We Remember - a 50th wedding anniversary poem - option: skip request and go straight to poem

Q1: What is your Name?
A1: Mariane Campbell

Q2: What is your Email Address?
A2: Mike.Campbell@McKesson.com

Q3: Who do you want the poem written for ?
A3: 50th Wedding Anniversary
(Party scheduled for Sunday, August 4th -- we will need by the 2nd)

Q4: Why do you want the poem written ?
A4: Honor our parent's, Wilbert & Bernadette Flowers wonderful 50 years of marriage.  They were married on August 4, 1951.  We often like to reminisce, and poem that reflects some of these memories is a great idea... 

Q5: What are the key messages you would like the poem to send ?
A5: I have copied/pasted comments & memories put together by the brothers and sisters.  I will also email this 'document'to you in case the form cannot handle the amount of text.

Q6: Do you have any funny, sad, happy, embarrassing or otherwise memorable moments that you would like to share ?
A6: In age order - Chip, Diane, Mariane, David and Karolyn), There is 10 years between the oldest to the youngest. Small occasions were made special - trips to Bartolotta's grocery and Dad would buy one piece of cheesecake to share with the one kid who went grocery shopping with him.  Mother & Dad always were our barbers.  Dad cut the boy's hair, and Mother cut the girl's in a pixie style.  Dad always combed the girl's hair -would hold our head still by holding  us by the jaw -- we each have a permanent part down the middle of our head.  Mother & the girls preparing Holiday meals side by side, and Dad & the boys watching the football game.  Holidays were always made exciting - Christmas was especially magical - Mariane still believed in Santa Claus until she was thirteen.  We  always went to summer fairs & July 4th parades and fireworks.

The few vacations we did take were at Pymatuning lake, horseback riding, watching the sunsets, pontoon boat rides, nighttime campfires, and hot dogs, popcorn & marshmallows cooked over the fire. Each trip we would feed the carp and ducks at the Spillway. Mother would even make pancakes on the camp stove for breakfast.  Imaging 5 children in a small car with a large canvas tent on the backseat floor and the kids sitting on sleeping bags laid across the seat, riding for 3 hours. Karolyn, the youngest, always managed an accident or an illness before or during the family vacation ie: cutting her head open the night before leaving, getting sunburned.

One year  Diane went to summer camp. Before leaving, Mother told her not to go on  a boat because we didn't know how to swim. Well she went out on the canoe anyway and  overturned the canoe.

School picnics at Kennywood Park -  Mother's fun was to hold the younger kids in the roller coaster with her famous armlock while Dad watched and enjoyed his ice cream cones dipped in chocolate & nuts.  We always stayed until the park closed.

Our parent's devotion, Mother's watchful eye and Jesus' care got all the children through many sicknesses, and almost deadly illnesses( Chip drinking gasoline, Chip& Diane's death defying ride down Wiegel's Hill Road in the car by themselves, and Mariane's heart problems.)  Praise Jesus for our Dad's most recent lung cancer survival that bound the family together like no other crisis has before.

Our dad was able to repair just about anything - washer, dryer, toaster, bikes, but his true enjoyment was  "putzing" around with his car.  Dad was always able to repair his car, all the kid's cars and even  his brothers' & inlaws cars. Dad helped Chip rebuild a '57 Chevy. We still depend on Dad's car advice today.

Economically it was very difficult to raise 5 children, but there was always the rich spirit of Jesus.
The oldest brother has become a Christian Pastor. There are 6 grandchildren(5 living, 1 deceased)
Mother and Dad  tried everything possible to cut costs. We were a very hardworking family. Mother baked bread every couple of days, and she baked pies, cakes, cookies, bread and rolls for special occasions & holidays.  She made the best Coconut Cream Pie& homemade strawberry shortcake in the world - Dad loved his desserts & would always scope the kitchen to see which pie or plum pudding he could cut into before the festivities would begin.  He was famous for always  trying to sneak a bite.  My mother's brothers & sisters loved to stop by on Sundays - they knew the Bake Shoppe was full of pastries.  It was common to have 10-12 people on Sunday dinner.

We lived in a 2 bedroom home, so needless to say, all 5 children slept  in 1 bedroom. At night we frequently would get the giggles and have difficulty settling down to sleep. My mother would call up and tell us to be quiet. After several attempts to quiet down, Mother would send Dad up to discipline us. We would hear his stomping feet on the stairs and we would pull our covers up over our heads. He would try to sound stern as he was grinning and leaning on the doorframe. We would peek out from under the covers & before you knew it he was laughing with us.

Mother has the voice of a bird - an awesome soprano.  She sang for church weddings & other functions, and was a member of the church choir.  She sang Ave Maria for Mariane's, Chip's, and Karolyn's wedding.  There are comforting memories of mother's lullabies to soothe a crying child (favorite songs - 'Little Sir Echo'" Playmate" and 'Teddy Bear's Picnic').

All 5 children were born in the country.  On summer evenings or weekends, the whole family would pile into the car for a long evening drive, and would always end up at a soft-serve ice cream shoppe - daddy's favorite!
 
Mother & Dad, we are thankful for your love and devotion to your family.  All of us have many special memories we keep dear to our hearts. Your emotional strength and love has seen us through heartbreak & illness but you have the fruit of your children's lives to show what a family's love is all about.

