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Q1: What is your Name?
A1: Nadine Pfaffman

Q2: What is your Email Address?
A2: (Withheld)

Q3: Who do you want the poem written for ?
A3: Parents who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  The poem needs to be written as though it is from their  children & grandchildren.

Q4: Why do you want the poem written ?
A4: To show how much we love them and what they mean to us.  We have a large family, seven kids (six girls, one boy)  and there are eighteen grandkids.  Growing up we didn't always have a lot of money, my parents quite often said "we barely had two nickels to rub together".  Mom worked very hard, cooking and sewing most of our clothes, and she worked as a cashier at a Safeway grocery store.  Dad was a computer programmer, he made and reupholstered a lot of furniture through the years.   On Friday nights during lent, when their wasn't a lot of money we would eat "banana" sandwiches for dinner. Most people laugh at that but our tummies were filled and we were grateful that we had love and a roof over our head.   Thru the years though,  we've managed to have a whole lot of memories and love.   My parents are both cancer survivors.  Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.  Dad got prostate cancer in 1999 and underwent seed implants.  With both, early detection was the key and since that time, we are grateful for every day they are with us.   They spent most of their married lives in Maryland which is where all of us children are. except for one sister who lives in Seattle, WA.  Mom & Dad spend their winter months in Naples, Florida then they return to Virginia which is where their home is now.  They soon will be retiring permanently to Florida, maybe this year.    They are very stubborn and do not want us to have a anniversary party for them. Mom says it's been a rough fifty years and doesn't want us to go to the trouble of a party.  I want her to feel in this poem that it's been worth it.   So, honouring their wishes, we decided to  have this poem written and will be sending them with an aunt (who also lives in Florida) to celebrate at a nearby dinner theatre.  Perhaps this poem could even be read that evening.  I want their hearts to feel our love and let them know we love them and even though we are many miles apart, wish we could be there to celebrate their joy and the many thanks for all they've done for all of us through the years.     

Q5: What are the key messages you would like the poem to send ?
A5: Many thanks for all they've done! While not always easy, we've learned to be there for one another, had to put a lot of faith in God. So many lessons learned!

Q6: Do you have any funny, sad, happy, embarrassing or otherwise memorable moments that you would like to share ?

A6: After mom & dad got cancer, last year for mother's day & father's day we made them "memory Jars".  Each of us seven kids wrote down favorite memories onto little slips of paper for them to read.  While the jar was very full, I couldn't possibly list all of them here.   It meant a lot to my parents. 
The things that I would like to have mentioned are.... In the days when we were little, the times we struggled, trials & tribulations.   "barely having two nickels to rub together" and  "banana sandwiches".   My dad was on travel once and our house attic caught fire.  They've been great parents & grandparents giving us lots of memories at family gatherings, like spending almost every weekend at the "cabin", staying up late playing cards such as  "31" and pinocle.  Boating, water skiing, and crabbing "off the dock".   How the grandkids would enjoy finding money in the plastic eggs at Easter in the famous "Easter egg hunt", especially that one "special egg" that always had a $5 bill inside it.  How mom or dad would dress up as "Santa" and the gift inside "Santa's bag".   Everyone of the grandkids always remember "grandmas cookies"  Mom & Dad hold hands often. They are catholic and faithful church goers.   Mom has a charm bracelet with all of her kids and grandkids on it.  The charms are heads in silver.  My grandmother used to have a charm bracelet also, it had the seven heads from us kids on it.  When my grandmother passed, my mother got the charms back of her children and then added the grandchildren to it.   It will pass on from generation to generation.

