Georgia Davenport McCain
Published by Ron McCain at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Ron McCain
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This book is a collection of poems, stories, and tributes that Georgia Davenport McCain wrote over a 40 year period. They celebrate her life, family, and faith.
Since she had 10 published books, mostly Christian novels or celebrations of her faith, her family often encouraged her to publish her book of poems. Even though she indicated a willingness to do this someday, she never did. After her death as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident, a binder of her poems was discovered in her house. Unfortunately, one of the poems not discovered was her poem she had read to family members to be presented at her funeral.
Her poems provide a perspective of life experiences. “Celebration of Southern Expressions” provides a tribute to many of the Southern expressions that are common to her friends and family in the Deep South, but may not be recognized elsewhere. “The Snake Story” describes her experience discovering a snake in the chapel while delivering a funeral tribute. “Tribulations of a Politicians Wife” provides a view of her life as the wife of an elected Police Juror in Louisiana. “The Cat Law” gives a perspective on an effort to pass an ordinance to control cats. “The Old Folks Home” describes the difficult but joyful transition to living in an “old folks home”. “A Tribute to My Daughter and the Senior Citizen Center of Ball” describes her daughter’s initiative to get her connected with the Senior Center, her initial reluctance, and the eventual great joy she received from the Senior Center”. “A Birthday Poem for Mona Jones” provides a tribute to a supervisor at the Ball Senior Center. “The Birthday Surprise” was written to her sisters to “confess” to a birthday prank. “My Special Day, Mother’s Day’ and “Mamma’s Blues” conveys a mother’s loneliness sometimes felt with remote children.
Her poems included many tributes to her family. “MeMaw’s Words of Wisdom” and “Nanny’s Poem for Lauren’s Wedding” were requested by granddaughters to be read at their weddings. “A Tribute to My Family” was a poem she read at her Golden Anniversary Celebration that celebrates the lives of her children and grandchildren. “Conning Mamma” was read at her 60th Anniversary Celbration and describes her daughter’s secretive attempts to extract her recipes for publication of a cookbook to be distributed at the celebration. Also included are poems to celelebrate the birthdays of 4 childen and the life of a grandson who died of spinal meningitis, provide advice to a granddaughter living in Nigeria with her family, and memorial tributes to 3 deceased sisters. Even though not family members, there are also two tribute poems for close church friends.
Several poems celebrate her faith. “Little Things Used of God” provide 3 different stories of the impact made from seemingly small acts of kindness and faith, including befriending an alcoholic, sending a card to a hospital patient, and demonstrating kindness to an angry neighbor. “A Mother’s Prayer” demonstrates a mother’s burden for her childrean and faith that all will be reunited in heaven. “Look to the Savior” urges the reader to look to the Savior as an answer to deal with life’s many trials, tribulations, and challenges. “This God is Our God” was written as an introduction to her book, “Remarkable Incidents and Answers to Prayer” and emphazizes the greatness of God and his presence when needed.
There are a few other non-poetic items included that may be of interest to readers. A letter, written to her sister in 1996 about growing up in the 20’s , 30’s, and 40’s, provides an incredible look at the “way things were” for many in that genearation. A tribute to her father-in-law, delivered at his funeral at 106-years old, provides an interesting perspective of his life and his Christian conversion at 88 years old. An “About the Author” section includes an article published in a newspaper about her. A summary of her published books, as well as letters from readers of her books, is provided
Finally, her funeral tribute delivered by her son, Dr. Danny McCain, in 2013, is included.
Celebration of Southern Expressions
(Written over several weeks with inputs from family members)
Well, here we go again, my kids asking this old “whipper snapper” if she
Will write another poem not realizing “the old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be”.
I’d like to take them by the “nap of the neck” if I possibly could.
Give them a good shaking and then “run through the woods”
For I think they are “crazy as a road lizard” or “crazy as a bessie bug”
But I know we don’t see “eye to eye” so I’ll just give them a big hug.
Barry was talking about someone being as “drunk as Cooter Brown”
And someone else mentioned someone being as “meek as a lamb”.
Now next comes the old saying “drunk as a skunk”,
But wait a minute, can you fathom a skunk getting drunk?
Where do all these old sayings come from and where will then end?
Like “mad as a hornet” or “mad as a wet settin’ hen”?
Have you ever sat down at the table and ate a “cat larripin” meal?
Even though you were “poor as Job’s turkey” you got a great deal.
For you were “hungry as a wolf” and “skinny as a rail”.
And how much you could eat, you never could tell.
While eating you were “happy as a dead pig in the sunshine”
And cared not for those who were left out or left behind.
And now “you don’t give a hoot” that “you’re full as a tick”
Or how much weight you gain or if it makes you sick.
You are “happy as a lark” and feel “frisky as a pup”.
But as you settle into your easy chair, you feel you want to throw up.
You are “bumfuzzled” and feel “low as a snake’s belly”
And regret you ate that last biscuit with that good homemade jelly.
“I’m nutty as a fruit cake” you say to your wife nearby.
“You’re O.K., Dear”, “Fine as frog hair, split 4 ways and sand-papered”, she says with a sigh.
Sheepishly he answers, “I’m dead as a door nail” and “ugly as homemade soap”.
I “stuffed my gut” too much and am so sick I can’t even hope
To feel better anytime soon for my stomach feels as “tight as the bark on a tree”,
And about all I can say for this old “wheeler dealer” is it’s good for me.
“Now Darling, relax”. You’re usually as “smart as a whip”.
You’ve just overdid it today. The food was so good, you just slipped.
But I’ll manage to get you some medicine though “I’m broke as a haint”
Now don’t look at me like that as if to say, “You can’t”
It may look like we are in a “goat’s house for wool” but you will see
That somehow there will be a way made for me.
What you’re feeling better. You just want to go to bed and rest awhile?
Remember “If you snooze, you lose”, she said with a smile.
Good Morning Kiddos! This “old codger” is up and out of bed
And can you guess what is ringing in her head?
More old sayings! They pop up and won’t go away.
So-o-o here we go! Writing more lyrics on this cloudy day.
I feel “as slow as molasses in January” right now for “this isn’t my cup of tea”
I am “as nervous as a cat on a tin roof”. You should see me!
But “no use to cry over spilt milk” – I’m trying to be “as smug as a bug in a rug”
And not get my “feathers all ruffled” because no one encourages me with a hug.
I’m having to “work like a dog” because “a stitch in time saves nine”.
So “I rake and scrape” to get more lyrics together and finished in time.
Chuck will be home soon for “every chicken has to come home to roost”
And as “birds of a feather flock together”, he may give me a boost.
Let’s see! Who can I say is “ugly as a mud fence”?
I guess nobody for I don’t want to cause an offense.
I might have to “straddle the fence” if I say something smart,
So I’ll just be sweet and nice and “humble as a little lark”
Now “young-uns”, if you know any more lyrics, get them to me
And we’ll add them to our poem, You just watch and see.
Well, I’m at it again, Kids. “I can’t win for losing”.
I “woke up a hittin’ it” – no use for snoozing.
I may be as “sleepy as a fox” and “all fazzled out”
And probably be “cat-nappin” soon within “a shadow of a doubt”.
But deep down inside, “I will be tickled pink”.
To get all this done before I run out of ink.
Sometimes I’d like to “wring their necks” and “box your jaws”.
But instead, I’ll quote another lyric like “raining cats and dogs”
I may look “as dumb as a mule” but Ha! Ha! I’m “sharp as a tack”
You just wait, Kids, I’ll finish this “at the drop of a hat”.