Special Memories:
· Going to Ripple's farm to buy corn & fresh milk - we even filled our own glass gallon jugs. 
· Plating gardens at Pangborn Hollow; chasing the cows away from the corn; daddy pride in raising those brussel sprouts.
· Dad taking the boys to baseball games at Old Forbes Field and Three River's Stadium.
· Mother's dinner-plate sized home-made pancakes - could never eat more than one!
· Mother and the girls going Christmas shopping together
· Summer evenings swinging on the back porch swing, reminiscing & laughing over childhood memories.
David's many summers pitching baseball at  Little league & Pony league
Each child's high school graduation was a grand celebration of accomplishment

Mother & Dad had a deep love for their children, sharing & taking care of us into adulthood.  They were by our sides to lend a hand, give advice or provide a shoulder to cry on.  As years passed, and each child moved away, they were always there to help financially if any of their children needed it or to help remodel the kid's home.  Our family learned what it was like to earn a day's pay while working very hard.  Our family worked side-by-side in a Mom & Pop Grocery Store "Flower's Grocery " . The store had the biggest penny candy counter in the world.  All 5 of us have special memories from the store - stocking shelves, doing inventory, slicing lunchmeat, providing party trays for graduations & weddings, delivering groceries, sorting pop bottles and waiting on customers.

In the earlier years, Dad worked at the Clairton Steel Mill.  I can remember picking daddy up at the parking lot at the end of his evening shift.  Mother worked at the  Rexall Drugstore and it was a special treat for Diane and Mariane to have Mother make us ice cream sodas & malts at the old- fashioned soda fountain of years gone by.

We always had pets to raise - either one's that we bought or one of the little dogs that David always dragged home & say "Mom, this dog needs a family".  We especially remember 'Lady', the stray German Shepherd that we adopted - she seemed to have ESP-She was always there if one of the kids fell, we fell on her. She was the most gentle dog with the watchful eye.  Our neighbor Stella loved Lady so much that she didn't tell us when Lady ate her whole Christmas ham from her back porch one Christmas Eve. Mother had a yellow canary named "Pretty Boy". This canary would wake us up in the morning with his singing.

My Dad's father was called "Pappy" and he died approximately 30 years ago. Angela, 8 year old grandchild, couldn't  say  grandpap. She started calling him "Pappy" and it has stuck with the younger grandchildren.



Q7: Do you have any other comments or thoughts ?
A7:

Q8: What style of poem would you prefer ? (Happy, sad, romantic etc.)
A8: Happy, sentimental, family oriented. Only close family will be in attendance

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: Deluxe



We Remember

 

Five wonderful children,

ten years from top to toe,

so many wonderful memories,

we wonder where those memories go?

 

We remember trips to Bartolotta's grocery,

the piece of cheesecake was the child's treat,

something very nice to look forward to,

(and something so very, very nice to eat :)

 

We remember Mother and Dad the barbers,

and Dad always combed the kid’s hair,

we were held firmly by the jaw,

            with a permanent parting just - there.                

 

We remember Mother and the girls at Holiday times,

preparing the meals side by side,

Dad and the boys watching the football game,

they couldn't lift a finger if they tried !

 

We remember Holidays were always exciting,

Christmas was an especially magical time,

sometimes its hard to describe the exact feeling,

at other times its hard to find the right rhyme :)

 

But we do remember believing in Santa Claus,

Ok, we admit, one of us was all of thirteen,

then I figured out who came down the chimney,

and who fed the reindeers that I'd never seen :)

 

We remember Dad repairing everything,

washer, dryer, toaster - he was a star,

but he is simply a magician,

when it has anything to do with a car.

 

We remember not having much money,

but we had riches beyond compare,

we had all the love in the world,

and all our Godly love to share.

 

We remember Mother baking her bread,

and the world's best Coconut Cream Pie,

homemade strawberry shortcake,

the sweetest tooth she could satisfy.

 

 We remember vacations at Pymatuning lake,

horseback riding and watching the sunset,

hot dogs, popcorn, marshmallows over the camp fire,

pontoon boat rides and getting soaking wet.

 

We remember school picnics at Kennywood Park,

the rollercoaster and Mother's famous armlock,

Dad would watch and eat his ice cream cones,

and we'd stay until close o'clock.

 

We remember all sleeping in the same room,

we'd get the giggles and soon you'd climb the stair,

We remember you stern with a stifled grin,

We can still see you standing there.

 

We remember Mother's sweet voice,

it's said that she has the voice of a bird,

a wonderfully awesome soprano,

one of the sweetest sounds you've ever heard.

 

But most of all, we remember our parent's love and devotion,

and their unblinking watchful eye,

we remember them for caring so very much,

they are the perfect parents they personify.

 

We remember our collective love,

we know that love has pulled us through,

and we're so proud of this family,

and we're so proud to be part of you.

 

We remember just how loved we were,

and today just how lucky we are,

because thanks to your love and guidance,

we've all travelled so remarkably far.

 

From Your Children –

Chip, Diane, Mariane, David & Karolyn

 

August 4, 2001

 

Copyright Allen Jesson :) 2001

www.agiftofpoetry.com

Mike kindly replied: 

"Good morning Allen -- we all loved this first draft -- you hit the target on many of the

main memories.  We did decide that we would like the poem to be from 'WE' instead of I,

so we wanted to change these, along with a couple other requests"

 

(We got there in the end and made the deadline. ED :)