The Oregon Trail
A poem from a grand-daughter to her grandparents on their 50th Wedding Anniversary
Q1: What is your Name?
Q2: What is your Email Address?
Q3: Who do you want the poem written for ?
Gordon & Ethlyn Richards
Q4: Why do you want the poem written ?
A4: 50th Anniversary
Q5: What are the key messages you would like the poem to send ?
A5: How special and dear to the heart they both are and how much they are loved. How much they mean to us. How they have set a loving example for all of us.
Q6: Do you have any funny, sad, happy, embarrassing or otherwise memorable moments that you would like to share ?
A6: When I was a young child, I used to watch my grandpa run after the horses, he could run faster than anybody I had ever seen - faster than the horses (so I thought when I was small). My grandma used to sing in the church cuire (quire), I remember watching her sing and how proud I was that she was "MY" grandma and how I wanted to grow up to sing just like her.
Many times, they would take me along with them when they went to Mexico as missionaries to speak and share the gospel at churches.
My grandparents took me in when I was a teenager, and I lived with them until I turned 18 years old.
I used to call my grandma all the time to ask her how to cook or bake something, she is such a wonderful cook! Or how to get a stain out of fabric. She used to be a nurse or a nurses aid or something like that, so I would call her all the time if someone was sick or hurt and I needed to know what to do.
My grandpa is the smartest , most intelligent person I have ever known. He is like an encyclopedia! He is an author of many Christian books, he used to write sermons for church, he knows how to fix or build ANYTHING! If I ever had a question (except on cooking or sewing and stuff like that) I could always ask grandpa and know that he knew the answer! Both of them know the Bible - inside and out!
Q7: Do you have any other comments or thoughts ?
A7: Our grandparents have always been very kind and very loving people. They (as well as their parents, and their parents...) have been Christian missionaries in places like South Africa, Mexico, etc. My Grandmother was born in Japan (not Japaneese, her parents were missionaries at the time there) and my grandpa was born in South africa (not african, his parents were missionaries there at the time). When we were younger, we remember them going to different places throughout Mexico to speak in the churches to people who had never learned about God and Christianity before. The would take food and clothes to small villages in Mexico. They would take their motor home on roads that even cars would have trouble driving on! That's the kind of people they are, that is the kind of love they have in their hearts, the love of God.
They were foster parents of many, many children when I was a child (even when my mom was a child). I remember, they lived in a huge house with 11 bedrooms! They have always been very firm and somewhat strict, but at the same time, very kind, gentle and understanding. They seem to have an "ora" that surrounds them, when you are in their company, you can feel the love and peace that surrounds them and their home.
The last few years, now that I have grown up, sometimes, I think back to my childhood years, and remember the example they always set for us kids, and how they would discipline us with a firm hand, but at the same time, they let us know how much they loved us, an I never was angry at them afterwards. Sometimes, I feel that we have in some ways grown apart, since I have grown up. We never seem to have the time to just sit and talk any more the way we used to. We sometimes go a very long time without even talking on the phone. That makes me miss them very much. They just recently moved to Oregon, and it made me very sad that they would be so far away from me (I'm in California). I never really thought they would be so far away. I guess that I always "expected" them to be just a few miles away, where I could go and see them and visit anytime. I just want them to know how very special they are to me and how much they are loved, even though I don't always tell them, even when I allow my life to get too busy to stop and call them and say "I love you so much". They are the kind of people I wish this world was filled with, then everything would be ok - and this would be heaven!
Q8: What style of poem would you prefer ? (Happy, sad, romantic etc.)
A8: Serious and heartfelt, with some parts happy, to make them smile or laugh.
Q9: How did you find out about A Gift Of Poetry ? (If a search engine, please specify which engine and search term you used)
A9: Yahoo search
Q10: Choose either the economy, standard, unique or deluxe package.
The Oregon Trail
You've always been firm and somewhat strict,
but also so understanding, gentle and kind,
and there's a few things I'd like to say,
because I have a few things on my mind.
You simply have an aura that surrounds you,
it shows the love and peace you have inside,
and I'm so very happy that you're my grandparents,
in fact, I have an overwhelming sense of pride.
And I'm sorry that we don't talk as much,
I guess you could say we've gently drifted apart,
and many miles may separate us now,
but you're still a vital part of my heart.
