Thoughts about Mothers

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be
I had a Mother who read to me.
  --Strickland Gillian

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. --Jewish Proverb

A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
   --Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother. --Lin Yutang

Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. -- Elizabeth Stone

There is no friend to a man like his mother. --Turkish Proverb

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. -–Abraham Lincoln

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. --Unknown

A woman can stand anything but being forgotten, not being needed. -- Mary Stewart Cutting

Harken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
  --Old Testament, Proverbs 23:22

The success of children is the success of parents. The sorrow of children is the sorrow of parents. --Richard L. Evans

It's very easy for parents to hear themselves talking. All they have to do is to listen to their children. --Unknown

There's a warmth and joy like no other, Between the hearts of a daughter and her mother.
  --Unknown

You may outgrow your mother's lap, but you'll never outgrow her heart. --Unknown

The Sweetest Sounds
The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
  -- William Goldsmith Brown

Only One Mother
Most of all other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world.
  -- Kate Douglas Wiggin

"Where's Mother," could be heard through the hallway. And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a Living Presence."
  --Temple Bailey

Mother Love
You can't define a mother's love:
It's faith and hope and power.
It's wisdom and unselfishness,
Protection hour by hour.

You can't define a mother's love:
It's prayers, true and sincere,
It's tenderness and sympathy,
A smile, a dream, a tear.

You can't define a mother's love:
It's faith that never grows dim.
And through a mother's love is found
The path that leads to Him.
  -–Carice Williams

My Mother's Garden
The mother is a gardener,
Planting the seeds
Of faith, truth, and love
That develop into the fairest flowers
Of character, virtue, and happiness
In the lives of her children.
  -–J. Harold Gwynne

Dandelion Bouquets
Give me a bunch of little flowers,
The ones that try to hide,
those dwarfed by brilliant beauties
when they're growing side by side.
I like the scented violets,
The daisies in the grass,
And the baby pansy faces
Peeping shyly as I pass.
I even like the dandelion
With ruffled yellow mane
and frills of golden petals–
You could never call him plain.
Ah! When the family was young,
There seldom was a day
When my lounge room wasn't boasting
One bright dandelion bouquet.
At first I'd wrinkle up my nose
With a disgruntled "Phew";
but dandelions in vases
Oddly seem to grow on you,
for it's the flower most often given
In childish love to mother,
And each true home is blessed with it
At one time or another.
You won't preserve it in your fridge
Like orchids from a lover,
And they'll never drop their petals
On a church's altar cover.
You will never see them glowing
In a lovely bride's bouquet;
But they'll bring you wistful memories
Of many a happy day,
For they're the flowers most often given
So lovingly to mother,
and each true home's been blessed with them
At one time or another.
  -–Elsie Pearson

A Mother's Prayer
On this Mother's Day and every day let me remember my responsibilities rather than my privileges as a mother. . .
Let me be wise enough to love my children without possessing them.
Let me be wise enough to earn their respect, not demand it.
Let me be as understanding and patient with their mistakes as I am with my own.
Above all, let me remember that these children of god have been graciously loaned to me so that together we may find the Christ in one another.
Let me be thankful every moment of every day for this responsibility . . . a chance to serve others and to grow.
  --Ruth Tubia

A Mother's Love
A mother's love
Is indeed the golden link
That binds youth to age;
And he is still but a child,
However time may have
Furrowed his cheek,
Or silvered his brow,
Who can yet recall,
With a softened heart,
The fond devotion
Or the gentle chidings
Of the best friend
That God ever gives us.
  --Unknown

Tribute To A Mother
Faith that withstood the shocks of toil and time;
Hope that defied despair;
Patience that conquered care;
And loyalty, whose courage was sublime;
The great deep heart that was a home for all–
Just, eloquent, and strong
In protest against wrong'
Wide charity, that knew no sin, no fall;
The Spartan spirit that made life so grand,
Mating poor daily needs
With high, heroic deeds.
Theat wrested happiness from fate's hard hand.
  --Louisa May Alcott

