Words of Walter Dudley Cavert
In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their group ever came back after crawling up the stem of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that if they could ever see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number. The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation which we call death is no proof that they cease to exist.
by Walter Dudley Cavert
Byron Lee Johnson
Not long after our youngsters and the children from the neighboring farm went off to the woods to pick huckleberries, a sudden summer shower came up. It really poured, and soon all the children came back - with dripping wet clothes and very few berries. All except my son, Byron Lee. It wasn’t until much later, after the shower was over, that he came around the corner of the barn. His face was beaming as he proudly held up his bucket full of berries, and to our amazement his clothes were as dry as a powder horn. Asked how he’d kept dry, Byron Lee said, ‘Oh, I heard that rain coming so I pulled my clothes off and stuffed them in a hollow log and kept on picking berries. By the time the sun came out I had my bucket full, so I put my clothes on and came home. With Byron Lee’s Yankee ingenuity and habitual good luck, we were confident he would return safely from World War II. Our son didn’t come back - but we are certain that these rare qualities made him a good soldier as long as he survived.’
by Mrs. R. B. Johnson
Byron Lee Johnson was born on 18 August 1919. He served as a First Lieutenant in the American military. Byron Lee Johnson passed on at 25 years of age on 9 January 1945 aboard a Japanese prisoner of war ship near Formosa.
Mrs. R. B. Johnson was Mrs. Ranthus Byron Johnson (her husband’s name preceded by her title ‘Mrs.’ as was common practice at the time); she was also known as Thelma Johnson (maiden name White).
I Am Not There
Do not stand at my grave and weep -
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1932)
Mary Elizabeth Frye was born on 13 November 1905 in Dayton, Ohio, United States of America. She was orphaned at 3 years of age. She became a flower grower, a florist, and a poet. Mary Elizabeth Frye passed on at 98 years of age on 15 September 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.
Should You Go First
Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear,
With happy days we’ve known.
In Spring I’ll watch for roses red
When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall when brown leaves call
I’ll catch a glimpse of you.
Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you’ve touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.
Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll
No length’ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We’ve known so much of happiness,
We’ve had our cup of joy
And memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy.
Should you go first and I remain
One thing I’d have you do;
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I’ll follow you.
I’ll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same.
For someday, down that lonely road,
You’ll hear me call your name.
by Albert Rowswell
Albert Kennedy ‘Rosey’ Rowswell was born on 1 February 1884 in Alton, Illinois, United States of America. He was a sports radio broadcaster and a poet. He wrote the poem “Should You Go First” for his wife. Albert Kennedy ‘Rosey’ Rowswell passed on at 71 years of age on 6 February 1955 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
Not that winter seemed so long, -
We were content together, -
Our home was warm with love, it could
Withstand the fiercest weather.
Yet sometimes we would speak of Spring,
Anticipate the greening
On all the views we loved so well,
Now touched with greater meaning.
Today I walk in early Spring
As memories come welling . . .
And oh, to see a crocus bloom
And you not here for telling!
by Lee Avery Reed
Mind the Light
It’s a beautiful short story, but if you read it, you might cry . . .
In New York Harbor between Manhattan and Staten Island, there is a sunken shoal called Robbins Reef. There’s not much there, but there is a small lighthouse, that for many years was tended by an elderly widow - Kate Walker. Born Katherine Gortler in Germany, she came to America with her young son after her first husband died young. Settling in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, she met a young man named John Walker, the assistant keeper of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. They fell in love, married, and spent the early years of their marriage - including the birth of their daughter - happily tending the lighthouse in Sandy Hook.
On December 30, 1883, John was transferred to the Robbins Reef Lighthouse. From the moment they arrived, Kate was unhappy. “I can’t stay here,” she said. “The sight of water wherever I look makes me too lonesome. I won’t unpack!” But somehow, she says, the trunks and the boxes got unpacked, and they began to make a life on the tiny strip of land.
Four years later, John caught a cold while tending the light; it being the 1880’s, his cold turned to pneumonia, and he was brought to the hospital on Staten Island. As he was ferried away, he turned to Kate and said: Mind the light. He died just days later. She followed her last order and took over as light keeper.
John was buried on a hillside on Staten Island. Kate told the story to a reporter, sharing that: “Every morning, when the sun comes up, I stand at a porthole and look across the water toward his grave. Sometimes the hill is green, sometimes it is brown, sometimes it is white with snow. But it always brings a message from him - something I heard him say more often than anything else. Just three words: Mind the light.”
by Author Unknown: as published in Sidney Greenberg, editor: “A Treasury of Comfort” (1954), page 223 and 224
Baby Angel Alice
Don’t let them say I never lived,
Though something stopped my heart,
I felt the tenderness you gave,
I loved you from the start.
