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Her Birthday, Self-Esteem, and the Other Poem

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

Today is the 67th birthday of my beloved Charlene, which she is celebrating in Heaven. Right now, I am writing this while listening to one of those music compilation CDs that I made her long ago.

The concept of self-esteem has exaggerated importance, often used as an excuse for inflated egos and pride. However, the healthy kind is important. As I mentioned before, we met online and got to know each other texting through AOL. It did not take long to learn that her self-esteem had taken a beating her entire life.

Baby Charlene ca. 1957, via PhotoFunia and other enhancement processes
Charlene almost never received "props" or complements from her parents. Her daughter (who died in 2010) and ex-husband verbally and mentally abused her. Lots of manipulation. Like I have done, she had wished to go to sleep and never wake up. I think her belief that self-elimination is a one-way ticket to Hell kept her alive. If I rightly recollect, she said she didn't deserve good things. But that was in our early days.

Although I don't want this to be a "dig me" kind of thing, my part is relevant. I tried to build her up. That included objecting to her saying "stupid me" and things like that ("I fouled up" keeps the incident to the situation, not the person), and also giving complements. These, plus some other positive influences, caused the extremely negative self-image to fade and become a bit healthier. More importantly, her faith (like mine for several years) had been put on the back burner, and that was coming back.

What follows are two things. First, the other poem that I wrote for and about her. I showed one in "She May Have Saved My Life" and here is the second. It's a bit better, but shows why I'm not a poet or composer of song lyrics.

This is followed by a music video by Charlene. That Charlene only had one hit, and it was upon its reissue (a massive hit in 'Straya). My Charlene liked it. The perspective is from a worldly woman who had material possessions and pleasures, but "I've Never Been to Me" resonated with my Charlene in some ways.

Original photo that was modified above
The song is blunt and has a bit of truth. However, fulfillment and even self-esteem do not come from things, people, possessions. (I could not make her happy, but I did contribute to her happiness. You savvy?) No, we get fulfillment through the one who saves us and gives us purpose, which is Jesus Christ.

To celebrate her birthday in my Year of Firsts, I'm doing some of our traditions. Although each of us said, "My birthday is just another day," the other would insist on going out or ordering takeout. I'm going to order Chinese food she liked and watch one of her favorite videos. Like she did for me, I got a cake slice from a supermarket she likes. I love her and miss her. People who met her realized she has a kind and sweet spirit — interesting that I wrote about it back in 1999. Indeed, this self-crowned Queen of Worthless wanted to be uplifting to me.

Okay, here are the poem and the video. As I said before, the poems were posted online and the property they were on disappeared, but I was able to find them again. I posted under an assumed name.They are heartfelt and I am claiming my copyright now.

Queen of Worthless

Feeling the weight of the world on your back,
Finding your way with your eyes to the ground.
Hurt so often and feeling lonely;
Queen of Worthless is what you've been crowned.

All too clear, I see it.
Too bad you don't see it yourself.
Hate to be blunt, but you're wrong!
Not forgotten on the shelf.

You had dreams as a child.
Bad times traded dreams with fear.
But you don't know tomorrow,
those lost dreams can still draw near!

You're so kind and caring,
Oasis in a barren land.
Yes, you have so much to give,
A loving heart, a gentle hand.

Reaching out to others,
Never wanting to hurt someone.
You've lifted me many times
out of this desolation.

My spirit holds you close.
You make this world a better place.
I know worthless, and it ain't you.
Feel the love in my embrace.

Feeling the weight of the world on your back,
Finding your way with your eyes to the ground.
Hurt so often and feeling lonely;
Fine, noble lady: Where's your real crown?

Copyright © 1999, 2023 by Robert N. Sorensen

First and foremost, this is for Charlene, my love.

It is also for some fine people that are hurting and down on themselves: You don't see what I see!