Jackson Five Friday: Generational Poetry Slam

Hi Friends,

Last week the boys and I were in the middle of spending a few days with my mom.  Nate had just gotten over strep throat, and so I made the boys keep their distance from Gramma who cannot be exposed to extra germs in her compromised state.  But my sweet mom could hardly stand it.  She instituted handshakes with them just so she could feel their soft warm skin.  This didn’t strike me as the best idea from a germ perspective, yet I knew their sweet, loving touch was meaningful to her.

The new handshake ritual with Sam is two handed, lasts more than just a few seconds, and involves vigorous shaking and much laughter.  When they wrapped up one round of handshaking I said, “Sam, why don’t you recite a poem for Gramma.”  In fourth grade, Sam memorized a poem each month and his ability to recite them, even months later, is pretty impressive.  He started with Shel Silverstein’s, Sick, but quickly got distracted.

Then my mom said, “You know, right after Daddy died,” referring to my dad who passed away in November of 1999, “I wrote a poem.”

“You did?” I said, surprised that this was the first I was hearing of it.  “Well, where is it?”

“It’s in my head,” she said.  And then without reservation, with the four of us sitting in stunned silence, she recited all of the following poem:

Enough Love for a Lifetime

By Judith M. Huber

When first you said you loved me and vowed that you’d be true

You promised me a lifetime of love, if I’d only follow you

So I placed my hand in yours and trusted that you’d be

Everything you promised and you’ve surely given me

Enough love for a lifetime, enough to see me through

Enough love for a lifetime, that’s why I followed you

You gave me precious babies I could cuddle and adore

And days so filled with happiness, I couldn’t ask for more

Our lives were filled with laughter, adventures bright and new

And through it all I’m thankful, I chose to follow you

Then one day God called you home, and I was left on earth alone

How could I be without you? The one that I adore

I followed in your footsteps for 40 years and more

I felt the awful sadness was more than I could bear

Then I remembered what you promised, your love, it still was there

Enough love for a lifetime

Enough to see me through

Enough love for a lifetime

Till I can follow you.

 

It helps to know that my mom was seventeen when she married my dad, who was twenty-six.  They were next door neighbors in Plymouth, Michigan but when they married, my dad was a busy engineer and fighter pilot living in Syracuse, New York.  She bravely followed him, child as she was, what probably felt like halfway around the world.  Four kids and forty years of love and adventure was the result.

A little while later, it was just me and my mom.  “I wrote a poem too, just a couple weeks ago,” I said.

“Well, let’s hear it,” she said.

I grabbed my computer and read her my poem inspired by this sunrise in Juno Beach, Florida on July 8, 2017.

Accidental Glory

by Kristie E. Jackson

Gleaming beams of pink color the water

Accidental Glory?

A stupefying story

Denying truth makes it no less true

But living lies makes you less you

The heavens declare it day after day

In your heart you know

Signs woven high and low

Denying truth makes it no less true

But living lies makes you less you

The knock at the door may go unanswered

Ears may numb to the persistent sound

Still, Love never ceases to abound

Denying truth makes it no less true

But living lies makes you less you

Standing before Him, the aim of the proud

Fierce is the fight and rejecting aloud

Yet, bent is every knee in the crowd

Denying truth makes it no less true

But living lies makes you less you

 

I don’t know if you are likely to have a three-generation-spanning poetry slam anytime soon, but I hope you are vulnerable with others you love.  After all, Romans 12:6 says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”

Are you using your gifts for God’s glory?  Do you live your life knowing that the ultimate goal is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?  I hope so.

With Love,

Kristie

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