Songs My Mother Taught Me
Songs my mother taught me,
In the days long vanish'd
Seldom from her eyelids
Were the teardrops banish'd.
Now I teach my children
Each melodious measure,
Oft the teardrops flowing,
Oft they flow from my mem'ry's treasure.
  --Unknown

Rock Me to Sleep
(This is not the entire poem)
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart, as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep,
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep.
  --Elizabeth Akers Allen

Call Me Not Back From the Echoless Shore
(In reply to Rock Me to Sleep)
Why is your forehead deep-furrowed with care?
What has so soon mingled frost in your hair?
Why are you sorrowful? Why do you weep?
And why do you ask me to "rock you to sleep"?
Could you but see through this world's vale of tears,
Light would your sorrows be, harmless your fears;
All that seems darkness to you would be light,
All would be sunshine, where now is but night.

Follow me, cheerfully, pray do not weep;
In spirit I'll soothe you, and "rock you to sleep",
Why would you backward with time again turn?
Why do you still for your childhood's day yearn?
Weary one, why through the past again roam,
While, in the future, the path leads you home?
Oh, dearest child! dry those tears, weep no more,
Call me not back from teh echoless shore;
In spirit I'll soothe you and "rock you to sleep."
  --UNKNOWN

Somebody's Mother
(This is one my mother loved)
The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the Winter's day.
The street was wet with a recent snow
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
Stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.
Down the street, with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of "school let out,"
Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep.
Past the woman so old and gray
Hastened the children on their way.
Nor offered a helping hand to her--
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir
Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.
At last came one of the merry troop,
The brightest laddie of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,
"I'll help you cross, if you wish to go."
Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.
"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow,
"And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
to help my mother, you understand,
"If ever she's poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away."
And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said
Was, "God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is sombody's son, and pride and joy!"
  --Mary Dow Brine

A Mother's Gift
One of the most precious gifts a mother makes is memories-
The traditions that are repeated through seasons and celebrations.
She provides a link past to present that a family's love is special; to be shared, treasured and passed on.
  --Unknown

What is a Mother?
Mothers look different from other women. Their hair isn't always done in the latest style, and sometimes, it isn't done at all.
A Mother is a woman who can bake a cake with four other hands helping her and still have it turn out fine. A Mother's shoulders smell of sour milk, and if you are very observant, you'll notice safety-pin holes in her clothes.
Mothers frequently have runs in their stocking. Likely as not, sissy forgot to park her trike off the sidewalk.
A mother is different. She likes chicken wings and backs and the hamburger that is slightly burned -- things the kids and Daddy don't care for. She never takes the last chop on the plate, and she always saves the candy from her plate at the restaurant for the kids later.
A mother may not have ulcers, but she has versatile tears. They show anger, weariness, hurt or happiness. Once when Daddy forgot an anniversary, Mother cried. One Saturday, he brought home chocolates when it wasn't her birthday or anything, and she cried then, too.
A mother is someone who can repair the kitchen sink with only her hands -- after Daddy has spent the whole afternoon trying with tools and plenty of cuss words.
When a mother dies, she must face Him with her record of accomplishments. If she's done a good job of caring for her children, she'll get he most sought-after position in heaven, that of rocking baby angels on soft white clouds.
  --Unknown

Evolution of Mom
Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here, some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:

Your Clothes
-1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
-2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
-3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

The Baby's Name
-1st baby: You pour over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
-2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
-3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.

Preparing for the Birth
-1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
-2nd baby: You don't bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
-3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.

