Sunday, June 21, 2015

To My Dad, My Hero

I miss you every day, Dad
But today's a special day
A year ago today you left this earth
Following Mom along Heaven's way

You taught us many lessons
By the way you lived your life
About courage and love and duty
Helping others and dealing with strife.

You answered freedom's call like many others
Although you were just a young man
Bravely walking into the face of danger
Always ready with a plan.

In World War II, Korea and Vietnam
Your country you proudly served
Fighting for the rights of others
And for freedom to be preserved.

Kids don't know much about heroes
Or why dads do the things they do
But any kid can tell you
A Dad's love is always true.

You taught us about love of family
And to look out for each other
But whenever we asked for anything
You told us, "Go ask your mother."

Your love for Mom ran deep
More deep than we could know
As she slipped away into God's embrace
You knew it was your time to go.

On Father's Day I thank you
For gifts of life, courage, strength and love
As you celebrate in Heaven
My special angel up above.

Dad, save a place for me up there
Put in a good word for me too
Someday I'll be singing "Almost Home"
As I prepare to join God, Mom and you.

I remember precious memories
You're always in my heart
Someday we'll be together again
Though for today, we are apart.

You set an example of family life
And taught me what to do
To raise my kids to be good people
Who help others - just like you.

Thanks for everything, Daddy
Your love and the lessons too
I'll hold you always deep in my heart
And strive to be just like you.
Loved and missed always, but forever in my heart
Love, Ciss

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy First Birthday in Heaven, Dad!

Happy First Birthday in Heaven, Dad!
Today's your special day
We remember past birthdays here on earth
Celebrations with balloons, cake and ice cream

You had the strength to fight for your country
And to uphold freedom for the oppressed
You also had the tenderness and love
To show your family that you cared

Raised in a family of brothers
You rose to the challenge
Of helping raise daughters and sons
In places near and far

Our father, our Daddy, our hero
Words can't begin to say
What you meant to all of us
The family who celebrate you today

We grew from little boys and girls
To adults who understand
That all of our days are numbered
As we embrace precious memories

As your days on earth faded away
We gathered close to you
From your courage
We drew our strength

As you travel Heaven's pathways
To places we can't see
We proceed to trek along
Holding you always in our hearts

We'll celebrate your special day
With cake and ice cream too
As all of us hold close
Cherished memories of you

Your last birthday on earth
Was marred by sadness and tears
But now you and Mom are together
Eternally celebrating through the years

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
Loved and missed always
In God's eternal embrace
And always in our hearts. 

- With love from your family

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Celebrating Mom: Cherished Memories

Today marks my Mom's one year angelversary. 
On June 5, 2014, Mom slipped out from the chains of this world
 and marched joyfully into her eternal home.

It still seems impossible sometimes that my Mom isn't with us. 
She planned to live to 120, but that wasn't God's plan for Mom.

I know I'll shed some tears today
I've already shed a few
The tears are about me, Mom
and not at all about you.

You're done with your journey -- you finished the race
I know there's a smile upon your face
While all of us who you left behind
Feel so alone and out of place.

Just for today, I promise I'll try
To cherish the memories as I wipe tears from my eye
I'll celebrate who you were and all that you loved
And try to stay busy so I won't sit and cry.

You loved all of your children
And our kids and grandkids too

Your God and the Girl Scouts
And the kids up at school

You loved Snoopy, Coke and ice cream
KFC and little boxes of juice

Playing with babies
And walking downtown

Working your puzzles
And word searches too

Your Mom and your Daddy
Brothers, sisters and grandparents too

Of course you loved Daddy
And he loved you too
We came from that love
And I'll always thank you

Once a young Mommy

You loved each of us so

Each of us special to you

From oldest

To youngest

And the middle kids too

We were a handful together
Some worse than others
But you were so proud
That we all called you mother

That twinkle in your eye
So wonderful to see
Was reserved for the grandkids
Who filled your world with glee

Some of them lived nearby
And others far away
But all were Grandma's favorites
Whenever they came to play

You taught us well, dear Mom
To make the best of things

To put our faith always in God
And know that He's in charge

To cherish those you love
And that chocolate's always best

To light a special candle
When anyone needs help

To take time to smell
The flowers of life

To take it as it comes
And know that this too shall pass

Our God is a God of mercy
Of hope and of endless love
Our Mom who we all love so much
Is waiting with Him above 

On your first angel anniversary
Always in my heart
Never forgotten
Always loved

XOXO Love, Ciss

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mom Showed Me the Way

They say that only a Mom really knows
How quickly life moves, how fast time goes.
From babies to toddlers to school girls and boys
Rattles and stuffed animals to being too big for toys.

