Celebrating Memories……

A death in the family is definitive at so many levels…when it is from one’s own age group it is more so…like  a punch in the stomach! Our heart aches in the  shock, grief and regrets that follow. Shock because death always catches you unawares, grief for its primary selfish emotions and regrets, purely because we are human. I do however find that this process of  airing grief  has the ability and potential, strangely enough, to make it a  heartrending learning encounter in cementing old relationships and establishing new ones…

After the initial and sudden blow to the system, the path to acceptance is helped along lovingly by the onslaught of memories that everyone is so eager to share! The beauty and comfort of this is not just heartwarming but often a revelation too. True, memories tend to be generous of spirit…but there has to be grounds for it..this is God’s Grace to us at such times …

My major regret of late has been that we do not indulge in this for the living …imagine the pure joy, exultation and buoyancy of heart and soul to know how lovingly others think and feel about you…in your lifetime! Imagine arranging for such an occasion…leaving it  a personal choice of expression…the mind boggles oh so yearningly for this…this has to be accredited to the winged chariots of time gathering speed…

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Old Age …The Challenge ……

This poem was found in the meager possessions of an old man who died in the Geriatric Ward of a nursing home in Nebraska. For all worldly perceptions he had left nothing of value for posterity…except this exceptionally eloquent and moving poem…winging across the Internet ! What a valuable and thought provoking bequest from someone who will forever be nameless…but as it is said …what is in a name ? This is a poem that resonates with advancing age…the prayer as always is for the Good Lords Grace …

What do you see nurses? …….What do you see?
What are you thinking…….. When you’re looking at me ?
A crabby old man………..Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit……….With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . And makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . … . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .. . . The things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . .. A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . … . The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? . .. . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . You’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . … . . .. As I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten … . . . . With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . . . Who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . With wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . A lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . .. . . . My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. . . … . That I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home..
A man of Thirty . . . .. . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. … … With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . .. . . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . . . . To see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children … . . .. .. My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . .. . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . Shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . Young of their own..
And I think of the years . … . . .. And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . .. . . . And nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . .. .. . Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . Grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . … .. . Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . .. . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . .. . . . My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . …. . . . Life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . .. .. . Gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . . Open and see.
Not a crabby old man …. . . Look closer . . . See ME!!

Children……..

First I want to let you all know…that I love you very much ! It has been one of my life’s greatest privileges to be your mother…to raise you…to watch you grow…to see your development…and then, to be so very proud of the fine human beings that the Good Lord has helped you turn out to be…

This letter written by Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a prayer for his son is quite perfect in it’s prayers for children…his addresses a prayer for his son…it is however one for all our sons and daughters….

Build me  a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak….brave enough to face himself when he is afraid….one who will be will proud and unbending in honest defeat…humble and gentle in Victory!

Build me  a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds….a son who will Know THEE…and know that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge!

Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort alone…but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Let him learn to stand up in the storm…let him learn compassion for those who fail!

Build me a son whose heart will be clear…whose goal will be high….a son who will master himself before seeking to master other men….one who will reach into the future…yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his…add I Pray, enough sense of humor so that he may always be serious…yet never take himself too seriously .

Give him Humility..the simplicity of true Greatness..the open mind of Wisdom….the meekness of True Strenght!

Then I will dare to say…I have not lived in Vain !

I feel so very proud of All that my children have grown into and  achieved in their young lives…in every aspect of the word…it gladdens my heart and soul to know that there is an understanding of irrefutable and unchangeable laws of nature….He who seeks….will find! He who knocks…to him it will be opened ! Each day is  a gift from God…make it count…

It is my older son’s birthday today, and so this is primarily dedicated to him today…

My Prayer for him is that…he will always be able to walk through Life’s many hurdles and temptations…have the inner strenght to make the right decisions…walk on unscarred…and continue to prosper and fully share his God Given Talents and strenghts with all who seek and need his help and love…Amen !