The Layette
-1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
-2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
-3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

Worries
-1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
-2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
-3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

Activities
-1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
-2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
-3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out
-1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
-2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
-3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home
-1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
-2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
-3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
  --Unknown

When the Good Lord Was Creating Mothers
When the Good Lord was creating mothers He was into His sixth day of 'overtime' when the angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts....all replaceable. Run on grapefruit and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands..no way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
The Lord nodded "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, 'l understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."
"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, "Come to bed. Tomorrow..."
"I can't," said the Lord, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick... can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower."
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.
But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure."
"Can it think?"
"Not only think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You, You were trying to put too much into this model."
"It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."
"What`s lt for?"
"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."
"You are a genius," said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. "l didn't put it there. lt just came."
  --Erma Bombeck

Excuse This House
Some houses try to hide the fact, that children shelter there.
Ours boasts of it quite openly, The signs are everywhere!
For smears are on the windows, Little smudges on the doors,
I should apologize I guess, For toys strewn on the floor,
But I sat down with the children, And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell does not shine, Their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I'm forced to choose
The one job or the other
I want to be a housewife-
But first I'll be a Mother.
  --Unknown

Mothers
Many of us take better care of our cars then we do our mothers and yet we only expect our cars to last 5 or 6 years but we expect our mothers to last for a lifetime.
Maybe we need a maintenance manual for mothers so we would know how to take care of them at least as well as we do our automobiles. Here are some items that might be included in such a manual.
Engine: A mother's engine is one of the most dependable kinds you can find. She can reach top speed from a prone position at a single cry from a sleeping child. But regular breaks are needed to keep up that peak performance. Mothers need a hot bath and a nap every 100 miles, a baby-sitter and a night out every 1,000 miles, and a live in baby-sitter with a one week vacation every 10,000 miles.
Battery: Mother's batteries should be recharged regularly. Handmade items, notes, unexpected hugs and kisses, and frequent "I love you's" will do very well for a recharge.
Carburetor: When a mother's carburetor floods it should be treated immediately with Kleenex and a soft shoulder.
Brakes: See that she uses her brakes to slow down often and come to a full stop occasionally. (A squeaking sound indicates a need for a rest)
Fuel: Most mothers can run indefinitely on coffee, left overs and salads. But an occasional dinner for two at a nice restaurant will really add to her efficiency.
Chassis: Mother when their bodies are properly maintained. Regular exercise should be encouraged and provided for as necessary. A change in hairdo or makeup in spring and fall are also helpful.
If you notice the chassis begins to sag, immediately start a program of walking, jogging, swimming, or bike riding. These are most effective when done with fathers.
Tune-ups: Mother need regular tune-ups. Compliments are both the cheapest and most effective way to keep a mother purring contentedly.
If these instructions are followed consistently, this fantastic creation and gift from God, that we call MOTHER should last a lifetime and give good service and constant love to those who need her most.
  --Unknown

Real Mothers
Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried playdough doesn't come out of shag carpet.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask "why me?" and get their answer when a little voice says, "because I love you best."
Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade ... It is marked by the progression of Mama to Mommy to Mother.
  --Unknown

My Children
As I look at my children around me,
Each one in turn I embrace.
Each one is a gift from my Maker.
God has such wonderful taste.
  --Unknown

Babies Don't Keep
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow.
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs...dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
  --Unknown

Letter to My Child
I gave you life, but I cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot always be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you nice clothes, but I cannot make you nice inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to be a friend, but I cannot make you one.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can grieve about your report card, but I cannot make you study.
I can advice you about friends, but I cannot choose them for you.
I can teach you about sex and the facts of life, but I cannot decide for you.
I can tell you about drinking, but I, cannot say NO for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I cannot prevent you from using them.
I can teach you about goals and dreams, but I cannot achieve them for you.
I can teach you kindness, but I cannot force you to be kind.
I can teach you about sin, but I cannot make your morals.
I can pray for you and your future, but I cannot make you walk with God.
  --Unknown

Normal Childhood
If they were quiet all day long,
And didn't shout when playing.
That something would be wholly wrong
Should go without may saying.
And if they didn't cry in pain
When on the sidewalk falling,
I've said. And say it once again,
We'd have the doctor calling.

If they could play the whole day through
And never start a battle;
If of what one had dared to do
No one came in to tattle;
If they, as we believe they ought,
Met guests with manners formal,
We'd ask the doctor if he thought
Our children could be normal.

