When Grandpa Takes Grandma’s Arm [Poem #2]

National Poetry Month (NPM) Poem #2 is a poem I wrote last week (indeed, not during the month of April*) for my grandparents on their 60th wedding anniversary. To them, I’m still sweet little “Beaver Angel.” To me, they’re still “favorites in the whole wide world.” The strength of their love and marriage continues to be such a blessing from God in my life.

When Grandpa Takes Grandma’s Arm
Dedicated to PDP & Dama
on their 60th Wedding Anniversary

Oh how a little girl is fond
to see love in a marriage bond,
and how a granddaughter is charmed
when Grandpa takes her Grandma’s arm.

It’s true, as often it is said,
that chilvary is not quite dead,
and there’s a love that weathers time;
I’ve seen it with these eyes of mine.

In sturdy love, when worst comes worst,
you’ve learned to put each other first
and in enduring love forbear
with patience, showing tender care.

This love o’erflows and trickes in
to lives of kids and grandchildren
at big reunions in the snow –
at hockey games and ballet shows.

Your sense of humor (it’s the best)
was forged together I would guess,
as was the kindness you unfurl
to “favorites in the whole wide world.”

And like the beauty of the trees
and of the deer and lake-side breeze,
the beauty of your God-giv’n love
reflects the Love that’s from above.

7.22

*Forgive that I’m still running on March steam here. I do intend, Lord-willing, to write poems in April per the rather obvious ideal of NPM.

Labeled: “The Wind and I” (Part Two)

I have two wonderful grandmothers. One lives in northern Minnesota on a beautiful little lake on a bay covered with lily pads. The other, my namesake, passed away over a year and a half ago. She, Grandma Faye, was the sort of woman who could do anything she set her mind to. When I was young, I slept under the quilt she made for me, a quilt covered with brightly-colored stars. She baked and knitted, sewed and beaded, went camping and downhill skied. She told us stories of her nursing days as a young woman and of learning to dance on her dad’s wood floor as an even younger woman. And whatever projects she had underway when we were around, she shared them with us. We got to be part of her world, and a colorful world it was.

Only a handful of years before she died, Grandma Faye decided she wanted to try her hand at poetry. I remember listening to her read her first short poems to us. Anyone could tell she was proud of her work and excited to share it. One poem was about a dog; another, about going for a walk. The poems were story-like, with familiar content told in her own sing-song way. And, though she never explained exactly why, she always signed her poems, “The Wind and I.” I liked that my 80-year-old grandmother had a slightly mysterious side to her.

As a Christian, Grandma Faye pursued God with her characteristic vigor. But God was not just another one of her “projects.” She loved studying the Bible and memorizing verses, especially God’s promises (I remember printing off Bible verses in large print for her when she began to lose her eyesight later in life), but Grandma Faye was only able to walk by faith in God because she had been born of the Spirit of God. The Greek word for “spirit” is pneuma and can also be translated “wind.” I like to think that her signature, “The Wind and I,” was her self-conscious witness to the work of God in her life. In John 3:8, Jesus says…

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Just before Grandma Faye died in February of 2011, I wrote her a poem for her 87th birthday and called it “At Grandma’s House.” It was an attempt to capture my childhood perspective of this wonderful woman.

Even though I can’t bake dinner rolls with Grandma Faye anymore, she still lives, and she lives as much more than a shadow in my memory. Heaven is not just a “nice idea” to help people cope with losing their loved ones. Hell is just as real, and eternal life with God is secure only for those who have been “born of the Spirit” and walk by faith in the sure promises of God.

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling … so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Image

Grandma Faye with me and Jessimine

“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 4-9).

And that is the story behind the label for my poetry posts here.

Making it my aim to please Him, just like Grandma Faye did,

Christina Faye