I can almost hear you say, “You gotta crawl before you walk”
But with my experience, that is just “idle talk”.
It “scared the snot out of me” when you guys mentioned this deal
But the further I go, the more my mind does heal.
“Old pot can’t call kettle black” now comes to mind
And “since old Lep was a pup” follows close behind.
What about “dead pigeon in the sunshine” – have I used that before?
And you who “makes more money than the law allows” and has “money galore”.
Remember the days when you lived at Mamma’s house and didn’t have much.
You ate greens, cornbread, beans, potatoes, soup and such.
That was the “good old days” when “we had to root hog or die”
We ate what we could get but not at McDonald’s and none dared to cry.
The food might be “hot as a fire popper” and “seasoned “fit to kill”
But we ate what we could get until everyone was filled.
Well, I guess I’ve said enough for today. I’m signing off one more time.
We’ll see as time goes by if I’ll write another line.
Good Afternoon, Kiddos – Your old mom has “a bone to pick with you”.
Guess what it is! Another old southern expression chapter, this one “brand spankin’ new”.
I feel as if I just “got off Noah’s ark on crutches” since I’m so old.
And “ain’t worth a hoot” but must “make hay while the sun is shining” so I’ve been told.
“Blood always runs thicker than water” so I’m attempting my kiddos to lease.
I “take them under my wings” and try to “set their hearts at ease”.
I’ve heard that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
So I trust all of you “rambunctious” kids are “lending a listening ear”.
“If the shoes fits, wear it” and don’t get “mad as a stuffed toad”
If “I bark up the wrong tree” or happen to “pull your leg” as I try to unload.
For I’ve always “stuck by you through thick and through thin”
Even if you were “stubborn as a mule” or “mad as a wet settin’ hen”.
At times, you’ve “scared the daylights out of me” by your “little-bitty” pranks.
But “smack-dab” in the middle of it, you laughed and said, “I can’t”.
Thank God, none of you ever “got high as a kite” or ever went “hog-wild”
Nor were you “crooked as a barrel of snakes” which makes me want to smile.
You didn’t get “ticked off” easily or “galavant the roads” about,
Nor did you tell “bald-face lies” knowing “Be sure your sins will find you out”.
Some kids are so lazy that “they won’t take a lick at a snake”
But most of you were “a jack of all trades” and a good name you tried to make
Most of you were “smart as a whip” and would even work sometimes for “2 bits”
You would “hit the ground running”. Here you’d come “lickety split”
It seemed “money would burn a hole in your pocket” – some of you anyway,
So “right off the bat” after getting it, you’d spend it the same day.
Of course that was when you were youngsters, not after “you were of age”,
You’d “been up the creek without a paddle” if you’d spent it “at that stage”
For if “you made your bed hard, you’d have had to lie in it”, “that’s the gospel truth” they say.
So it would be much better to be careful with your money than to “rue the day”
“You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”
And you can’t keep from being tempted but “you’re not blind as a bat” so just keep “walking on air”.
For “sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you.” See there!!!
Well, I’ll shut down for today and try to get some rest,
If more southern expressions come to mind or come by mail, we’ll do our best
To get them in print as we did those sent to Danny by others today.
But for now “Old Blabber Mouth” will sign off and call it a day.
Well “I’m in a pickle” – more old Southern expressions I’m expected to write
I’m “down to the nitty gritty”. Hope all comes out right,
Ronnie Carl, the “first on the totem pole” waits patiently each day
And checks his e-mail to see what else I have to say.
Then he sends my old sayings to his siblings one and all
And then waits for their comments by e-mail or a call.
But some of them don’t respond – “just go with the flow”,
So he’s hesitant to send them, how is he to know
If they are not interested or just fail to check their email?
Probably the latter but how is he to tell?
Some are so busy, “they run around like a chicken with his head cut off”.
They are “a chip off the old block”, so who are we to scoff?
But believe it or not, this task seems to “cost me an arm and a leg”
And “I’ve snuck up on you” with some sayings “right off the top of my head”.
Some of the “teeny-weeny” ones like “cat-head biscuits” or “scaredy cat”
Were probably “made in the shade”. How about that?
And “died in the wool” and “naked as a jay bird”
Are probably expressions that not many have heard.
But “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and “in debt over his head”
Are old time expressions that are most often said,
For someone to “be pretty as a picture” is a compliment.
That particular old saying was by Donna sent.
And another of hers was “ready for the loony bin”.
We’re waiting to see what else she will send.
Donna, when at home, was always “slow as a snail”
Often sitting like a “bump on the log” when all was well.
One never know how long it would take
For her to clean her room when she had her bed to make,
For she would fall across it and soon be fast asleep.
That’s what I’d find when in her room I would peek.
Forgive me Donna for “giving you a hard time”.
You’re a wonderful daughter and I’m glad you’re mine.
Well, since eating lunch, “I’m full as a tick”
So I’m going to close this down pretty quick,
Some folks whom “I don’t know from Adam” will read these lines,
So just “hang in there” – “not a bitta telling” what I’ll write next time.
“Atta Boy!” It’s me again seeing what I can do
With all these old expressions that come from me and you.
I “don’t know for the life of me” when I’ll ever get through,
For they keep “rollin in” and “I have to do what I have to do”,
I “get through with one thing and something else pops up”
Like one I’ve already mentioned “Since old Lep was a pup”
As Barry would say, “This is the cotton-pickin truth”. I don’t know when it will end,
For I sign off one day and the next “this poor old soul” has a “bunch more” to send.
“Every time I turn around, there’s something else to do”.
So I may as well “buckle up my armour” and to my task be true.
This old poem is so unique, it may someday be “worth its weight in gold”.
Ha! Ha! I wish. This certainly has not to me been told.
I admit it’s quite different and another like it I’m sure I’ll never write
But it’s just another of my old poems which I hope turns out alright.
So, kiddos, when you check your email, “don’t let it slip up on you”
For since “you were knee-high to a puddle duck” we’ve done what we had to do.
We’ve had to “pinch pennies” to “make ends meet”, but that’s OK.
It was teaching you lessons – how to get through each day.
Now some of you are “Jacks of all trades and master of none”.
As Randy, who installed our new kitchen light, not stopping ‘til it was done.
And Kenny could always do about anything during the day,
A “no-no in my book” was never words he would say.
And never were any of you as “grouchy as a fox” in helping your parents out,
But you were all hard workers and sometimes with much clout.
It’s true I was a “workaholic” with seven “younguns” to raise
“You could mess up more clothes than the law allowed” was often my phrase.
Sometimes I’d wash and iron through most of the long day.
Once little Jackie saw how tired I was and asked if she could pray.
After getting off her knees she had on her face a big smile
And I felt revived and was enabled to continue for quite awhile.
Well, I’d better quit for now and try to get some rest,
If I think of more lyrics tomorrow, we’ll write more. I’m doing my best.
Well, I was ready to “call it quits” but “every time I turn around”
Another old southern expression comes “bouncing off the ground”.
So though “I’m chompin at the bits” and find it a “hard row to hoe”
No one will “get me off the hook” so “I’ll bite my tongue” and onward I’ll go.
For I’m “stuck between a rock and a hard place” with “nowhere to turn”
Since my kids have “stuck by me through thick and thin” and for this poem they yearn.
So since I don’t want to “eat my words” and I will not “lie like a yellow dog”
I may as well get “down to the nitty-gritty” so tonight “I can sleep like a log”
Sometimes these sayings comes “as fast as greased lightning” as I “lend a listening ear”.