Q7: Do you have any other comments or thoughts ?
A7: Mom & Dad have been entrepreneurs.  They were square-dancers and once owned a square dance & western wear shop called "Jean & Jer".  They also went to craft shows for over 25 years.  In the beginning dad made hardwood toys, trains, doll buggies, banks, wooden wagons, etc.  Then dad got really creative and started making four-layer hardwood jigsaw puzzles.  He has a patent on his designs and has had several pictures and articles in magazines.   Working with wood allowed dad to work with his hands and his outlet from a hard days work.  We would ask dad for so many favours to make things he  would say "put it on my list"  and we would laugh,  'cuz we knew it really  meant,  if I feel like it, or get around to it.  While dad made the puzzles and toys, mom was the booth designer, banker and she has to put all the puzzles together.   They just recently did their last craft show this past November.  Dad has other large wood pieces that he's sold besides the puzzles.   They are very well liked by people wherever they go.   Many puzzle collectors have several of dad's designs over the years.      I really want this mentioned because it was such a big part of them and consumed a lot of their time.  They took great pride in this.     Their names are Jerry & Anita.  Mom sometimes goes by "Anita Jean"     Of the seven kids, there are six girls, Natalie, Nanette, Nancy, Nadine, Nola & Noreen.  There is one boy, Greg.  He was born in the middle, so he has 3 older and 3 younger sisters.

Q8: What style of poem would you prefer ? (Happy, sad, romantic etc.)
A8: Happy, heartfelt, some humor. 

Q9: Which charity would you like your donation made to ?
A9: American Cancer Society

Q10: Choose either the economy, standard, unique, deluxe or combo package.
A10: (Withheld)

Banana Sandwiches 
  
Congratulations to our parents, 
this poem is just for you, 
from your grandchildren (and their parents), 
many words - some are overdue. 

 You didn't want a celebration, 
you didn't want to celebrate your fifty years, 
but let us remember the good times, 
there's been more laughter than tears.

Growing up we didn't have much 
”we barely had two nickels to rub together”, 
but every cloud has a silver lining, 
even in the stormiest of weather.   

We have so many happy memories, 
there are more than the evening stars, 
too many to mention them all here, 
we couldn't even fit them in your jars. 

We remember our holidays together, 
and weekends at the cabin, 
staying up late and playing thirty-one, 
boating, water skiing and crabbing. 

We remember your famous Easter egg hunts 
with the special egg (a five dollar bill inside), 
excited grandchildren running around 
all breathless with eyes open wide.  

We remember the gifts inside Santa's bag, 
so many dreams contained therein, 
Santa's face was always smiling, 
he even had a familiar grin :)  

Christmas was such a special time, 
our silver tree with a colored wheel, 
we remember the excitement and the laughter, 
it was a love that you could touch, reach out and feel. 

 You've always been entrepreneurs, 
you opened your store and visited your shows, 
you've sold dresses, shirts, toys and puzzles 
wherever you went your reputation rose.  

 Mom, you've always worked so very hard, 
sewing, cooking and at Safeway checking out, 
you taught us all good lessons, 
and that's what hard work is all about. 

Dad upholstered his furniture, 
and also programmed his machines, 
carved out toys, wagons and trains, 
and even carved out some of his dreams. 

Yes at times it's been rough,
    we've had our banana sandwiches for tea,  

but some things just go and happen,   

and some things are just meant to be.

“Everything happens for a reason”, 
although sometimes its not that clear, 
but God has all the answers, 
that faith you've always held dear. 

Your love has been so constant, 
even today you're still holding hands, 
holding fast against the tides of time, 
still in love despite the shifting sands.  

You've shown us what love is, 
and what that love is for, 
we would like to say Thank You and 

 HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY 

and hope you have many, many more.


With all our love, Natalie, Nanette, Nancy, Greg, Nadine, Nola, and Noreen.

 This is a photo of the couple taken when they were very young (they grew up in the same neighborhood)

 

 

 Copyright Allen Jesson :) 2001

www.agiftofpoetry.com


Nadine kindly replied:

"Many, many thanks.  I look forward to receiving it in the mail and will email you upon receipt.  I take no credit, and really appreciate your talents.  There is no way I could have created this "masterpiece" without you.   I was merely the communicator and coordinated the changes with my sibs.    I'll be in touch."

Nadine further insisted that I add this :)

"I think you are an awesome artist to take little pieces of information from those you know very little about, and create your masterpieces as if you've known us your whole life.   Such talent!!"