This is by Edgar Guest (1881-1959). I came across it this week and thought I would share.
There was another similar story I heard told on a radio program that always stuck with me:
A woman meets her husband at the door upon his arrival home from a trip. She asked him, “If a wealthy man asked us to keep his treasure safe until his return, would we be angry at him for taking the treasure back upon his return?” “Of course not,” the man answered. She then took her husband into their son’s room where he lay in state. He had died suddenly in his sleep. “I understand,” said the father.
This poem speaks to the same loss and sense of gratitude for the gift of our children.
I’ll Lend You A Child by Edgar Guest
“I’ll lend you for a little time a child of mine, he said.”
For you to love – while he lives,
and mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be six or seven years,
or twenty-two or three, but will you,
till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his smiles to gladden you,
and should this stay be brief.
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked this world over
in search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
nor count the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come
to call to take him back again?”
I fancied that I heard them say,
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness;
we’ll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we’ve known
forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him
much sooner than we’ve planned.
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.”
5 thoughts on “Mullings”
This is heartbreaking and beautiful. I think of your family often and admire your strength and courage. My 15 year old nephew was just recently told that he is quite probably terminally ill. If and when the time comes, I will share this with my sister. We are searching for answers right now and reading this just brought me a little bit of peace. Thank you and God bless you all.
Dear Lisa, I am so sorry for the loss of your nephew. I was thinking about you and wondering how you and your family are doing?
Dear Elizabeth, How kind of you to check in on us. Thank you for your condolences. We are all living one day at a time, with some days being better than others, as I’m sure you know all too well. At the end of this month it will be 6 months since Dylan left us. We miss him every single day. His parents and two brothers are learning to live with their new normal but it is difficult. It is a struggle but they and all of us do everything we can to keep Dylan’s memory alive. He was an avid baseball player so the spring and summer have been tough on the family but his former teammates and leagues that he played in have done some wonderful things in his memory. The bottom line is, it just plain stinks and we all just want him back. But we try to be grateful for what we had with him. He was a great kid. My heart just breaks for my sister and her family, as well as for you and your family, for the losses you all have had to endure. It’s hard to make sense of it. I think of you and your family often and pray for peace and understanding for all of you. I hope you are doing well (if that is the right way to put it). Thank you again for checking in on us. It is very sweet of you. My email is email@example.com if you ever have any recommendations for my sister and her family on coping with this terrible loss. Take care. Sending you love and prayers.
Mack will always be loved and never forgotten. Thank you for this beautiful meditation.
Elizabeth, a beautiful poem and a reminder for a heart check for all of us as parents! Praying for you all as you must go through these “firsts”. May our Lord meet you at every step.