I have never been to war to fight for freedom.
But I have crossed onto foreign soil
to take a stand.

I have never walked in your shoes
or experienced what you have.
But I have walked in mine.

I have not seen for my own eyes
the devastation of what you have.
But I have seen pictures that attempt to capture history.

I can tell you this…

You are brave.
You have walked or been carried.
You may feel so much grief that it grips
you unexpectedly 
in moment of great distress.

You may do your best to try and not see
the images playing reruns in your mind
yet they still may only appear more vivid
in the darkness of night.

You are alive. Breathing.

They taught you.
To be strong.
To keep your emotions in check.
Now only to be encouraged to share and feel all that seems so hard to reach.

Why am I alive?
Why not me instead of him or her?
Would I be better off dead then here right now feeling half alive?

Seeing helplessness in the mirror.
Reflected back in another eyes.

Can you know freedom that you have fought for us to celebrate?


How could She begin to possibly understand
or write about something that may bring hope or offer insight… when the furthest She has ever been away from home by HerSelf was 700 miles?

She does know of heart ache and loss.

Of loosing people close to Her due to accidents and sickness. Old age.
Of fighting personal battles in life with courage.

She has seen the devastation of cancer.
The ravages of a disease eating away at Her papa’s once handsome face.

She has Her own hidden emotional scars of feeling inadequate and afraid.
Feeling deep empathy for others that at times She cannot separate from HerSelf.

Yet She sits here in the bright morning sunlight.

The song of birds outside Her window.

How does this bring hope? Offer insight?
Through wielding of Her pencil as it etches its way across the page.

Why is She sitting here alone?
With a thought so distant from what She woke up with.

To write with such conviction
on a topic she feels strangely drawn to…


The long held sorrow that carries itself within you for a love, a life you will never fully know again.


Yet I write. As if I know first hand the battle scars you carry buried deep inside your soul. Darkening your spirit of trust. I applaud your bravery…

To take another breathe.
To take another step however painful.
To take another chance.

On living.
On yourself.
On life.

Thank you for your courageous bravery.

High Five to you Freedom Warrior!

©Te’ Werner
Revised excerpt from Trusting Warrior

© Photo
Te’ walking along the Klickitat Trail, WA




It’s the things…
we don’t say

we won’t say
we “shouldn’t” say

we didn’t say
that must be said.

Break your inner silence.
Hear yourself.

Listen with utmost compassion.

High Five to Your Triumph!

©2019 Te’ Werner
excerpt from When Tears Fall

Te’ journal writing




COMPASSION for a Father

IMG_4120I hold the space of compassion within myself… She said.

A space that has held longing and regret. I had seen this space in my fathers own eyes before the light dimmed into his despair. His demise. His disease.  

Could I hold this space of compassion as I grieved internally for him? A life he never fully realized as a triumph. For a life that we had shared for fifty one years.

He would not look me in the eyes the last time I saw him. This past Christmas Eve. Eyes that would tell a story he hadn’t wanted to end. A life he had feared. Denied. Raged. Shared. Loved. Regretted.

He passed five days later.
He rested on the Sabbath.
He gifted me life and encouragement.

So when I stood or sat at his side. Or listened as best I could until all he could do was text as he could no longer speak. I spoke the words he could not say. The words he longed to convey. 

I forgive you papa for not being the dad. The father that I thought and knew I deserved. I know now as I have for the past umpteen years that you were being the best papa you knew to be.

I saw into the eyes of his sadness. Eyes that held such sorrow and regret. For the man I once feared. For the man he had tried to become. For the man that he dreamed of being. 

I felt compassion for the little girl. For the young scared child. For the woman I had become. For the giant of man that he once was. For the man he was now. For the frail bones and sagging skin lying before me.

I wept with him.
I forgive you papa.
I bless you. And now I must let you be.


This past autumn I surrounded his hospital bed with a force of my own deliverance. I surrendered to letting my farewell be what he could not say. And could not yet see. 

He feared dying. He felt he deserved this reality.
He did not believe he was worthy of forgiveness.
He did not know his own love for himself.

I wept for that man. Vowing to be done. To put the final nail in the coffin. Yet here I AM now. Nearing 3 am. Writing. Healing. Breaking further into my inner silence.


There was a time in my twenties that I felt that he was unforgivable. Anger. Resentment. Disappointment. Detached. Yet connected. By a love a daughter has for their father. 

Thinking that forgiveness meant he had won. So I held unto this pain. For what I could not yet see. For what I was afraid to feel. For what I was unable then to be willing to do. To go into myself. 

Until I knew. 

For a decade I stood with every emotion I could muster. Pain hanging in the silence. It wasn’t easy to show up. I shouted. I cried. I begged him to surrender. I prayed for him to die. To end this suffering. 

When you see a man. Your own father. Once handsome face be eaten slowly by cancer. Twenty years seems like an eternity. The last decade high hell. An era I call my raging forties. 

His face distorted. Disfigured. Masked fear.
His story will be told. Our story will be heard.

As I listen to the voice of my once held silence. 

A story that has been written in the depths of my heart. Pages. Long hours of weeping. “Tears for fears.” Undeniable grief. Gutted. The waiting wounded. A slain soul.

My papa my greatest life challenge and encourager. Died 29 December 2018. Seven days after I declared ‘Freedom’ as my focus. My resolve for this year. Five days after I bade him farewell. 