Although my body you can’t hold,
It doesn’t mean I’m gone,
This world was worthy, not, of me,
God chose that I move on.
I know the pain that drowns your soul,
What you are forced to face,
You have my word, I’ll fill your arms,
Someday we will embrace.
You’ll hear that it was ‘meant to be’
God doesn’t make ‘mistakes,’
But that won’t soften your worst blow,
Or make your heart not ache.
I’m watching over all you do,
Another child you’ll bear,
Believe me when I say to you,
That I am always there.
There’ll come a time, I promise you,
When you will hold my hand,
Stroke my face and kiss my lips,
And then you’ll understand.
Although I never breathed your air,
Or gazed into your eyes,
That doesn’t mean I never ‘was’
An angel never dies . . .
by Karen O’Connor
The Day God Took You Home
You never said I’m leaving.
You never said goodbye.
You were gone before I knew it,
And only God knew why.
A million times I needed you,
A million times I cried.
If Love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.
In Life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place,
That no one could ever fill.
It broke my heart to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone.
For part of me went with you,
The day God took you home.
by Author Unknown
Miss Me - But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little, but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go.
For this journey that we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,
A step on the road to home.
When we are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.
by Author Unknown
There Comes a Time
There comes a time for all of us
When we must say good-bye,
But faith and hope and love and trust
Can never, never die.
Although the curtain falls at last
Is that a cause to grieve?
The future’s fairer than the past
If only we believe.
Trust in God’s eternal care -
So when the Master calls
Let’s say that life is still more fair
Although the curtain falls.
by Author Unknown
The tide recedes, but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
still lingers in the land,
The music stops, and yet it echoes
on in sweet refrains . . .
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.
by Author Unknown
The Day We Flew Kites
“String!” shouted Brother, bursting into the kitchen. “We need lots more string.”
It was Saturday. As always, it was a busy one, for “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work” was taken seriously then. Outside, Father and Mr. Patrick next door were doing chores.
Inside the two houses, Mother and Mrs. Patrick were engaged in spring cleaning. Such a windy March day was ideal for “turning out” clothes closets. Already woolens flapped on back yard clotheslines.
Somehow the boys had slipped away to the back lot with their kites. Now, even at the risk of having Brother impounded to beat carpets, they had sent him for more string. Apparently, there was no limit to the heights to which kites would soar today.
My mother looked at the sitting room, its furniture disordered for a Spartan sweeping. Again her eyes wavered toward the window. Come on girls! “Let’s take string to the boys and watch them fly the kites a minute.”
On the way we met Mrs. Patrick, laughing guiltily, escorted by her girls.
There never was such a day for flying kites! God doesn’t make two such days in a century. We played all our fresh twine into the boys’ kites and still they soared. We could hardly distinguish the tiny, orange-colored specks. Now and then we slowly reeled one in, finally bringing it dipping and tugging to earth, for the sheer joy of sending it up again. What a thrill to run with them, to the right, to the left, and see our poor, earth-bound movements reflected minutes later in the majestic sky-dance of the kites! We wrote wishes on slips of paper and slipped them over the string. Slowly, irresistibly, they climbed up until they reached the kites. Surely all wishes would be granted.
Even our Fathers dropped hoe and hammer and joined us. Our mothers took their turn, laughing like schoolgirls. Their hair blew out their pompadour and curled loose about their cheeks; their gingham aprons whipped about their legs. Mingled with our fun was something akin to awe. The grownups were really playing with us! Once I looked at Mother and thought she looked actually pretty. And her over forty!
We never knew where the hours went on that hilltop that day. There were no hours, just a golden breeze now. I think we were all beside ourselves. Parents forgot their duty and their dignity; children forgot their combativeness and small spites. “Perhaps it’s like this in the kingdom of Heaven,” I thought confusedly.
It was growing dark before, drunk with sun and air, we all stumbled sleepily back to the houses. I suppose we had some sort of supper. I suppose there must have been a surface tidying-up, for the house on Sunday looked decorous enough.
The strange thing was, we didn’t mention that day afterward. I felt a little embarrassed. Surely none of the others had thrilled to it as deeply as I. I locked the memory up in that deepest part of me where we keep “the things that cannot be and yet they are.”
The years went on, then one day I was scurrying about my own kitchen in a city apartment, trying to get some work out of the way while my three-year old insistently cried her desire to, “go park and see ducks.”
“I can’t go!” I said. “I have this and this to do, and when I’m through I’ll be too tired to walk that far.”
My mother, who was visiting us, looked up from the peas she was shelling. “It’s a wonderful day,” she offered; “really warm, yet there’s a fine, fresh breeze. It reminds me of that day we flew kites.”
