Friday, July 17, 2009
Paper Momentos - Poems from Mom
I've been cleaning out drawers and closets this week and included in all that is a container and box holding greeting cards, notes, letters, and misc. wedding invitations and programs. I've been going through these items, trying to decide what to throw out as the pile has been growing over the years. Needless to say, I've been having trouble allowing myself to trash any of the precious memories contained in these various stationery items. How can I discard that heartfelt note of thanks written to me by my dear friend? Or the words of comfort written by another while my mom was here in our home during her dying weeks? Can I let the garbage man shred up any of the funny little notes or pictures my children wrote or drew when wee ones? I just can't. I'm afraid someone else will have to do it.
And then there are the greeting cards. Since I've been married, I have every card given to me by my husband and children. No way are they being trashed. It was when I started looking through the birthday cards my mom gave me over the years that I gave up on my initial project. Instead, I transferred everything into plastic ziploc bags for safekeeping. They may be just pieces of paper in plastic bags, but to me they are worth more than gold. There is no amount of money that anyone could give me that would surpass their value. They'll be worth very little to anyone else in the world, but to me they are priceless. So they stay for as long as I stay.
I found an extra blessing while going through my mom's cards. I forgot that in her later years she began taping poems to my birthday cards, poems which she had carefully cut out with pinking shears from some unknown source. I didn't appreciate those poems then nearly as much as now. Partly because she's gone, of course, but also because I appreciate poetry more as I grow older. So bear with me as I share with you a few of these poems from my mom in this and a few of the following posts coming up.
Some of the cards have the year recorded, but this one didn't. The card was a beautiful shade of pale blue/green and was entitled "A Daughter's Loving Ways," containing a lovely poem of its own, but these were the words lovingly taped to the left inside:
I can no longer grasp your tiny hand and lead you across a street,
Nor tuck you in at night against the chill,
Nor kiss your precious flawless baby face,
But, I can pray.
I can no longer take you to the House of God,
Nor read to you from His precious Holy Word,
Nor tell you what is right, and what is wrong,
But, I can pray.
For you are grown and from my constant care are gone,
To choose YOUR way and live YOUR life,
And be what you WILL in YOUR own way,
But, I STILL pray.
~ Mabel B. Rambo
And she did.