Those older and wiser try to tell the young Mom 
To live life while they're young, they'll soon be at prom. 
Soon driving and laughing, or texting all day 
Growing and changing and moving away.

A Mom's heart breaks with each ache her child feels 
Though she tries to soften the blows making deals. 
With God or with man or whoever she can 
To help her son grow up to be a man.

To moms everywhere on your own special day 
Your job is to see your children on their way. 
To manhood and to womanhood too 
Until you soon have no more job to do.

Moms take the blame for whatever goes wrong 
And pass out the praise when the boy's big and strong. 
'That's my boy' or 'That girl is mine' 
Pride in your voice, eyes that do shine.

As you look toward your children, now grown 
You know that you'd give up all that you own. 
To go back in time, if just for a day 
To a time when the baby in your arms did lay.

The future still so far far away 
For now just only time to play. 
And knowing then what now you know 
How quickly that little baby would grow.

A good Mom works herself out of a job 
The kids grow up and time does rob 
The days away and memories too 
Leaving Mom sometimes sad and blue.

But don't despair, Moms here and there 
Before you know, life will soon be fair. 
When that baby of yours has a baby too 
For you to hold and rock and sing to.

That's what the older ones all know 
Life's endless circle as little ones grow. 
You've done your job, you did your best 
And now you've earned your little rest.

Thanks to all the Moms, especially mine 
You raised all eight, should have been nine. 
You saw us all through thick and thin 
You did it all while wearing a grin.

Because you knew our time would come 
We'd have to let go of our own little ones. 
Wave good-bye and choke back our tears 
Let them go their own way despite all the fears.

Thanks dear Mom for showing me the way 
And for teaching me how to sing and to play. 
Showing me what a good Mom should do 
When I grew up, I became just like you. 

- Sandy Wallace, May 2, 2012

One of the perks of being a freelance writer is the freedom to write about whatever I want. I originally wrote this poem as a Mother's Day tribute to my Mom, published in May 2012 on the Yahoo Contributor Network. During the month of May 2015, we've made it through two more firsts: the first Mother's Day without our Mom and Mom's first birthday in Heaven. 

They say the first year spent grieving the loss of a loved one is the worst and that the pain lessens with time. Almost a year ago, we said our final good-byes to Mom and Dad. Mom died on June 5, 2014, and Dad followed her to their eternal home just 16 days later on June 21, 2014.

As I turned the calendar from May to June this year, those two dates stood out on the calendar as bleak reminders of this grief-filled year. Mom's homegoing took place early in the morning of my younger grandson's sixth birthday. Perhaps this was God's way of giving me a reason to celebrate June 5 each year, instead of just grieving. It seems fitting to republish this tribute as the date of Mom's death approaches.

I captured this photo of my Mom on one of my many visits back home. Mom always asked me to call when I was getting close to home so she could be ready and probably so she could be on the front porch waiting for me -- my personal welcome home committee of one. Dad was usually waiting inside, except when he was gone to Boy Scout camp.

This is one of my fondest memories of Mom -- waiting for one of her children to come home. Whether standing on the front porch waiting in the middle of the day or sitting on the living room davenport waiting in the middle of the night, waiting for her kids to come home is just what Mom did.

One of Mom's favorite sayings was, "You take it as it comes." Mom waited for us then as she waits for us now. When my days on earth come to an end, I expect to see Mom waiting for me on the other side -- my personal welcome home committee to Heaven. Until then, I'll take it as it comes. I Love you, Mom! You're loved and missed always.