As some of you know, my older sister passed away this past February. Hard to believe it's been almost a year and yet, isn't that the way life is sometimes, we blink and time flies so fast. She had been ailing for a long time reduced to an electric scooter, completely unable to walk. She was crippled in many other arthritic ways and lost the joy she found from crafting and designing. However, she could still write poetry and this became the one thing we had in common.
Her devoted husband had been entirely responsible for her care, an exhausting undertaking for a trained nurse aide but certainly a daunting task for a elderly man. He is now 83 or 84 years old. As demanding as it was caring for her as he did, it was what defined him, what gave his life meaning. And now...he's living alone in an apartment still loving, still missing her and I thought if I could write a poem for him, written in the "voice" of my sister, it might serve as some degree of comfort. When he received it he was fighting back tears, telling me that I "had hit the nail on the head."
My Greatest Christmas Present
by Patty Lynn
Dear sweetheart, wanted you to know
I'm happy, feeling good,
With not a care, no aches or pains
I never thought I could...
Be walking tall, and skipping, too.
Each day is perfect here.
God's face is simply glorious.
The children are so dear.
I guess I never realized
That babies here would be.
You know how I love children
And babies, they're for me!
This place, this heaven, I call home
Is much more than I thought.
It's light and bright, perfection this.
It's worth the fight I fought.
But never think that I forgot
My life on earth with you.
As you loved me I loved right back.
With every year it grew.
Our years were filled with happiness
As we both raised "our baby."
With plain days and the special ones.
We loved that girl like crazy!
And then our bonus, her three boys!
What joy a grandson brings.
We helped Valynn but what we got
Was love returned and dreams.
As each boy grew we fed those dreams
With our encouragement.
You taught them to be honorable,
Respectful, decent men.
And as my health began to take
A toll on me and you,
No matter what I needed, dear
My darling, you came through.
And so this Christmas, the first one
When we are not together,
Don't miss me, dear, for I'm right here
And will be for forever.
You'll feel me in the morning sun
Each day, though warm or cold,
Within the stars as day is done
And so you must be told...
That I'll be waiting here for you
When your time comes like mine.
I won't need any help at all.
I'll run to you just fine...
And there I'll take your hand as we
Together share this life,
This place of sheer perfection,
A heavenly man and wife.
This Christmas I'll be there with you
My heart with yours forever.
Each memory of the past will be
A joy that we'll both treasure.
Please don't be sad this Christmas, dear,
I'm watching you from heaven.
My life with you will always be...
My greatest Christmas present.