If you readers will “just hold your horses” the end is surely near.
Some of the old expressions are as “old as the hills”.
We laugh so very much until our eyes with tears are filled.
Like “jumping out of the frying pan into the skillet”. How about that?
And “black as the ace of spades” and “crazy as a bat”
Sometimes folks get “mad as a hornet” and give someone a “good chewing out”.
And tell them to “kiss my foot” causing them to go away and pout.
But as they start to leave, the guilty party is told to “go jump in the river”
And the innocent one marched off feeling like an expert “wheeler and dealer”
Actually, they both are wrong and acting as “crazy as a road lizard” and “wild as a March hare”
So they soon “came to their senses” and apologized to each other, proving they did care.
With a smile on their faces, they looked “as cute as a bug in a rug”
And the next thing you know they’re giving each other a hug.
Folks, it is getting time around here for me to “hit the sack”
The way things are going, in a day or so, I’ll be back.
Thanks to Ashley and Lauren, my grandchildren, for their entries in this poem.
If I didn’t get some help from someone, I’m afraid I’d be pretty forlorn
Sometimes I may forget and use the same expression more than once,
But “please bear with me” and don’t get the idea I’m a “silly dunce”,
For I’m almost eighty years old and “easy sledding” this will not always be.
But we’ll keep going until I feel it’s enough. You just wait and see!
After my first verse of old sayings I thought I was through
But “before I know it” another “pops up” so what am I to do?
Can you believe it? This is already verse number eight.
It’s like “riding on a roller coaster”, “before you know it” there’s another verse to make.
I have to “run like a house afire” to be able to keep up.
I have no time for “a cup of tea” or “for that matter” no other cup.
No matter if “I’m running like a scalded ape” or “busy as a bee”
I have to “drop everything” and “put first things first” as you can see
But since “I’m tough as nails” and usually “right on the money”.
I’ll try to cut out my complaining and be just as “sweet as honey”.
And I promise I won’t “toot my own horn” about this incredible task,
And I won’t “have a cow” when questions about it are asked.
Have you ever heard of “a bull in a china cabinet” or someone “in debt over his head”?
“Right off the bat”, you look at me thinking, “What is that she said?”
I smile and think “you’re cute as a button” the way “you cock your head”.
But I know “you’re having it rough” and are “poor as a church mouse”
But if it gets down to the “nitty-gritty”, you can come and live at our house.
Some “old misers” would have no sympathy and would tell you to “go fly a kite”,
But I realize you’re “head over heels in debt” so I would try to do what’s right.
I would recommend that “you lose the blues all over town” and get a new start in life.
For “Woe is me” if I would be like “an ugly duckling” and try to cause strife.
Well, folks, let us stop for now and call it a day.
Who knows what tomorrow holds? Verse 9 may be on its way.
“Howdy!” “Don’t have a panic attack” because “it just dawned on me” that I’m to write some more.
Can you believe it? Verse 9 – As you see, there are still old expressions “galore”.
We will just have to “take it or leave it” and not try “to pull the wool over our eyes”.
Accepting things each day as they come for there’s no use trying to disguise.
Some sayings have come along “as fast as greased lighting” impressed on my mind.
Other little “odds and ends” have been slower coming, but each has been “just one of a kind”.
We must admit there’s nothing to compare with these old impressions from the South.
Phrases like “lying skunk” and “high as a cat’s back” often come from our mouth.
Some dear folk feel as if they have been “treated like a dog” but remember “every dog has its day”.
So we just have to “take life as it comes” and each day forget not to pray.
At times I feel like “I’m having a ball” while working on this stuff,
While at other time, I feel this is “too much sugar for a dime”. I’ve had enough.
But as yet it hasn’t “driven me stark raving mad” or “wild as a March hare”,
So I’ll just “root hog and die” until I get through, for I know my kiddos care.
They watch each day for an e-mail for another verse to be sent their way,
And though they may not be able to “shake a stick at it”, they get their laugh for the day.
“Whoopee” – Guess what!! All the old southern expressions “have played out”
So this might be the last verse – Excuse me, please, Kiddos, if “I let out a shout”
If you happen to check your e-mail for a few days and no verse 10 you find,
Just accept the fact that verse 9 ended the old expressions which is without a doubt, “one of a kind”.
Well, “whatta ya know”? I had to come “sneakin’ back” and “eat humble pie”
But I promise verse 10 is it – the last verse and I do not lie.
No matter how many “jillion” expressions more come “rollin’ in”,
I feel I’m about to “drop dead in my tracks” so there has to “come to an end”.
I know if “you were walking in my shoes”, you’d understand why.
After weeks of doing this, “I’m freaked out” and ready to “throw in the towel” and cry.
But I’m so thankful I stayed at the job and “stood the test”
For it was something you kiddos wanted me to do and I’ve done my best.
Sometimes, I felt “freaked out” and other times I was “having a ball”.
But regardless of my feelings, I think I made you happy, one and all.
They say “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”, and that I believe.
So I’ve given you daily doses of medicine, so you should be relieved.
Before I sign off for good, let me add another or two
Like “got about as much chance as a snowball in Africa” and “true blue”.
Then there’s “costing us everything we can make and scrape” and “shootin’ in the dark”.
How about “blood runs thicker than water” and “I’m about shot”?
Our final old southern expression is “hog wash”- That’s it for the day.
Thanks for every old expression that you sent our way.
Most of them just came “right off the top of my head”.
They’ve been stored away for nearly eighty years. I think that’s enough said.
I trust you have enjoyed all these unique old sayings day by day
But I promise this is the last. No more will come your way.
The Snake Story
(Written from experience encountered while delivering funeral memorial for a friend)
“Have you heard the Snake Story?”, I asked my son,
As I e-mailed him a letter when my day’s work was done.
There had been quite an uproar about it for the last week or two,
And I wanted him to know what his old mom had gone through.
The next day from Africa came this speedy e-mail,
“No, I haven’t heard the snake story, tell me if you will.”
So here’s the story that I had ready to tell
To my missionary son and to others as well.
I was asked to have a memorial for one who had passed away.
Her funeral was at Hixson in Pineville, on a hot summer day.
I had written a poem about Townson Stinson, a precious friend,
And I stood on the platform and read it to the end.
When I finished, I went back to my bench,
And what I faced when I got there made me wrench.
People were standing and talking in the opposite pew.
I felt it was so disrespectful but knew not what to do.
I gave them a hard stare as if to say “Shame, Shame”.
I knew not what was happening or who was to blame.
But someone evidently seeing the look on my face,
Said “snake” and when I looked down, I was ready to run a race.
For he was coming right at me, a colorful coral snake,
I saw him with my own eyes, there was no mistake.
At that moment, I completely came unglued
As I saw this colorful coral snake almost at my shoe.
I didn’t care how disrespectful I was or what people thought.
I was so petrified with fear, I was absolutely distraught.
What could I do to keep from getting bit?
While this thought ran through my mind, a big shoe hit.
A preacher who was sitting a couple of seats back
Came to my rescue and stopped the snake in its tracks.
With a shoe on its head, all he could do was shiver and shake,
While I too shook with a chill as I looked at the snake.
A pallbearer who found out what was taking place
Came back to help with a grim look on his face.
He caught the snake with his hand by the back of his head
And went out the door and I hope and pray Mr. Snake is dead.
Such an eerie experience may I never again go through
If so, I hope there’ll be a casket ready for me too.
By Georgia McCain (The Snake Lady)
Wedding Tributes for My Granddaughters
(The next two poems were written to celebrate the wedding of granddaughters of the author)
MeMaw’s Words of Wisdom (2005)
Allison, I love you and appreciate the confidence you place in me
By asking me to write a poem concerning your marriage and rearing a family.
I really don’t feel worthy for, in my life, I have failed many times,
And looking back, I wish things would have been different along some lines.
But we can’t turn back the clock but must keep pressing on,
So I will do the best I can and hope it will help you and Greg along.
The very best I can do is quote from the Word of God.
The instruction He gives as on this old earth we trod.
Mathew 19:5 and 6 reads “What God hath joined together Let not man put asunder” or put away,
Therefore, once married, you and Greg are to remain together forever and a day.
In Romans 7:2 we read where a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives,
So Allison and Greg, love each other forever and stick it out no matter what advice anyone gives.
Look over each other’s faults and failures, considering your own.
All of us make mistakes as you’ll find out as you travel along.
Pa Paw and I have different personalities, at times he vexes me sore,
But I never consider leaving him, just stick around for more.
And many times I get on his nerves because I wanted my way
But we always settle our differences and made it through another day.
Just because you marry someone being so very much in love
Doesn’t mean that troubles won’t arise, but try being meek as a dove.
And where you have different opinions, try to peacefully settle it all
With love and understanding—not with a hateful brawl.
Attempt to see your own fault, though you feel you’re the one who’s right
And don’t be too proud to say “I’m sorry” and settle things before night.
Now I know you think just now that you two will never disagree
Because you’re so in love and ahead you cannot see,
But listen to an old lady who has been married for 58 years
To the same old fellow who has sometimes caused her to shed tears.
It’s quite a bit of difference than when we were both nineteen
And had courted for only 2 1/2 months with no problem between.
But as we lived together for quite a number of years
We realize things come up sometimes that causes a few tears.
But God has always been with us and has helped us along,
So thanks to Him, after 58 years, we’re still together and not at all alone.
Now as for raising children, let’s once again get out the Bible
And see what the Holy Book says and for what we will be liable.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go
And when he is old, he will not depart from it”. So you know!
That to train takes many hours of love, patience and care.
So be prepared, Allison and Greg, for them always to be there
To do what is necessary training your precious child.
Of course, sometimes you’ll get a chance to rest a little while.
The rod of correction is mentioned in the Bible too.
We must use the rod (or switch) sometimes if we’re to get through.
The many problems that come along in raising a child.
If we don’t correct them, they sometimes get wild.
So Allison and Greg, I feel life is going to be special to you,
I hope you have a house full of kids, girls and boys too.
Pa Paw and I need some great-grandchildren to love,
We’re not great yet but God is looking down from heaven above.
And sooner or later one will come bouncing along
Which will make Pa Paw and I sing a very joyful song.
Good luck and may God bless both of you.
And may you to each other always be true.
Nanny’s Poem for Lauren’s Wedding
(Written for the wedding of granddaughter, Lauren McCain)
Lauren, I love you and appreciate the confidence you place in me
By asking me to write a poem for your marriage we’ll see.
How it turns out when I’m so old
Naturally to attempt this I will have to be quite bold.
I really don’t feel worthy for in my life I’ve failed many times
And looking back, I wish things could have been different along some lines.
But we can’t turn back the clock, just keep pressing on
So I will do my best and hope it will help you and Kevin along.
The very best I can do is quote from the Word of God
The instructions He gives us as on this old earth we trod.
Matthew 19:5 & 6 reads, “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” or put away.
Therefore, once married, you and Kevin are to remain together forever and a day.
In Romans 7:2 we read where “a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.”
So, Lauren and Kevin, love one another and stick it out no matter what advice anyone gives.
Look over each other’s faults and failures, considering your own.
All of us make mistakes as you’ll find out as you travel along.
Pappaw and I had different personalities and at times he vexed me sore.
But I never considered leaving him, just stuck around for more.
And quite often I got on his nerves because I wanted my way.
But we always settled our differences and made it through another day.
Just because you marry someone being so very much in love.
Doesn’t mean that problems won’t come, but try being meek as a dove.
And where you have different opinions, try to peacefully settle it all.
With love and understanding, not with a hateful brawl.
Attempt to see your own faults, though you feel you’re the one who’s right.
And don’t be too proud to say, “I’m sorry” and settle things before night.
I know just now you think you will never disagree
Because you’re soooo in love and ahead you cannot see.
But listen to an old lady who was married for sixty two years
To the same old fellow who sometimes caused her to shed tears.
But God was always with us and has helped us along.
So thanks to Him, we stayed together and were not left alone.
So consider your old grandma’s advice.
And you will be together the rest of your life.
Tribulations of a Politician’s Wife
(Published in the Alexandria Daily Town Talk about experiences as wife of an elected Police Juror)
I am the wife of a local politician,
(I have reasons for this admission).
Read on and you will know the reason why,
I wasn’t elected to my present position,
Neither did I volunteer (under no condition),
But I was drafted, and I’ve accepted. Why cry?
Now my housework has not diminished,
I still have a time trying to get finished.
With all the chores that housework demands,
Even though my husband won the election,
(It was what he wanted, it was his selection),
It doesn’t pay enough to hire a helping hand.
Now the point that I’m trying to make,
Is that I have more responsibility to take.
In answering the telephone many times a day,
It often wakes me up in the early morn,
And at night when I’m so weary and worn,
But I always answer in a most friendly way.
I take down numbers by the score,
And listen to complaints and take messages galore,
As I hook the telephone snugly under my chin,
The cord is so stretched, it’s a sight to be seen,
As I pull toward the stove to keep from burning the beans,
But, of course, you callers can’t see what a fix I’m in.
My washing machine buzzes, my load is all done,
The telephone sings as I start to run.
My dryer turns off just as I answer the phone,
My perma-press clothes are a sight to behold,
Been too long in the dryer, crumbled into folds,
I’ll have to press them. (You should hear me groan).
I don’t want you to think you’re not free to call,
It’s my husband’s job and he enjoys it all.
But the reason for this little poem is this:
Since I’m always kind and courteous to all,
No matter what time of day or night you call,
I’m asking the same of you, in fact, I insist.
I do not appreciate hearing you swear,
I’m a Christian and it’s obnoxious to my ear.
If you don’t like my husband’s decisions, tell it to him,
He asked for his position, I did not,
He enjoys his calls, it’s fallen my lot,
So please guard your tongue when I answer for him.
Also, I don’t like to be chewed out,
About things that I know nothing about.
Please air your gripes to my husband alone,
I’ll take your number and have him call,
But to bawl me out, that’s not nice at all,
So bite your tongue when you don’t find him at home.
Now before I end this little ryhme,
I want to take the time.
To say “thank you” to all who have been so nice,
Most of you callers are very kind
And these I don’t at all mind,
But to the others I say, “Will you please think twice?”
The Cat Law
“What next?” I thought as I put the newspaper down
“A cat ordinance, indeed”, I scoffed with a frown.
Immediately, I thought of our own little cat
Who was sunning herself in the back yard where she sat.
How would she react when on a leash she was placed?
Why, it’s absolutely absurd, in fact it’s a disgrace,
To think of confining an innocent cat
Whose only misdemeanor is chasing a rat.
In my mind’s eye I visualized her lying in the barn,
Mice playing all around her, but she could do them no harm.
For her leash secures her to one little space
While the rats have a hey-day, seemingly, laughing in her face.
Her kittens lie quietly, not realizing their fate
Of being destined for leashes at a little later date.
For we must take good care of the kittens as well as the mother
For after this letter, there will not be another,
For “Old Tom” will never be allowed to prowl anymore
For he will be secured by his leash inside his own door.
The Old Folks’ Home
“The Old Folks Home”, that’s what they call it, a dreaded place,
By older men and women of every kindred, every race.
As the first signs of old age begins to appear,
One thinks of the uncertain future with a fallen tear.
Here we find a widow, who is living all alone,
Except for the cat that helps brighten the home.
Her children check on her as oft as they can,
But it’s not the same as when she had her man.
Each day with effort, she gets out of bed,
To face the new day with somewhat of a dread.
She reaches for her cane as to the kitchen she starts,
To brew her some coffee and toast her some tarts,
But with eyes growing dim, she couldn’t help but ignore,
The telephone cord that was stretched across the floor.
She tripped on it and fell with a mighty crash
Which caused over her eye a mighty gash.
With blood gushing, she tried to get up again,
But she felt in her hip an excruciating pain.
She blacked out temporarily and lay there alone,
Until sometime later when she crawled to the phone.
The next thing she knew, to the hospital she went,
And from there to the “Old Folks’ Home” she was sent.
With a broken hip, she had to go where it would mend,
But it seemed to the widow that her world had come to an end.
Her thoughts wandered back to her comfortable home,
And her dear little cat that was left all alone.
She thought of her kitchen, lots of memories there,
All the meals she had served to her little family so dear.
And there was the bedroom with her comfortable bed,
She must get used to another, It filled her with dread.
Her living room was furnished by her husband so dear,
Now her furniture would be sold by an uncaring auctioneer.
There were other memories that brought pain to her heart,
As the little white church from which she’d have to part.
It was there at the altar that she had surrendered to God,
And vowed that forever in His footsteps she would trod.
Could it be that in His footsteps she could be following here?
To an “Old Folks’ Home” could God be leading? Could He be here?
All at once, she heard singing coming from the Manor’s meeting place.
What was that they were singing? Could it be “Amazing Grace”?
As she listened, her whole being began to relax once more,
Maybe, God was leading for there stood an angel of mercy in the door.
An angel in white with a loving smile upon her face,
“We welcome you” she said gently, “We’ll love you in this place.
We’ll attend to your needs so carefully and see that you don’t lack,
A thing to make you comfortable. Here, let me turn you on your back”
The widow smiled lovingly, for beyond the nurse she saw once more,
Her daughter with mixed emotions, standing in the door.
Her daughter’s eyes were teary watching the reaction of her mother,
It had not been for her to place her in the care of another.
“Sh-h-h”, a hush fell on the little trio as once again they heard
A sound coming from the Manor’s meeting place, The preaching of God’s word.
It rang out clear enough that these words could be heard,
“All things work together for the good to them that love God.”
Closing her eyes, the widow again committed her life to God,
She knew she only had but a short time left on earth to trod.
Her daughter saw her resignation as the lines of her face relaxed,
And fresh tears welled in her eyes as she tried to speak with tact,
“We love you”, she whispered, “and want you to have good care.
That’s the reason we brought you to the Manor, Mother Dear.
At home we don’t have the facilities, and other things that’s needed,
But here you’ll have the best of care, and by good personnel you’ll be treated.”
The widow reached out her arms to draw her daughter close.
Now she knew she wasn’t just being ‘put away’ from those she loved the most,
She was just moving into a different home, a temporary one,
Where she would be loved and cared for until her life’s work was done.
Why, this wasn’t just an “Old Folks’ Home” as she had always said.
This was a Manor, a cheery home. There was no longer any dread.
“I’ll adjust the best I can”, said she, “And try not to complain at all,
I’ll enjoy all my new friends and not be as lonely as before the fall.
I won’t be in the Manor very long, even though it could be years,
And after my stay here, I’ll move to my Heavenly home,”, she smiled through her tears.
Tributes to a Senior Citizen Center
A Tribute to My Daughter and the Senior Citizen Center of Ball
My husband died sixteen months ago today,
And I have not been the same since he passed away.
I quit cooking, ate very little, and felt all alone,
After 62 years, suddenly, he’s gone.
My daughter Donna called every day and knew what a fix I was in,
She wanted to find something to help my heart mend.
She got on the internet to see what she could do,
To get me started doing something, to help to pull me through.
She came from Augusta, Georgia and the very next day got in my car,
“Come on Momma”, she said, “It isn’t far”.
We headed out and she asked, “Momma, how do we get to Ball?”
“Of all things” I thought, “Whey does she want to go to Ball?”
I told her the way, still wondering, why we were going to Ball,
When we got there she asked, “Now, where is the Town Hall”?
We drove up to this place, I was as blank as I could be,
She got out, went in, and of course, she brought me.
She talked to some ladies but I didn’t hear what she had to say,
Soon we were back in my car and headed home to stay.
“So what’s this all about?” She seemed to think it was so neat,
Then she told me about the seniors gathering there to eat.
Of course I wasn’t interested, I had peanut butter sandwiches at home,
But she insisted I would love it and not be so alone.
She then went back home and I put the trip to Ball out of my mind,
But my conscience smote me with Donna being so kind.
She came all the way from Georgia to help me through my trials,
And I didn’t appreciate anything she did, though she came many miles.
But, one day, with a guilty conscience, I came over to Ball,
I have never been treated any better, not by one but by all.
It is like coming home to family when I walk in the door,
Everyone is so friendly and nice that I enjoy coming back for more.
They honor God with a devotion and prayer each day,
It is things like that that makes me want to stay.
“Does anyone have a prayer request?” they ask with pen in hand,
They write requests down and we can pray as often as we can.
The food is good and Bob and David put a plate for me on the table,
All I have to do is sit down and eat all that I am able.
So thank you folks for making me part of the family,
No one appreciates all you have done more than me.
Thanks, Mona, for loving me and taking me under your wing,
I feel sometimes, when I am here, I can hear angels sing.
I’m not as lonely as I was when I first came here,
Even though at times I can’t help but shed a tear.
I love you folk, one and all, and hope you love me too,
We are like one big family, don’t you think that is true?
So God bless you dear folk, every one of you.
And one day we can meet in Heaven if to God we will be true.
A Birthday Poem for Mona Jones
(Tribute to Mona Jones, Supervisor of Ball Senior Citizen Center)
Happy Birthday to our dear friend and supervisor, Mona.
I was asked to write a poem for you so I’m gonna
Give it a try and see how it all turns out,
To let you know we love you is what it’s all about.
We thank you for all the many things you do for us
And tho some of us vex you sore, we hardly ever hear you fuss.
You are patient with us even when we get out of line
And you’re there for us when we need you being very kind.
I realize you’re getting older, I understand you’re seventy-three.
But why if you were 84 today like me?
I’ve always heard you’re just as old as you feel.
Of course I don’t agree with that. That isn’t real.
For I feel like I’m 21! Ha! Ha! How about you?
No, I’m joking, I feel my age at times. Now that’s true.
But, Mona, we have to keep going no matter how old we get.
Thank God, we keep on keeping on, for we’ve got a way to go yet.
My father-in-law lived until he was one hundred and six.
Reckon we’ll make it that far? If so, we’ll be in a fix.
Though we may not be around much longer, let us live the best we can,
And hope some day to meet each other in a better land.
Thank God for the health we have and the friends we hold so dear,
Maybe, we can celebrate together again next year.
So enjoy your birthday, Mona, along with Margaret and me.
Hope we’ll have many more, but all we can do is wait and see.
The Birthday Surprise
(This short poem was written to her sisters to “confess” to a birthday prank.)
Tomorrow, November 12, I will no longer be sixty-seven,
I will be one year older and one year closer to Heaven.
I’ve faced many serious problems in this last year,
That has caused me to shed many a bitter tear.
And we know not what another year will bring,
Whether we will weep or whether we will sing.
Because of its uncertainty, I want my conscience to be clear.
I want everything to be on the up and up if I’m around another year.
Therefore, I have to my dear sisters a confession to make,
It might be more easily done before we eat the cake.
Each one of you this year have heard a birthday song,
And have pondered and wondered where it came from.
I’m going to tell you while I am still around,
Because it will be too late when I am in the ground.
Someone who knows the secret has threatened that when I die,
To have the song played at my funeral as in my casket I lie.
Now I don’t relish this happening for other songs I like best,
So I think it’s better to just go ahead and confess.
The birthday song you heard was played to you by me,
On my cassette recorder, not a computer, very simple, don’t you see?
I had more fun that a barrel of monkeys, laughed and laughed, you see,
So now I’ll play it the last time, and this one’s free from me to me.
My Special Day, Mother’s Day
As I pillowed my head at the close of the day,
I realized that another week had slowly slipped away.
The lonely sensation that I felt in my breast,
Was so acute that I knew that it would disturb my rest.
Each day I had thought, “Well, I surely oughta,
Get a letter from a son or my daughter.”
But as the postman passed and left the mail,
And I rushed to the box each day without fail,
And opened it wide anxiously looking to see,
If there was a letter from my children to me.
The ads and bills could always be found,
But needless to say, none from Huntsville or Hobe Sound.
I turned back to the house with steps over so slow,
My eyes were misty, I was feeling pretty low.
“No use to be down-hearted for they’re so busy”, I thought,
“They can’t spare the time to write as they ought.
Their time is spent on first one thing and another,
With no time to spare to write to their mother.”
So as weeks turn to months, I try not to fret,
For after all, Mother’s Day has not arrived yet.
If I can make it ‘til then, I’m sure there will be,
Scores of cards and calls just for me.
Such loving sentiments from one daughter and son,
Their expressions of love will make my heart burn.
The loneliness, of course, will have vanished away,
For out of three-hundred, sixty-five days, one is Mother’s Day.
Another week has come and gone,
And just now I feel kinda all alone.
Each day I think, “Well I surely oughta
Get a letter from my dear son or daughter.”
But the postman passes and leaves the mail,
And within minutes without fail,
I rush to the box and look to see
If there’s a letter from Hobe Sound to me.
Here’s the water bill, an insurance policy for the car,
But needless to say, not the one I’m looking for.
With lagging steps I turn back with a sigh,
And hope no one notices the tear in my eye.
Why, bless their hearts, they’re so busy at one thing or another,
They can’t spare ten minutes to write to their mother.
“Why, Mom’s a good girl, she understands,
All the things that our time demands.
She’ll overlook it if we don’t write for a month at a time,
“But Mamma, don’t you miss writing a line.
We’re miles from home and like to keep in touch,
But when we don’t write, please, Mom don’t worry much.”
So another days goes by, and as is the rule,
My thoughts turn to Florida and Hobe Sound Bible School.
To my Donna and Danny whom I love with all my heart,
How I long to see them but we’re a thousand miles apart.
I know they need a scolding for being so negligent to write,
But they’re so far away, we decide to wait another night.
So weeks turn to months and I try not to murmur,
For in less than three months, they will be here for the summer.
I’m trying to be patient, Children, while you are far away,
But remember, my dears, every dog has its day.
So when the old black Olds pulls up to my door,
Old Mamma will be waiting as always before.
But this time it will be different than in the past,
For Mamma’s day will be here at last.
I’ll have in my hand a switch about five feet long,
And I’m going to teach some kids to write home.
(Read at her 60^th^ Anniversary Celebration and describes her daughter’s secretive attempts to extract her recipes for publication of a cookbook to be distributed at the celebration.)
For years, my kids, especially Donna and Danny, has been on my case
To do something that their old Mamma just did not want to face.
Guess what it was! To write a book of old-time recipes
As well as any later ones I had collected, as you will soon see.
Since, somehow, I just never did get around to the task,
They finally gave up, I thought, and no more did they ask.
But guess what my daughter, Donna, rigged up on me!
She got on the computer and e-mailed me daily and you will see.
“Mamma, how do you make ‘so and so’ ”, she would meekly ask.
Well, just to print and e-mail her the recipe wasn’t so big a task.
So, I would email it back to her, hoping it would turn out fine.
Next day on my computer appeared a few more lines.
Mamma, I was wondering about the blueberry pie.
I really never knew what would be next to catch my eye.
It finally dawned on me what Ms. Donna was up to,
Getting all Mamma’s recipes – this she was trying to do.
I called her a con-artist, which made her laugh so loud.
Yes, she got my recipes, all right and she feels very proud.
Not only her but all of the other siblings as well,
They all are pleased to get this cookbook as you can tell.
Some recipes I had forgotten which they recalled to mind,
Like egg gravy, red gravy, hog-head cheese – nothing left behind.
Donna worked hard compiling this – even took off work a few days.
So I hope you enjoy using these recipes – and give Donna all the praise.
Donna’s old Mamma just went along with her requests,
Very deceived at first but now I feel it was best.
For I’m almost eighty and will soon leave this life behind.
But Mamma’s old cookbook will still be here – Just one of a kind.
[_ Now I want to tell you a little story and I will add a P.S. on this poem -I'll just read the P.S. I wrote this yesterday just after Donna arrived. This was after I had my nice little poem all written out, bragging on Donna. Now listen to this. _]
I wrote this yesterday just after Donna arrived.
Man, was I excited, I just came alive.
Now, I could see my cookbook she talked so much about.
I had a big smile on my face, I was about ready to shout.
But, wait a minute, I couldn’t believe her words,
“You can’t see the cookbook”, that is what I heard.
As she smiles her big smile, she speaks with a stern voice:
“Sorry, Mamma, we reap what we sow, so you don’t have a choice.
Remember when we were little and anxious as can be
To open our Christmas gifts under the Christmas tree.
You’d tell us ‘No-No, Kiddos, the dishes need to be washed’,
And, as we saw the look on your face, all out hopes were squashed.
So, now this is payback, your new cookbook, you cannot see.
Though I have it with me, it’s not under your Christmas tree.
I just want you to wait awhile and see what you put us through,
I’ll give it to you later, I promise this is true.
So, here I am, being punished by Donna Rae,
But, thanks anyway, Donna, I guess you’ll let me see it today.
A Tribute To My Family
(Read by the author at her Golden Anniversary Celebration to celebrate the lives of her children and grandchildren.)
He was tall, not dark, but handsome, that young man I met,
It was April 12, 1946, and he wasn’t quite twenty yet.
Two and one half months later, on July 1, we became husband and wife,
And though I don’t advocate such a short courtship, it has lasted us for life.
Carl weighed one hundred twenty-five when I married him and was 28 in the waist,
But if you will look at him tonight, you’ll see my cooking must suit his taste.
He’s always made me a good living and helps me when he can,
I am thankful for what God has given me for a man.
On December 27, 1947, one year and six months after we were wed,
A little baby was born to us. “It’s a boy” is what the doctor said.
Little Ronald Carl had lots of black hair and a very lusty yell;
We were very excited and happy because all was going so well.
Ronnie, as a lad, was as frisky as a pup
And was usually into something by the time that he got up.
He got stuck in a bucket one day, and we couldn’t get him out,
As you can see, we were in trouble, without a doubt.
“Don’t cut it; it’s my daddy’s fish bucket,” he kindly let us know,
But we had to do something though we had to take it slow.
If I’d done the right thing, I would have just picked up bucket and all
And set him in a corner all day and closed the door so I couldn’t hear him bawl.
But we called Bobby Morgan, a neighbor, who knew what to do to a tee
And he sawed open Ronnie’s daddy’s fish bucket and set Ronnie free.
Ronnie is with us tonight with his children, Allison and Ryan, and Dolores, his wife.
He lives in Missouri, works for IBM, and seems to be enjoying life.
His daughter, Allison, has been in Nicaragua, working on a Master’s degree,
But we’re glad she’s back in America and here tonight for all of us to see.
One reason everyone is glad to see Allison come,
Because when she comes, I make her dumplings, and they all get some.
Danny Keith was our next son, arriving on January 9, 1951,
The only one born in the Cabrini Hospital, but we welcomed another son.
Danny didn’t have much fight in him; Ronnie usually had the upper hand,
When they disagreed, Danny usually was defeated while Ronnie would be the one to stand.
But one day, Danny was challenged to a boxing match by his brother big and strong.
As I saw him don the boxing gloves, I wondered if this could be wrong,
But somehow Danny got braver and stood up straight and tall,
Till Ronnie started running while Danny chased him down the hall.
It was quite hilarious and laughter filled my cup,
For at last Ronnie had met his match; his little brother had beat him up.
Danny left home when only fourteen and went to Florida to Bible School,
And after a total of nineteen years of schooling, he is nobody’s fool.
Danny’s here all the way from Africa where he is spreading the gospel light
His wife, Mary, daughters, Carmen and Laura, and son, Daniel, are also with us tonight
Carmen’s living in Pennsylvania, going to college, her freshman year,
I’m sure she has missed her family and has shed many a lonely tear.
I want to say “thanks” to everyone who helped with the tickets on the plane
For Danny’s whole family to be with us once again.
Four years after Danny’s birth, Donna was the next one on the totem pole,
Our first little black-haired daughter was a joy to behold.
Her birth was unusual, I’m bound to say,
I had no pain at all. What a day!
The attending nurse called to a doctor outside my door,
“Come see a lady having a baby without pain,” she did implore.
Because I needed no anesthetic, my hospital bill was very low,
When the insurance paid its part, one dollar and thirty cents was all I owed,
Pretty cheap, huh? compared to prices today,
A dollar and thirty cent child – that’s my Donna Rae.
Danny was so disappointed because she was a girl and not another boy,
But when he got a glimpse of her, he changed his mind; she gave him such joy.
Donna was smart in her school work, but at home she wasn’t so smart,
It took her hours to get the house cleaned once she would start.
She was so slow, it was difficult for her to ever get through.
In making a bed, this is what she would do,
She would fall across the bed to reach the side against the wall,
Then she’d stay and go to sleep, supposedly, for there she’d be when I would call.
Donna, her husband, Ken, and son, Brian, are with us here tonight,
As well as her daughters, Victoria and Kimberly, who is very, very bright.
Kim was the valedictorian of her class and won scholarships galore,
To Georgia Tech, she will be going to study and learn some more.
My sincere thanks to Donna who has worked endless hours on this anniversary deal.
Had it not been for her efforts, we would have gone lacking, I must reveal.
Our second daughter, Jackie Lynne, came along after Donna Rae.
She was Mamma’s little helper, worked for me both night and day.
One day I was ironing and felt like quitting and going to bed,
But when Jackie saw how tired I was, this is what she said,
“Mamma, I will pray to Jesus that He will strengthen you to do
All of this pile of ironing so that you can get through.”
Down on her knees by the couch she went and prayed a simple prayer.
My strength renewed and I finished my work because Jesus touched me there.
Jackie is the one in the family who never forgets a birthday,
From the youngest to the oldest, she remembers them in some way.
One little incident I would like to mention,
(I think it is worthy of our attention.)
Is the time when Jackie, as a wee little girl, left home all alone.
She walked a mile or two up the road;
She was mad as a stuffed toad,
Because she had to go to school that day and Donna stayed home.
Her school bus dropped her off before I got home,
And my neighbor informed me that she had left home alone.
As you can readily guess, I was terribly upset
But she was found and returned by someone with a kind heart,
And I had a switch that burned her legs and another part,
And she never has run away again yet.
Jackie and Dan, her husband, are tonight with us here,
As are Jeffrey, Jason and Jessica, all whom we love so dear.
They came all the way from Florida in their big old van,
And Jackie, like Donna, has really lent a helping hand.
After Jackie, there were no more girls to grace our home.
The next was a boy, Kenny Paul, the fifth child we were to own.
As the four before him, he had a head full of black hair,
And from the first night at home, he let us know that he was there.
He bawled for hours the night I came home; it certainly wasn’t funny.
The problem was, what I was feeding him was cramping his tummy.
We called the doctor and he said to give him a formula to take,
But I didn’t have one, so Carl went to Doug Sellers, though it was very late.
Doug and Ann had a little baby at that time too,
So borrowing a formula from them seemed the right thing to do.
Doug told people that Carl woke him up at one o’clock to get a bottle.
He didn’t specify that it was for a baby, for he wanted to hear Carl holler.
Anyway, Kenny thrived and grew on what he had to eat.
I stacked five bottles by his bed at night; I thought that was neat.
But one night, I came to the realization that it was time to quit,
So I gave him a pillow, threw his bottles away and let him throw his fit.
Kenny is the market manager of Winn Dixie at the Marksville store,
Drives many miles a week and puts in hours galore.
We’re glad to have Kenny tonight with his children three,
Chris, Kyle and Katie, they are as precious as can be.
Eighteen months after Kenny was born, Randy came along.
We told the doctor that he was the caboose but that turned out to be wrong.
Randy was an easy-going little fellow and most of the time he was good,
But sometimes he would be rebellious and wouldn’t want to do as he should.
One day I was cutting his hair and it didn’t suit him to a tee,
So he jumped out of the chair and ran off; he thought he’d show me.
I just let him go, got in the car and stayed gone most of the day.
He was sitting in the yard waiting when I returned and was glad to get his hair cut my way.
I remember another time that he was a very naughty little boy.
But he wrote me a note saying he was sorry, would be good tomorrow; this gave me great joy.
Randy’s a fireman in Alexandria, works each month about ten days,
The rest of the time he’s out making money in various ways.
He, his wife, Angie, and daughter Lindzee, are here with the rest.
I’m glad Angie didn’t have to go to school tonight to take a test.
Now, let’s get to the last one of the totem-pole.
Barry Preston, compared to some, he’s not very old.
We named him after our doctor because he had delivered all seven.
We loved our doctor like a father, but he’s gone now. I hope he’s in heaven.
When Barry was born, a friend called and asked us his name.
We told him Barry Preston, but he couldn’t hear good, so it didn’t sound the same.
When he hung up the phone, his wife asked him, “What did they name the little boy?”
“Very Precious,” he answered as he grinned at her joy.
Barry was usually a very sweet little fellow, thoughtful and kind,
I have treasured in my scrapbook one of his little rhymes,
“Violets are red and roses are blue,
Sugar is sweet and so are you.”
He wrote me a letter when I was in Florida visiting some of the kids,
On the back of the envelope, he wrote, “I borrowed a stamp from you, I’ll pay it back,” I read.
So you see, he was an honest little chap even when he was small.