I smile as I hear his voice. “How’s my big girl?” 

I feel compassion as I see love in the depths of his soul. I told him that I would never come back and do this dance ever again with him and I meant it. 

The song that plays now is a slow one. I move more gently through this grief. No longer feeling hollowed out by it. But freed because I have allowed myself the space to be with Her. To empty out. To love.

I edge closer to Her. She holds this space and I feel such freedom as tears brim these eyes. Eyes that have seen more death within Her life time than most would know.  

I feel such compassion for you… She said.
Bless you father, My dear “papa”.

High Five to Your Triumph!

©Te’ Werner
excerpt from When Tears Fall

Te’ sky gazing; Packwood, WA


She Wrote to Her Papa


She wrote to Her papa.

Standing strong… She said
Happens when one accepts that there is no one way to do something.

We just need to encourage one another.
That’s why we are on this planet together.

Her Papa
One of Her greatest encouragers and life challenges. 

Duwain Isaac Werner
born 27 March 1935 in Fox Valley, SK Canada

Her Papa passed away nearly three months ago on 29 December 2018.
Today he would have been eighty four years old.

My dear Papa,
this is the first I have written about you publicly. 

I do so in this moment to heal and acknowledge your life. 

As my tears fall I know that this will not be my last that I will share of our journey.  

Because I have a lot to say. And I know that you are rolling your eyes at me.

I simply want to say thank you for always always encouraging me to shine my light.  

I AM standing strong because of you papa.  

Your fierce love in spite of the challenges life presented you is a testament to living ones truth. 

Your encouragement to speak my mind. To talk to strangers. To write. To savor sunshine. To listen. 

To encourage one another. To show up after you have been shut down. To love. 

To take a real interest in others. To celebrate magical moments. 

To laugh even with sarcasm.

To take long country drives with no destination in mind with the windows rolled down. 

These are some of the things you being my papa taught me. 

I hope now that you are in peace papa and I want you to know…

I will continue to find the courage to live in the manner in which continues to make you proud and shine my light. 

Blessings to you my dear papa.

High Five to Your Triumph!

©Te’ Werner
Excerpt from When Tears Fall

©Photo Summer 2010
Te’s Papa standing strong in golden fields of our homeland; Lacombe, Alberta


DREAMS Take Flight


Let your dreams take flight… She said

Whatever dreams you may have. I invite you let them take flight. For some of us that may mean letting our dreams go and creating new ones. Or simply trusting that the time is now for us to “take flight” ourselves. 

Dreams Take Flight 

Something shifted inside of Her.
Peace filled the places where fear had kept Her locked within HerSelf. 

She began to dream and believe in HerSelf.
Her dream took the first flight.

As I held my dying friend’s hand for the last time
I wondered what dreams she had also let die.

What dreams had she held onto that never took flight?

I knew as I walked away from telling her good bye
I would no longer hold unto my dreams…

I would set them free as I realized just how much
life force I had yet to give.

I would begin writing my journey to Triumph!

And, So She began.


Remembering 13 March
six years ago today

As I awaken gently
I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and well being.

As I walked along the river with my golden angel.
I felt my heart expand and touch the heavens.

It was only moments after sunrise
when I had awaken.

To learn that my dear friend
had taken her very last breath.

The earth sighed.
The eagles had taken their flight home.

I carried thoughts of her in my mind
repeating the tapes of yesterday.

How long had I watched her hold on?
Never wanting to give up.
To fight until then end.

She gave me the determination,
To listen to what is real and true for myself.

And I began again to write
with a passion well deserved.

Heaven and earth met yesterday
As you passed from this life, unto the next.

Thank you for the nine and a half years of friendship
watching eagles together and talking of health and life.

My vitality merged with your failing body.
My sunshine met the darkness of your disease.

Today we can all gather to remember you
As we each knew you to be.

Until we meet again
I will look for you when the eagles takes flight
returning late next fall.

So that we may soar together once again.

Amy M., my fellow river warrior and dear friend.
I send you every blessing for this moment in time.

River Warrior
10 October 1956 – 13 March 2013

May you find the courage to let dreams take flight… She said 

High Five to Your Triumph!

©Te’ Werner

©2019 Photo
Te’ marveling at the magnificence sunset; Horse Heaven Hills, WA




9952970E-4665-4988-AA78-BF09351D1182She lives in the magic of my joy…

As another month marks
the day that my Angel Bailey’s
physical body took its last breath

her spirit lingers longer within me.

As I let my grief wash over me
I am feeling both sorrow and love
That girl she sure knew how to love.

She gave hugs freely. She squealed with such delight when greeting those she adored. 

As I continue to make my way through the process
of grief I am knowing
to share her passing with you
as part of my healing journey.

It is hard when faced with such a loss
to open oneself up
to accept sympathy and well meaning words
of condolences.

Especially from those who think that a dog
is just a pet rather then a member
of your sacred circle
of unconditional love.

Now that I have had time
to see her empty bed space by our front door
to still hear the tinkle of her dog collar as I walk…

I begin to know that her spirit is never very far away.

She gave me the greatest gift of joy that will forever be imprinted on my soul.

High Five to My Angel Bailey!

©2018 Te’ Werner

©2017 Photo
Te’s Angel Bailey along the river’s edge; Cowiltz River, WA