Monday, July 23, 2007

One of Those Moments

Emily read a book a while back in which someone collected a "Library of Unpublished Works." She was intrigued with this idea, so last week after I had her clean out the playhouse she announced that she and Jenny were starting their own Library of Unpublished Works in the play refrigerator. In went the manuscript for The Drogon Queen, a science fiction book by my friend Carol, plus some stories Emily has written.

And then of course the girls had to come and harass me like mosquitoes to contribute something to their library.

All right, fine. So I dug in my files and pulled out an old file of poems, and opened it, and started reading the one on top, and felt like someone had punched all the air out of me.

You know, I have never walked a journey of grief quite like this one with my nephew Leonard, with its weeks of doing ok and then out-of-the-blue sock-in-the-gut moments when I completely lose it.

The poem was a hand-printed 17-verse production that I must have written for Lenny when he was three or four. I vaguely remember now making a little book for him and illustrating it--for Christmas, or maybe his birthday. But I had completely forgotten about it.

It began:
In Minnesota lived a boy
Whose name was Leonard Yoder.
And Leonard's favorite toy was this:
A tractor with a loader.

It then goes on to say how he liked to play with his mini farm equipment, go to the auction and see the animals, and chase Grandpa's guineas. And he wonders what he'll be when he grows up.

"It might be fun to be a king
Or turbaned cobra charmer. . ."
"Hey, I know what!" he said at last,
"I want to be a farmer!"

The next ten verses elaborate on the animals in his barn, his big blue Harvestore, his wife and children, and talking with other farmers at the elevator.

"We'll argue back and forth about
Which herbicides are better,
If Pioneer beats Trojan and
Which summers have been wetter."

The poem ends:

So Leonard made his mini's go
And thought and dreamed and planned.
And what did he end up to be?
A farmer--on his land!

Well, Leonard did not end up farming, even though that was still what he wanted to do. And he didn't have a wife and children, and all the plans he had and that we had for him ended tragically.

And I read that hopeful old poem and wept.

Quote of the Day:
"This is the thing--there are no new stories to tell."
--Leonard's sister


  1. Aww..dorcas, that is so sad but know that YOU are being prayed for today.

  2. hugs dorcas. wiping tears with you. geneva.

  3. Know the feeling well. This might sound strange but knowing that other people still have those moments to is in a way comforting..thank you for grieving with us

  4. Grief, the common language of all people. I'm glad that even if we haven't experienced a particular grief we can still stand by each other and feel it.
    The part about the broken dreams for those little people we had such hope for- that I can identify with very well.

  5. Hi Dorcas. I was most intriqued by your poem. And then that you found that at the top of the pile of old writings... Humm... the journey of grief goes on and on and on... Bless you with the Father's presence. Donna