So I thought I'd put a few lines together,
as a memento of your remarkable tale,
because October 6 marked fifty great years,
another Smilestone along The Oregon Trail.
Grandma used to sing in the choir,
with a voice from the heavens above,
how proud I was that you were "my" Grandma,
how lucky I felt to have your love.
I used to watch Grandpa run after the horses,
he could run faster than anybody I'd ever seen,
and to my very young wide open eyes,
I thought he would've made the Olympic team.
I remember traveling with you to Mexico,
accompanying you as you spread the word,
you'd awaken the faith in the locals,
and leave them a little shaken and a lot stirred !
You took me in when I was a teenager,
and held me close when I needed it the most,
and that's why I love you so very much,
and why because of you I can proudly boast.
Grandpa is the smartest person I've ever known,
he is like a library on legs and it shows,
he has written many a fine and good book,
and the answer to any question he instinctively knows.
I used to call Grandma all of the time,
to get a recipe or ask her advice,
but she is such a wonderful cook,
my dumplings never turned out even half as nice !
You've been foster parents to so many,
you've so much love to share around,
your generosity is outstanding,
and your caring simply knows no bound.
You've traveled the world with The Good Book,
you've boldly gone where motor homes haven't gone before,
you've delivered food, clothes and God's love,
I'm sure that they'll remember you for evermore.
Now that I have grown up,
sometimes, I think back to those childhood years,
I remember all the good times,
the laughter and even the tears.
But what I remember most of all,
is your love and tender loving care,
I think of all your peace and goodwill,
that you've been only too willing to share.
And I just wanted you both to know,
just how really special you are,
you've been like my guiding lights,
you've been like my northern star.
And the trail to Oregon is a long one,
and I don't call as often as I should,
but just know that I love you,
and I'd visit everyday (if only I could).
So I'd like to thank you so very much,
(because at times my words and actions can fail),
just know that I love you lots,
and I'll see you soon on that Oregon Trail.
Copyright Allen Jesson :) 2001
Sheila kindly replied: (I thought I'd include the entire e-mail (uncut) just to demonstrate the redrafting process)
"FANTASTIC POEM!! There are a couple of changes I would like to make. For
this purpose, I will refer to each paragraph by it's corresponding number (1
- 17) so it will be easier to understand. Please let me know if this doesn't
work. The changes are as follows:
10 - replace "my cakes never..." to "my dumplings never..."
11 - I do like the wording, but think it may be appropriate to put
something referring to "where motor homes haven't..." (this reference is
because I remember, and often refer to my grandparents taking their
motor home down roads that looked (and felt) like they were not even suitable
for a regular car! But grandpa didn't care, he had to get to those villages,
because that was his calling, and God's will for him. (Grandpa is an
extremely determined person when he feels he needs to do something!
11 - somewhere in the third line, put reference to "with love
from God above" (or something to that effect).
12 - I think we should rearrange paragraphs 11 and 12. They were foster
parents when I was a small child, and most of my childhood, when they lived
in Sheep Ranch, CA (where grandpa used to run after the horses) then in
Santa Barbara and in Salvang. (where I was born (Santa Barbara) and raised
until age 9 or 10 when we all moved to San Diego area). After moving to San
Diego area, that's when they did missionary work in Mexico. So you see,
paragraph 12 came first then paragraph 11. Make sense?
That's it, the rest sounds fantastic!
With regard to you wish to publish the poem and my story on your site, that
would be fine. I would like to know when you do that, maybe you could send
me an e-mail with a link to the site or something?
For the choice of quality paper, I think I would like the Parchment Scroll,
it seems that it would be most fitting for this story.
Yes, I would like to receive the original handwritten draft, and yes, I
would like you to autograph the poem. Also, my name will be on there
somewhere won't it? (They have other grandchildren as well) Do you usually
include the sender's name somewhere at the bottom or somewhere else when you
do this kind of poem?
Cool (the 2nd economy poem), I would love for you to do a poem for my Mom as
a gift for Christmas. (That one, I would have to put a little more thought
into, as my Mom and I have had our problems when I was growing up, but have
since then developed a close mother-daughter friendship that we never had
when I was younger). I think she would love something like this.
Thanks again, and once again...Great work!