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Children ARE Worth the Risk
“What‘re ya’ doin’ for Christmas, Carl?” the nurse’s aid inquired, “all our kids are coming home,” she proudly let me know.
“Well...me an’ Joan believed,” I answered - “when we tied the knot - that far too many folks regret the fam’ly seeds they sow
“‘Cause something always comes along to lead their child astray…something learned among their peers will pry them from their side,
So...consequently, I - an only child, and 85...am payin’ the price for doing so...now that Joan has died.”
“I’m sorry, hon...I didn’t know,” she timidly confessed, “I’ve only been here seven weeks and - going by your chart -
I guessed that you’d be celebrating Christmas with your wife, and knowin’ you’ll be alone for Christmas truly breaks my heart.
“Wha’da’ya’ say to comin’ to our place Christmas eve this year. Both our folks have passed away so we’ve got lots o' chairs!”
I laid there - staring up at her - stunned to think a gal that didn’t really know me felt the need to show she cares!
“You and I are -- ‘someone’s kids’,” she quipped...“and both of us have turned out pretty good I’d say? I mean it, Carl...please come!
The doctor said you’d be released at 10 o’clock tomorrow, and turning down a meal of mine would be - quite frankly - dumb!”
Seeing, I’m sure, the tears well up in my astounded eyes, “Well...that’s the kindest invite I believe I’ve ever had,”
I replied! To which she said, “All our kids are great, and actually, Mr. Jackson… you remind me of my dad!
“I could keep and eye on you,” she fought to make her case, “a nurse’s work
is never done, and you’ve been through a lot.
You’re the only guy I know who’s gone through seven surgeries and lived to tell your story. All the other ones who’ve got
“Pancreatic cancer, at the best, are doing chemo...and only one or two of them are close to cancer-free.
I’ll be back at 10 a.m. tomorrow -- you be ready -- ‘cause no two ways about it, dear, you’re coming home with me!
“We’re havin’ both a bone-in ham and oven-roasted turkey...cinnamon-seasoned candied yams, and homemade dinner rolls!
And just in case you find a spot the main course hasn’t packed...there’s peach dessert and rhubarb pie to help fill in the holes!”
Well...Shelly couldn’t have known, of course, that what she did that night - offering me a Christmas dinner - opening up their home -
Would have meant so much to me that - just before I died - I’d sit down and saturate -with tears - this little poem:
I dedicate this piece to her - the sweetest ‘kid’ I know - raised the way that God intended, always safe and warm,
Blessed - as much as possible - with calm and balmy skies...and spared - as much as possible - from struggling through a storm.
I learned from her that having children - if, with God’s support, each receives those vital things that every youngster needs ---
Being tightly held whenever fear invades their life...help to see the error in their adolescent deeds...
And help to see the wisdom and the cloud-dispersing benefits that stem from close adherence to their parents’ best advice,
Can, indeed, be wonderful, and offer great rewards...rewards that cost one nothing more than simply - being nice!
And what I’ve come to realize is - children run the gambit from those that tear your life apart to those that earn your pride.
I only wish we’d been this sure that kids ARE worth the risk...and that Shelly gets a chance to read this poem before I’ve died.
BTW - My latest book of "verse", titled - "a Treasure Trove of Rhyme" - a giant 10 1/2" X 12" 1/2" Hardcover beast (4 1/2 lbs!!), is till available, and offers 167 poems and 35 illustrations!
It's available through either PayPal on my author's website, or by mailing us a check), and is a pretty much a cream of the crop collection up to as recently as 3 years ago. You can buy a copy today at: writerofbooks.com, or you can email me and Connie at: firstname.lastname@example.org for our address for mailing a check. It makes a fine gift for most any poetry fan -
PS: I've also posted a bunch of my pieces on YouTube - (search Mark Stellinga Poetry), and I now have a new set of 4 Audio-CDs of my verse listed on ebay under the same search term. Each CD has 62 select pieces, and runs a whopping 4 1/2 hours. Great for when driving or in flight. :-)
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