This is something I wrote for my dad for his birthday. I was flat broke, and as his birthday was in January, it was a little difficult to take him fishing. A cake and this poem was all I had to give to him that year. I wished that I could give him the world, as he did for me.
He passed away August 11, 2002. I miss him very much. Mom had someone read this at his funeral and I bawled like a baby.
There he sat by the window
gazing out across the lawn,
He had come to appreciate
the coming of each dawn.
This dignified man, who aged with grace,
with silver hair upon his head,
had earned each line upon his face
in the simple life he led.
One of 10 kids,
the youngest of his clan
he was small in stature,
but a great pillar of a man.
He traveled in his youth extensively to answer a great call,
commitments were made, battles were fought
he was willing to give it all.
The Bible teaches “ Greater love hath no man than He
who will give his life. . .”
He laid it all down and sacrificed
his youth, to endure hardship and strife.
First the depression, times were tough
wondering, will there be food enough?
Then the war which he did enlist,
not knowing “Is this my final farewell kiss?”
He traveled across the sea in a boat,
funny, now I think of the pet goat.
He’s been to London, to Paris, France
Pardon me soldier, can I have this dance?
He built bridges in the Engineer Corp.,
they blew them up and built some more.
He lost his friends and buddies
on the beaches of Normandy and Utah,
I can envision the tear-stained letter
he sent to his ma and pa.
The blood, the gore, the fear, the pain. . .
what a horrible nightmare it must have been.
Then the Nazi death camps, imagine the stench
Even now 50 years later, how it makes the
Back across the waters on a U.S. battleship,
Did I mention the story of how his feet were
sunburned on this trip?
Why did he survive where so many others died?
His faith in God held tight inside
thankfully kept him alive!
Upon arrival back in the states
a Hero’s welcome waits!
Back to a regular life, looking forward
to that date.
People change during war. . .
he left his home a young boy, and returned
a brave and honored man.
There was life to live and a future to plan.
He was strikingly handsome
and charming too,
a beautiful young woman’s
heart did he woo.
He carved a living out of stone and of wood,
he built his house – sturdy and good.
He settled down to the family plan –
5 kids, grand-kids, greats, maybe more
Wow, that’s a big Clan!
He worked with his hands
in the garden soil
Preparing the harvest
did he toil.
He would derive enjoyment
from simple pleasures
fishing, gardening, and family life
were his treasures.
Through diapers and bottles
and babies crying
bumps, and bruises,
he always caught me when I was lying.
Through adolescent and teen years
He was there to dry the tears.
Though melodrama and angst in a
young girl’s heart imagined
His love endured
without reproach in a gentle fashion.
As young lives unfolded before his eyes
He was always there for us.
He gave his all to each one
and never makes a fuss.
He had an inner peace
and a subtle strength.
For any of his children
he’d go to any length.
He’s the man I most admire
he gave encouragement
to take us higher.
Teaching us as we go,
you bet he’s my HERO.
A gentle, kind, and loving heart
did he bear,
wisdom and truth crossed his lips with care.
You see the signs of aging in his face
I see the love and compassion that
put each line in it’s place.
The march of time visible in those hands,
through the finger tips,
evidence that arthritis has
weakened his grip.
You may see an aging man
taking an afternoon nap,
Look again I’ll bet you see
a father with his child upon his lap.
So, if you passed him on the street
or per chance that you might meet,
Keep in mind that behind those gentle grey eyes
there a hero’s story lies.
Allow me to introduce him to you,
I know that he will touch your heart too,
knowing him has made me glad
He’s my hero-
I proudly call him DAD!
Happy Father’s Day! Go spend time with your dad and tell him you appreciate him.
Write on my friends, write on!