There is no doubt the children small
Will frequently upset us.
The toys they strew about the hall
So often seem to fret us.
But if they always did the way
We solemnly advise them,
Some fellow we should want to pay
To psychoanalyze them.
  --Edgar A. Guest

A Mother
A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience
And wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years!
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family,
Whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill -
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!
  --Unknown

My Mom
4 YEARS OF AGE My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE That old woman? She's way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE Well, she might know a little bit about it.
35 YEARS OF AGE Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE Wish I could talk it over with Mom....
  --Unknown

A Child's Angel
Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born. So one day he asked God:
They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?
Among the many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.
But tell me, here in Heaven, I don't do anything else but sing and smile, that's enough for me to be happy.
Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day. And you will feel your angel's love and be happy.
And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me, if I don't know the language that men talk?
Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.
And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?
Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.
I've heard that on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?
Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.
But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.
Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly:
Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel's name
Your angel's name is of no importance, you will call your angel:   Mommy
  --Unknown

Mother's Day
Gentle hands that never weary toiling in love's vineyard sweet,
Eyes that seem forever cheery when our eyes they chance to meet,
Tender, patient, brave, devoted, this is always mother's way.
Could her worth in gold be quoted as you think of her to-day?

There shall never be another quite so tender, quite so kind
As the patient little mother; nowhere on this earth you'll find
her affection duplicated; none so proud if you are fine.
Could her worth be overstated? Not by any words of mine.

Death stood near the hour she bore us, agony was hers to know,
Yet she bravely faced it for us, smiling in her time of woe;
Down the years how oft we've tried her, often selfish, heedless, blind,
Yet with love alone to guide her she was never once unkind.

Vain are all our tributes to her if in words alone they dwell.
We must live the praises due her; there's no other way to tell
Gentle mother that we love her. Would you say, as you recall
All the patient service of her, you've been worthy of it all?
  --Edgar A. Guest

Hollyhocks
Old-fashioned flowers! I love them all;
The morning-glories on the wall,
The pansies in their patch of shade,
The violets, stolen from a glade,
The bleeding hearts and columbine,
Have long been garden friends of mine;
But memory every summer flocks
About a clump of hollyhocks.

The mother loved them years ago;
Beside the fence they used to grow,
And though the garden changed each year
And certain blooms would disappear
To give their places in the ground
to something new that mother found,
Some pretty bloom or rosebush rare–
The hollyhocks were always there.

It seems but yesterday to me
She led me down the yard to see
The first tall spires, with bloom aflame,
And taught me to pronounce their name.
And year by year I watched them grow,
The first flowers I had come to know.
And with the mother dear I'd yearn
To see the holly hocks return.

The garden of my boyhood days
With hollyhocks was kept ablaze;
In all my recollections they
In friendly columns nod and sway;
And when to-day their blooms I see,
Always the mother smiles at me;
The mind's bright chambers, life unlocks
Each summer with the hollyhocks.
  --Edgar A Guest

Directions for Making Aspirin Cake
Preheat oven to 375°. Turn on 'Sesame Street' keep volume low. Wipe peanut butter from counter. Find measuring cups in toy box. Measure 2 cups of flour. Get out baking powder and salt. Answer the phone. Remove son's hands from the flour. Re-measure flour. Put flour, baking powder and salt in sifter. Answer the door--neighbor children! Sweep flour, baking powder and salt off the floor. Re-measure flour and sift again. Get daughter's bike out from the garage. Get out eggs. Take toy tractor out of mixing bowl. Separate eggs. Get mixing spoon out of houseplant. Pass out nutritious treats to those playing outside. Wash crayon marks off wall. Mix the ingredients. Start greasing the pan. Look out the window, check on the children. Take 1/4 inch of salt from greased pan. Look for son, wash his hands. Dispose of food mixture in garbage. Put dishes in dishwasher. Call the bakery and order a cake. Hug the kids. Take 2 aspirin.
  -–Unknown

The Reading Mother
I had a Mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Celert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be
I had a Mother who read to me.
  --Strickland Gillian


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Thoughts about Fathers
What Makes a Dad?
--Unknown

God took the strength of a mountain,
the majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in Spring,
The faith of a mustard see,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
And then there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it. . . .Dad.

