of other people so that leaves a young child at the hands of their horrific behaviors-with no one else in the room to intervene or to say, “STOP! That’s Not Okay!” Your humble inquiry going forward makes me think of the elephant in the room-some people can see the elephant, some don’t know it’s an elephant-they may think it’s a giraffe-and still other people simply won’t ever see the elephant. Such a challenge with human beings…perceptions, paying attention, broadening the view beyond self, taking in information that doesn’t match what you “already might know” being willing to be curious, being willing to have intellectual humility. May I have more questions when I die than answers. May I forever be a seeker of deeper truths, realities. May I bear witness to myself fully first and then hold compassionate space for other people. Thank you for being willing to be humble in your inquiry going forward, Charlotte. May we all do that.

    • Oh, thank you so much, my friend. Deep healings continue to unfold on my journey-for which I am utterly grateful and opened in love. I received a beautiful, astonishing note from my sister Christmas 2020-a Christmas miracle- which inspired this poem. I appreciate you, your kind support, and your heartfelt writings. We keep listening to one another’s stories, revelations, stories, and hearts. Such a sacred path.