Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Lest We Forget"

Ethan's mother was Carol. She passed away suddenly when he was 6 years old, the same age Jack is.  People are always ready to share stories about her with me. She was magnanimous. She made everyone feel special. Many, many women who have talked to me have said, "She was my best friend." She was funny, beautiful, creative, artistic and spontaneous.

Out of all of the things she was, her favorite thing was being a mother. She was one of those women who truly ignored the laundry and would just sit with her babies and play all day. She loved being a mother so much that she had 7 babies. When she delivered her 3rd baby and discovered at that moment that there was another one, a twin, she was ecstatic. Not afraid, nervous or caught off-guard, but thrilled at the thought of getting to have two babies to dress up and feed and take care of.

This poem was her favorite poem. It always spoke so deeply to her. I thought I would share.

"Lest We Forget" by Anonymous


She came tonight as I sat alone
The girl that I used to be. 
And she gazed at me with her earnest eyes
And questioned reproachfully


"Have you forgotten the many plans
And hopes that I had for you? 
The great career, the splendid fame,
All wonderful things to do?"


"Where's the mansion of stately height,
With all it's gardens rare?
The silken robe that I dressed for you
And jewels for your hair?"


And as she spoke to me, I was very sad
For I wanted her pleased with me.
This splendid girl from the shadowy past.
The girl that I used to be.


So gently rising, I took her hand
And guided her up the stairs
Where peacefully sleeping my babies lay, 
Innocent, sweet and fair. 


I told her that these are my only gems
And precious they are to me.
That silken robe is my motherhood
Of costly simplicity.


And my mansion of stately height is love.
The only career I know
Is serving each day in these sheltering walls
For the dear ones who come and go. 


And as I spoke to my shadowy guest, 
She smiled through her tears at me.
And I saw that woman that I am now,
Pleased the girl I used to be. 

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