The Bridge Builder An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim–
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head.
"Good friend, in the path I have com," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."
  --Will Allen Dromgoole

Touching Shoulders
--Unknown

There's a comforting thought at the close of the day,
When I'm weary and lonely and sad,
That sort of grips hold of my crusty old heart
And bids it be merry and glad.
It gets in my soul and it drives out the blues,
And finally thrills through and through.
It is just a sweet memory that chants the refrain:
"I'm glad I touch shoulders with you!"

Did you know you were brave, did you know you were strong?
Did you know there was one leaning hard?
Did you know that I waited and listened and prayed,
And was cheered by your simplest word?
Did you know that I longed for that smile on your face,
For the sound of your voice ringing true?
Did you know I grew stronger and better because
I had merely touched shoulders with you?

I am glad that I live, that I battle and strive
For the place that I know I must fill;
I am thankful for sorrows, I'll meet with a grin
What fortune may send, good or ill.
I may not have wealth, I may not be great,
But I know I shall always be true,
for I have in my life that courage you gave
When once I rubbed shoulders with you.

Only a Dad

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has play the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of tem million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.
  --Edgar A. Guest

The Family
--Unknown

The family is like a book –
The children are the leaves,
The parents are the covers
That protecting beauty gives.

At first the pages of the book
Are blank and purely fair,
But Time soon writeth memories
And painteth pictures there.

Love is the little golden clasp
That bindeth up the trust;
Oh, break it not, lest all the leaves
Should scatter and be lost!

It is sobering when a father sees in his son himself, his mannerisms, his ways, his words. It is a great moment in life when a father sees a son grow taller than he, or reach farther. It is a blessed thing for fathers to see their sons exceed them.
--Richard L. Evans

The most important thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother. And conversely, the most important thing that a mother can do for her children is to love their father.

MY DAD

He isn't much in the eyes of the world,
He'll never make history.
Though he isn't much in the eyes of the world,
But he is the world to me!
My dad- Now here is a man.
To me, he is everything strong,
No, he can't do wrong, my dad.
My dad- Now he understands,
When I bring him troubles to share,
Oh, he's always there, my dad.
When I was small, I could feel ten feet tall
When I walked by his side.
And everyone would say,
"That's his son!"
And my heart would burst with pride!
My dad- Oh, I love him so,
And I only hope that, someday,
My own son will say,
"My dad-Now here is a man!"
  --Paul Peterson

My Father

When I was:
4 years old: My daddy can do anything.
5 years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
6 years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
8 years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
10 years old: In the olden days when my dad grew up, things were sure different.
12 years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn't know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood.
14 years old: Don't pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned!
21 years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out of date.
25 years old: Dad knows a little bit about it, but then he should because he has been around so long.
30 years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he's had a lot of experience.
35 years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
40 years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise and had a world of experience.
50 years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.

