Poems and Grandma

She died yesterday.

It is interesting to me that I found her poem right before my brother called to say the end was really near, and he was coming to bring me back to the hospital (playing musical cars has been one of the challenges of this time).

Here’s what we’re printing in the program, as a description of her. You must read by the punctuation, not the line breaks, to sound the best.

One Year to Live
Mary Davis Reed

If I had but one year to live;
One year to help; one year to give;
One year to love; one year to bless;
One year of better things to stress;
One year to sing; one year to smile;
To brighten earth a little while;
I think that I would live each day
In just the very self-same way
That I do now. For from afar
The call may come to cross the bar
At any time, and I must be
Prepared to meet eternity.
So if I have a year to live,
Or just one day in which to give
A pleasant smile, a helping hand,
A mind that tries to understand
A fellow-creature when in need,
‘Tis one with me, –I take no heed;
But try to live each day He sends
To serve my gracious Master’s ends.


These are more descriptive of my feelings now,

From Four Poems in One by Anne Porter

We know little
We can tell less
But one thing I know
One thing I can tell
I will see you again in Jerusalem
Which is of such beauty
No matter what country you come from
You will be more at home there
Than ever with father or mother
Than even with lover or friend
And once we’re within her borders
Death will hunt us in vain


From Perfection Wasted by John Updyke

And another regrettable thing about death
Is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
Which took a whole life to develop and market—
The quips, the witticisms, the slant
Adjusted to just a few, those loved ones nearest
The lip of the stage…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *