In the early 70’s my family and I moved from the west side of Franklin into Harpland. It was a new subdivision and the house was a bi-level on Melanie Drive. This new home gave us space we had never known before with three bedrooms, living room, dining room and a full basement. It was a beautiful place. However, my favorite part of the house was a secret place under the stairs. My brothers and I ran an extension chord into this dark damp area, where we put a small light and a record player, remember those, I would spend hours there listening to music and planning my life. After my folks passed away we cleaned the house out, man was that painful, and found things I had totally forgotten about. I found and old poster, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and some old ankle weights we used when training for basketball. Hidden treasure, what a meaningful surprise.
My niece called me this week. She and Susan were looking at an old framed picture of my parents wondering when the photo was taken. After several moments of guessing they decided to take the picture out of the frame to see if a date was written on the backside of the snap shot. There was no date, but something else was found. It was a poem my dad had written years ago to my brothers and me.
My dad was raised in Eastern Kentucky, the son of a coal miner. He ran away from home and joined the Air Force at sixteen, though he lied about his age. I can honestly say, there was not one man on this earth my father feared. He was tough and stubborn as a mule, but he had a soft side to him. Only those who really knew him ever saw this part of the man who raised three boys, worked like a dog and loved God with all of his heart. Poetry?
Wow! I have shed tears of joy while reading this treasure over and over. You see, When Jen asked me if I had ever seen this poem before, my answer was no. It was something he had put away, realizing that one day someone would find it. I really can’t share the whole thing with you but just the last verse.
He expressed to God about Mike, Steve and me:
Watch over them and keep them safe,
And protect them with your precious grace.
I am the man I am today, because my father loved God and loved his family. If you can, reach out and touch the ones you love, life is too short to miss a moment.
I only wish I had a stair case in my house where I could go and sit with the little light on, reading this poem and of course holding Casper.