No Shame in Surrender


This time of year brings around so many vivid memories, this being one.

On March 9, 2009, a long agonizing night began for me and Rick Sikes. He had been in and out of the hospital since January 2009 and we were back again for more IV antibiotics to try and fight the infection slowly eating away the flesh on his right leg. With daily hyperbaric treatments on top of the strongest blend of antibiotics available and morphine for pain, recovery remained elusive.

And then the unthinkable happened. I knew something wasn’t right as Rick struggled to breathe and his fever rose. But, the nurses assured me that he was not in distress.

When the Pulmonary Therapist made his daily rounds the next morning, he immediately recognized the signs and went into action. Rick had developed pneumonia. Within less than an hour, a ventilator was in place, all pain meds stopped and the vigil continued.

When the wound care team came to change the dressing on his leg, my heart broke at the tormented cries that escaped from his throat. It took every ounce of strength I had to stay calm and try to comfort him.

I thought we’d reached the end. And, during the wee hours of the morning, after another sleepless night, I wrote this poem, never imagining I would have a chance to read it to him.


There is no shame in surrender when it is time

Like General Lee, you’ve known when to lay low and when to climb

I’ve watched you suffer for so many years

Your life seemed destined to one of pain and of tears

Yet you fought on – the valiant soldier in fierce battle

You boldly sang your song – rode tall in the saddle

You’ve now come down to the last battle call

You’ll hang up your sword, tired and weary you will fall

But know that you’ve left many good marks behind

While you learned how to love and how to be kind

Taught lessons to all who shared your many paths

That will long be remembered after you’ve passed

There is no shame in surrender when it is time…

I did get to read it to him several days later, as he survived pneumonia. We both cried. Then on May 1st, he hung up his sword and left this earth.

April is National Poetry Month. In celebration, I have discounted the eBook version of Discovery – Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes.

I’d be honored if you’d pick up a copy, read and review it!!

Order here.


For more on my books and music, visit: WEBSITE

21 thoughts on “No Shame in Surrender

  1. Jan I can’t count the number of times I sat with patients and their families during such trials of the heart. I felt your anguish as I read this, and rejoiced when you read your beautiful poem to Rick. I know Rick’s passing still tugs at your heart and soul. May you always be comforted, sweet sister. Thank you for sharing this moving and personal moment with us ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan, the poem is so moving…but your tribute around it, even more so. It’s hard to let go, and so dreadfully hard for those who remain behind. Thanks for sharing a powerful memory and message.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When to surrender, the image and the message are powerful, Jan. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. We will all face this life juncture, and we will make our last decision, to let go, to surrender. Blessings. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Gwen. We will all lay down our swords (pens) and relax into the transition. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hugs to you, sweet friend!


  4. Jan- whatca brautiful
    Poem you wrote for Rick. I’m so glad you were able to read it to him. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Love you, Dearly.
    I needed to hear this poem today as I lay my Granny to rest. Thank you & Linda for being a wonderful friends and anchors in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sweet Tonya, my heart is with you today. I know how hard it is to let go of someone so loved. I pray that you and your family find peace and I’m thrilled that the poem helped. It was read at Rick’s Memorial and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Love you!


  5. Beautiful tribute and poem Jan. I loved this book of poetry and art. I have it on my book shelf. I hope everyone picks up a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

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