What My Daughter Taught me about Love
by Robert Fulghum

The cardboard box is marked "The Good Stuff". As I write, I can see where it's stored on a high shelf in my studio. I like being able to see it when I look up. The box contains those odds and ends of personal treasures that have survived many bouts of "clean it out and throw it away" that seize me from time to time.
The box has passed through the screening done as I've moved from house to house and hauled stuff from attic to attic. A thief looking into the box would not take anything. But if the house ever catches on fire, the box goes with me when I run.
One of the keepsakes in the box is a small paper bag. Lunch size. Though the top is sealed with duct tape, staples and several paperclips, one side has a ragged rip through which the contents may be seen.
This particular lunch sack has been in my care for maybe 14 years. But it really belongs to my daughter, Molly. Soon after she came of school age, she became an enthusiastic participant in packing the lunches every morning for herself, her brothers and me. Each bag got a share of sandwiches, apples, milk money and sometimes a not or a treat.
One morning Molly handed me two bags as I was about to leave, one was your ordinary lunch sack, but the other was the one sealed with duct tape, staples and paper clips. "Why two bags?" I asked. "The other one is something else," she offered. "What's in it?" "Just some stuff. Take it with you." Not wanting to hold court over the matter, I stuffed both sacks into my briefcase, kissed the child, and rushed off.
At midday, while hurriedly scarfing down my real lunch, I tore open Molly's bag and shook out the contents. Two hair ribbons, three small stones, a plastic dinosaur, a pencil stub, a tiny seashell, two animal crackers, a marble, a used lipstick, a small doll, tow chocolate kisses and 13 pennies.
I smiled. How charming. Rising to hustle off to all the important business of the afternoon, I swept the desk clean, into the wastebasket – leftover lunch, Molly's junk and all. Ther wasn't anything in there I needed.
That evening Molly came to stand beside me while I was reading the paper. "Where's my bag?" she asked. "What bag?" "You know, the one I gave you this morning." "I left it at the office," I told her. "Why do you ask?" "I forgot to put this note in it." She handed over the note. "Besides, I want it back."
"Why?" I asked, starting to get concerned. "Those are my things in the sack, Daddy, the ones I really like," she said. "I thought you might like to play with them, but now I want them back. You didn't lose the bag, did you, Daddy?" Tears puddled in her eyes. "Oh no, I just forgot to bring the bag home," I lied. "Bring it tomorrow, okay?" she pleaded. "Sure thing. Don't worry." As Molly hugged my neck with relief, I unfolded the note that had not made it into the sack: "I love you, Daddy."
Oh.
And also uh-oh. I looked long at the face of my child. She was right – what was in that sack was "something else". Molly had given me her treasures – all that a seven year old held dear. Love in a paper sack. And I had missed it. Not only missed it, but had thrown it in the wastebasket because "there wasn't anything in there I needed." Dear God.
It wasn't the first or the last time I felt my Daddy Permit was about to run out.
Driving back to the office took a long time, but there was nothing lese I could do. So I went. The pilgrimage of a penitent. Just ahead of the janitor, I picked up the wastebasket and poured the contents on my desk. I was sorting through the mess when the janitor came in to do his chores.
Lose something?" he asked. "Yeah," I said, "My mind." He chuckled and said, "It's probably in there, all right. What's it look like and I'll help you find it." I started not to tell him, but I couldn't feel any more of a fool than I was already, so I told him.
The janitor didn't laugh. He smiled, then said. "I got kids too." So the brotherhood of fools searched the trash and found the jewels, and he smiled at me and I smiled at him. You are never alone in these things. Never.
After washing the mustard off the dinosaurs and spraying the whole thing with breath freshener to kill the smell of onions. I carefully smoothed the wadded ball of brown paper into a semi-functional bag. I put the treasures inside and carried the whole thing home gingerly, like I was carrying an injured kitten. The next evening, I returned the bag to Molly, no questions asked, no explanations offered. The bag didn't look so good, but the stuff was all there, and that's what counted.
After dinner, I asked Molly to tell me about the stuff in the sack, so she took it all out a piece at a time. She placed the objects in a row on the dining room table and discussed them for a long, long time.
Everything had a story, a memory, or was attached to dream and imaginary friends. Fairies had brought some of the things. And I had given her the chocolate kisses, which she had kept for when she needed them. I managed to say "I see" very wisely several times in the telling. And, as a matter of fact, I did see.
To my surprise, Molly gave the bag to me once again several days later. Same ratty bag. Same stuff inside. I felt forgiven. And trusted. And loved. And a little more comfortable wearing the title of Father.
Over several months, the bag went with me from time to time. It was never clear to me why I did or did not get it on a given day. I began to think of it as the Daddy Prize and tried to be good the night before so I might be given it the next morning.
In time Molly turned her attention to other things. She found other treasures, lost interest in the game, grew up. Something. Me? I was left holding the bag. She gave it to me one morning and never asked for its return. And so I have it still.
Sometimes I think of all the times in this sweet life when I must have missed the affection I was being given. A friend calls this "standing knee-deep in the river and dying of thirst". So the worn paper sack is there in the box, left from a time when a child said, "Here, this is the best I've got. Take it – it's yours. Such as I have, give I to thee."
I missed it the first time. But it's my bag now.

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