This is the time of year when gifting is celebrated. Some of the gifts that I have most appreciated in life are the gifts of birth, my Wife, my Family, integrity, acts of charity, a home, friends, Rotary, good health food, snow, stars, grandchildren, school Christmas programs, compliments, New Mexico, mountains, desert, Raton, education, opportunities to make a positive difference, and Jesus Christ........
My thoughts go out to our young men and women in the armed services. The following is a poem from my Great Grandmother, Lucy Stolworthy Burnham, who grew up in the San Juan basin of New Mexico. This was her gift to me and now to you.
THE TWO MOTHERS
Dear Mary, the Mother of Jesus,
I'm thinking of you tonight,
As I kneel at the foot of the Christmas Tree,
With it's star so brilliantly bright.
Dear Mary, a tie between us two,
My boy came on Christmas Day.
My bed was made of soft white down,
Joy divine filled your mother heart,
Dear Mary, that too was mine.
You breathed a prayer of thankfulness,
As you knelt at the sacred shrine.
You planned for Him as he sweetly slept,
I planned for my dear son,
The bitter cup was drained by you,
As you whispered, 'Thy will be done".
A sad, sad day on Calvary's Hill,
You wept at the foot of the Cross,
A cruel war took my dear son,
Dear Mary, a bitter loss.
Dear Mary, I come in sympathy,
And kneel with a heart of lead.
I did not know thy grief before,
Sweet Mary, my boy is dead.
He fell with the brave on Pearl Harbor's shore,
He was tender
r and light and gay,
"I'll see you again" he said with a smile
And waved as he marched away.
Dear Mary, reach down your hand to me,
Be good to my boy up there,
I kneel at the foot of the tree in tears,
And send to you this prayer.