I stopped in my dash between stove and sink. The locked door flew open and with it a gush of memories. I pulled off my apron. “Come on” I told my little girl. “You’re right, it’s too good a day to miss.”
Another decade passed. We were in the aftermath of a great war. All evening we had been asking our returned soldier, the youngest Patrick Boy, about his experiences as a prisoner of war. He had talked freely, but now for a long time he had been silent. What was he thinking of - what dark and dreadful things?
“Say!” A smile twitched his lips. “Do you remember - no, of course you wouldn’t. It probably didn’t make the impression on you it did on me.”
I hardly dared speak. “Remember what?”
“I used to think of that day a lot in PW camp, when things weren’t too good. Do you remember the day we flew the kites?”
Winter came, and the sad duty of call of condolence on Mrs. Patrick, recently widowed. I dreaded the call. I couldn’t imagine how Mrs. Patrick could face life alone.
We talked a little of my family and her grandchildren and the changes in the town. Then she was silent, looking down at her lap. I cleared my throat. Now I must say something about her loss, and she would begin to cry.
When she looked up, Mrs. Patrick was smiling. “I was just sitting here thinking,” she said. “Henry had such fun that day. Frances, do you remember the day we flew the kites?”
by Frances Fowler
Remember Me This Way
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.
Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I’ve had loads of fun.
Forget that I’ve stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day.
Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,
And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.
by Mrs. Lyman Hancock
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae (3 May 1915)
Flanders Fields was a battle region in the First World War, which lasted from 1914 to 1918. Roughly a million soldiers from more than fifty different nations were wounded, went missing, or were killed in action in Flanders Fields. The region now makes up the northern part of the country of Belgium, and it still bears witness to history in its many monuments, museums, and cemeteries, and in the innumerable stories of individual lives that were dramatically changed.
John McCrae was born on 30 November 1872 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He was a writer, a poet, a physician, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. John McCrae passed on at 45 years of age on 28 January 1918 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
Poppies are plants with large bright-red flowers, and were among the first plants to regrow after the ground was torn apart by war and then disturbed again by the making of the final resting places of the war dead.
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
by Christina Rossetti (1862)
Christina Georgina Rossetti was born on 5 December 1830 in London, England. She was a poet. She is known for “Goblin Market” and “Remember” among other works. Christina Georgina Rossetti passed on at 64 years of age on 29 December 1894 in London, England.
The Gentle Gardener
I’d like to leave but daffodils to mark my little way,
To leave but tulips red and white behind me as I stray;
I’d like to pass away from Earth and feel I’d left behind
But roses and forget-me-nots for all who come to find.
I’d like to sow the barren spots with all the flowers of Earth,
To leave a path where those who come should find but gentle mirth;
And when at last I’m called upon to join the heavenly throng
I’d like to feel along my way I’d left no sign of wrong.
And yet the cares are many and the hours of toil are few;
There is not time enough on Earth for all I’d like to do;
But, having lived and having toiled, I’d like the world to find
Some little touch of beauty that my soul had left behind.
by Edgar Guest
Edgar Albert ‘Eddie’ Guest was born on 20 August 1881 in Birmingham, England. He immigrated with his family to the United States of America in 1891. From his first published work in the “Detroit Free Press” until his passing in 1959, he penned some 11,000 poems that were syndicated in 300 newspapers and collected into more than twenty books. Mr. Guest is reputed to have had a new poem published in a newspaper every day for more than thirty years. He became known as ‘The People’s Poet,’ writing poems that were of a sentimental and optimistic nature. Edgar Albert ‘Eddie’ Guest passed on at 77 years of age on 5 August 1959 in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America.
Words of Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
by Henry Scott Holland: “Death the King of Terrors” (May 1910), sermon excerpt shown
Henry Scott Holland was born on 27 January 1847 in Ledbury, Herefordshire, England. He was an Anglican priest, a professor of divinity at Oxford University, and a canon of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Henry Scott Holland passed on at 71 years of age on 17 March 1918 in Christ Church, Oxford, England.
Welcome to the Make Fun Of Life! Website. Would you like to be among the first people to see new articles when they appear on the website? Click on the social media buttons on the left side of your screen and then follow us. We wish you the very best imaginable day, and thanks for visiting!
Much more awaits you on MFOL! if you will click on any of the words below:
New Year’s Day
Stories with Morals
Do you need a quotation, paragraph, or poem about a particular subject or topic? Go to the search box found at the top right side of this page and type it in. We have a surprising variety of material and we add new stuff regularly, so you just might find what you want.
Make Fun Of Life! can be right there with you, at home or wherever you go, on a laptop, cell phone, tablet, or any other internet connected device. Bookmark us and visit whenever you can. We regularly add new articles for you.
The In Memory Page is a dedication to those who have gone on and live in memory.