Sunday, March 18, 2012
When (Mom-mom's) Irish Eyes Were Smiling
You were born in 1912 to an Irish Catholic father
and a Pennsylvania German Protestant mother.
What a fateful mix!
Lord have mercy
upon the fool or the sluggard who crossed your path.
You did not suffer either of them gladly.
You expected the best
because you gave your best.
Your smile warmed us like the sun.
Your eyes twinkled like the stars.
Your glare withered those who ought to know better.
Your presence made us want to stand up straight and mind our manners
not out of fear
but because your bearing deserved it.
We wanted to see you smile,
be worthy of how you believed in us.
You carried the loss your father felt
at being disowned for his wife,
the loss of his job
for the sake of his son,
the loss of your health at a young age,
the loss of a brother who would not be tamed,
the loss of a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren
because you would not disown your son who wounded them.
You knew loss
and public disrespect
bow to it.
You held your head up,
would not let me drop mine.
You felt my pain
but told me not to loose faith,
to see beyond the tears and anger,
be patient because God's not done yet.
I should not have been surprised
when you were proved right.
You did not waste words
on idle gossip.
You spoke your mind
but without apology.
Your aptly spoken words
could take the broken...
or the haughty
right where they needed to be.
Your quietly offered service
was faith made practical
because the philosophical
doesn't mean much
if a true need goes unmet.
and gifts to me
want to prove worthy
of it all
and of you.