A Gift of Words, Lost and Found
Thanks to Carol Megathlin of Savannah — a writer, Honor Flight and Adopt-A-Soldier volunteer — for sharing a Christmas story:
Like so many of our friends, my husband Bill and I are preparing to “downsize.” We’re contracting the scope of our footprint on the earth, getting rid of things that are precious to no one but us.
Nostalgia settles over us as we sift through letters, mementos and rafts of pictures, but we are ruthless. Who will want this stuff after we’re gone? Nobody. Yet as we cull and trash our treasures, sometimes a jewel for the ages tumbles out.
Such was the case a few days before Christmas.
As I opened a manila folder, three sheets of thick, creamy paper caught my attention. Each page bore a short poem.
The verses were original compositions by a friend who, during one troubled passage in her life, lived with us. I seem to remember that she presented them to us as a gift, a shy offering that grew out of deep suffering and exquisite sensitivity.
Though she took her own life several years later, the poem titled “Christmas Eve” by Nancy Stevens Todd quivers with hope, both personal and universal.
Lying mute in darkness and forgotten for decades, her words belong to us all, a gift for the holy season:
Tonight, infinite possibility is born.
Star in the sky, fisheye in air, shows the way.
The message beams forth that within us each abides
the spirit of the tiny Child, the promise
of our future heaven, hope and knowledge
of perfect love that creates all
carries all forth
binds us all together
on this great swirling planet
shot into the cosmos by God’s hand.
A Mother’s Love
Thanks to Chris Wagner of Hilton Head Island for sharing his annual Christmas poem.
For more than 20,000 days,
In more than 20,000 ways,
I thank my mom most graciously
For everything she’s done for me.
No gift is greater than mother’s love,
A blessing sent from above.
No power stronger on this earth,
No treasure equal to its worth.
Throughout my life I always see
A little part of mom in me.
Always giving, warm and pure;
My sense of values come from her.
Like a trunk is to a tree,
The backbone of our family.
Quiet, thoughtful, brave and strong;
She taught us what was right from wrong.
We all lived by the Golden Rule.
She helped us all do well in school.
We learned to be polite and kind,
Train our bodies … use our minds.
Taught us how to cook and sew;
Took us where we had to go.
Showed us how to grow our food;
Never lost her upbeat mood.
Always caught us when we’d fall;
Always answered every call.
She gave us comfort, help and care;
Her love went with us everywhere.
Taught us strength in gentle ways;
To make the most of rainy days.
Though words of love were rarely spoken,
We never doubted her devotion.
Mom kept our Christmas short and sweet,
With simple gifts and homemade treats.
But she worked hard in other ways
To always have a special day.
As I put up my Christmas tree
Childhood thoughts come back to me.
Christmastime was like no other,
Because of my fantastic mother.
So cheers to mom on Christmas day;
She always helped show me the way.
My mentor, friend, my dad’s great wife;
I’m blessed to have her in my life.