I didn't know you when you were young
So many years ago.
Your life stretched out before you
Your cheeks bright and aglow.
So lovely on your wedding day
What wishes were in your heart?
Could you even imagine then
The times you'd spend apart?
As a young wife and mother
You walked hand-in-hand.
Down the streets of the city
Not knowing what God had planned.
A happy family picnic
You and your three little girls.
A Coca-Cola in your hand
Your hair swept up in curls.
The beauty of a mother's love
Is written in your eyes.
As you hold your firstborn son up high
Reaching to the skies.
By the time I came along
As baby number five.
I'm sure that there were days
It was all you could do to survive.
You didn't drive but you packed up kids
And traveled so far away.
To distant lands to make a home
Where kids were free to play.
Could you have imagined as a bride on your wedding day
You'd have two sons born in another land?
Your life would be lived so far from Wisconsin
Would you have said yes if you knew beforehand?
When we lived in Alabama
Your heart just wasn't there.
How much happier you were back in Kansas
An answer to your prayer.
As your children grew and needed you less
You reached out with arms open wide.
To embrace so many Girl Scouts
Taking life as it came in stride.
Your older kids moved out
Some moved far from home.
From time to time we all returned
From places where we'd roamed.
Grandkids soon outnumbered
Your family of eight little ones.
You gladly welcome each new baby
Granddaughters and grandsons.
Although you lived so far away
Wisconsin remained near and dear.
Your heart embraced your heritage
Wherever you lived on earth's sphere.
Some of your grandkids lived so far away
And others lived nearby.
You didn't whine and complain
Or get angry and ask why.
When all of us traveled home
The joy was etched upon your face.
Although the room was noisy
You handled it with grace.
What a massive group of grandkids
Your legacy to carry on.
None of us knew then that in so few years
Your work on earth would be done.
The children of your two youngest kids
What a blessing to behold.
Loved just like their older cousins
Treasures as though made of gold.
Of all the places you lived
And all the cities where you roamed.
There was no place better than your own front porch
For you, it was home sweet home.
When the weather was too cold
And your strength began to fade.
Your davenport was your place to be
Jayhawks and Snoopys all arrayed.
It's still hard to believe you're gone from us
But in Heaven, all things are made new.
As you wander God's streets paved with gold
Know how much we love and miss you.
"You take it as it comes"
One of your favorite things to say.
I know we'll all be together again
One bright and shiny day.