Thursday, August 08, 2013

I Remember When

Here is a poem written by my great-great-grandma, Alice. I love how it demonstrates exactly why we need to understand and value the past while we can.
When we were adolescent kids,
And all of us at home,
Our Grandma lived there with us, so
She wouldn't be alone.
We loved our dear old Grandma'ma,
And treated her quite well;
But she bored us most to death
With the stories she would tell.
She'd talk for full and hour or more--
Just pause to catch a breath--
The same old stories o'er and o'er,
'Til we were bored to death!
We'd nudge beneath the table;
We'd wink, we'd yawn; but then,
Grandma always held the floor
With her "I remember when".
But now she's gone forevermore;
And we are growing old,
And wish that we had listened to
The stories Granny told.
Today we're always questioning:
Who were our folks and kin?
How did they look, and act, and speak?
And did they laugh and sing?
Whatever bro't them to this place?
Why did they settle here?
What trials and hardships did they face?
What evils did they fear?
We want to know about their church--
The folks who gathered there--
Their loves, their hates, their doubts, their fears
The burden of their prayer.
Our Granny told us all those things,
In one way or another;
But we just let her precious words
In one ear, and out the other.
And now--today--we long to know
The tales we laughed at then;
And wish that we had listened to
Her "I remember when".

Ironically and unfortunately I don't know that much about Alice, other than that she was a high school English teacher and cat lover. I feel like we would have gotten along very well, and wish I could hear her talk about her life. It just goes to show that we should all always keep our ears open to stories of other generations!

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