In fact, honesty was always taught at our house to one and all.
Barry has a good job with Cintas; he has good hours too,
Also owns a snow-cone business. He works the evening through.
He, his wife, Tina, and their three little girls,
Lauren, Ashley and Emily are here. One has lots of curls.
Emily is presently the baby of the McCain fam-i-ly.
We wonder how many more will join our family tree.
I appreciate all my family who have put forth effort to join us tonight.
It really helps our feelings, makes our golden anniversary very bright.
I didn’t know what all you’d dig up on us to tell from our past.
So I thought I’d get a jump ahead, though this has been quite a task.
But in all sincerity, kids, we have tried to be good parents and rear you in the fear of God.
And we have no idea how much longer on this old earth we will trod.
But though we live many years, it’s not likely that we’ll ever meet this way again,
So from the bottom of our hearts, Daddy and I say “thanks for everything; we love you”.
Until we meet again.
PS: Before I quit, I want to express appreciation for the gift,
A very up-to-date dishwasher; it will surely give us a lift.
Daddy, too, is also very grateful for he usually helps with the dishes.
So, thank you, thank you, children, for granting me my wishes.
Happy Birthday Tributes To My Children
(The following are birthday tributes to the children of the author.)
Happy Birthday, Danny
(On Your 30^th^ Birthday – Jan 9, 1981)
Exactly thirty years ago today,
I got in the car and was on my way
To St. Francis Cabrini Hospital for a little trip.
So big and miserable was I,
That I felt like I was going to cry,
But since that wasn’t “cool”, I just bit my lip.
All the fuss was getting me down
As the Catholic sisters made their round
To do what they could for the mother-in-waiting.
Dr. Herrington checked me too,
There wasn’t much left to do
But wait, but oh, how my nerves were grating.
After everyone had decided to leave,
(I confess I did not grieve),
For to be alone, I certainly did not dread.
Even when my husband said good-bye
And went back to work, I did not cry
But breathed a sigh of relief and settled down in bed.
But a little later, I looked around,
Put my legs off the bed and crawled down
To walk around the room that shut me in.
There was not a pain to bother me,
Except I was as miserable as I could be
Because of my fat tummy that had so stretched my skin.
As I was walking around within,
My door opened and a nurse came in,
“Back to bed”, she ordered, “For an examination.”
This part I utterly detested,
But I had to do as she suggested,
So I crawled back in bed with much aggravation.
Immediately upon examining me,
She rushed out for help, you see
And away to the delivery room I was taken.
“You’re about to have a baby”, they explained.
But how could I without a pain?
I’ll have to admit I was kinda shaken.
The nurses and the doctor were able
To get me up on the delivery
While I did what I could to cooperate.
In a short while, I heard a cry.
I was so relieved, I could only sigh.
How good that I didn’t get to delivery too late.
“What is it?” was the appropriate question,
It seemed they were in a session,
But the doctor brought it over for me to see.
“Another boy”, I said with a grin,
“Just like the other”, I added, and then
My heart seemed to burst with the joy within me.
“I hope he’ll be good”, I next exclaimed.
That seemed more important than even his name.
The doctor just smiled as he patted my head.
“He’ll have to be as good as no other
If he’s as good as his dear mother”,
He declared emphatically as he stood by my bed.
Later, they decided to wheel me out
And as they did, I was looking about
When whom should I see but the baby’s dad?
Someone had gotten him word,
And he came just as soon as he heard.
The relaxed smile he gave me made my heart glad.
Back in my room, I relaxed again,
But note before giving the baby’s name,
“Danny Keith” was the name decided to suit the lad.
Nine long months had passed
And our little son was here at last,
We were so thankful, our hearts were so glad.
Now thirty years have come and gone
And our little “Danny Boy” is far from home.
We sure miss him more than he can ever know.
But to God we gave the boy,
That commitment gave us great joy,
And caused God’s blessings upon us to bestow.
So “Happy Birthday”, our dear Dan,
Wish we were there to take your hand
And express our love and appreciation to you.
Buy yourself something with the enclosed gift,
Something that will give you a lift.
For now, farewell. May God’s blessings be upon you!
(This little poem is actual facts,
Nothing in it I’d have to take back,
Except a few extra words to make it rhyme.
Hope it helped to brighten your day,
Keep it, don’t throw it away.
You can use in in your autobiography sometimes.)
Happy Birthday, Donna
(On your 26^th^ Birthday, Feb 20, 1981)
It was Feb. 20th, on a Sunday morn,
A great day for a babe to be born,
So off to the Baptist Hospital I did go.
Little Ronnie and Danny were left behind,
They looked so forlorn, I felt like cryin’
But my true feelings to them I dared not show.
I clasped them in my arms,
And smiled, no sign of alarm
When I left them with Grandma and went on my way.
We had notified the hospital ahead,
So they were ready with my bed
When I arrived with my husband on that eventful day.
Settled in the maternity ward,
Trusting fully in the Lord,
I wondered how long it would take.
Things were going pretty slow,
Not much they could let me know,
So all I could do was in patience wait.
After a whole day of walking the hall,
I felt discouraged that I wanted to bawl,
And worrying about the boy, I wanted to go home,
“Go see about them, Dear”,
I told my husband with a tear.
“No”, he said, “You’ll have the baby while I’m gone”.
It was growing quite late,
And no supper we ate,
We were sitting in the “Papa’s Lounge”.
“Go down to get some food,
It will surely do you good,”
I advised as my own hungry pains made me frown.
He took my good advice,
(After all, I was being nice)
And toward the cafeteria he started quite fast.
I left the “Papa Lounge”.
Still wearing the little frown
And entered the door my husband couldn’t pass.
Once settled back in my bed
With somewhat of a dread,
My attention turned to the lady in the bed nearby.
She was in such awful pain
That she groaned again and again,
If she didn’t deliver soon, is seemed she would die.
Just then a nurse came in
Wearing a silly little grin.
“Do you want a boy or girl?” We just looked at each other.
“Another boy, for I have two,”
“Oh, no, that’s not good for you,
A girl, not a boy, will always stick by its mother”.
Still wearing the silly grin,
She examined me and then,
Rushed from the room, a serious look on her face.
“What could be the matter?” I thought,
But then Dr. C.P. Herrington she brought
And things immediately began to fall into place.
The doctor listened with his ear
A heartbeat he wanted to hear,
Then to my surprise he said with a grin,
“I think I hear two,
That means twins for you”.
He then marked off the heartbeat with his pen.
The doctor examined me then.
This time he didn’t have a grin.
“You’re about to deliver”, he said in serious tones.
I couldn’t believe my ears,
My eyes filled with happy tears
As to the delivery room they rolled me along.
Not one pain had I had,
This sure didn’t make me sad,
For no anesthetic did I have to take then.
When once upon the table
I was to push as much as I was able,
But without a pain, how could I know just when?
“I’ll help you when the contractions are on,”
A nurse offered a suggestion of her own,
So with hands on my tummy she told me to push again and again.
Seeing a doctor in another room,
She called to him but not with gloom,
“Come see a woman have a baby without pain.”
But just then the baby came,
“Let’s get the other one”, Doc exclaimed.
But needless to say, there was not another.
“What is it, a girl or a boy?”
I asked, my heart bursting with joy.
Either one would gladden the heart of this mother.
It was brought that I might see
The beautiful girl – It sure pleased me.
How could I have thought that I wanted a boy?
Her head was full of silky, black hair,
Oh yes, she was so sweet and fair
That I wanted to squeeze her like a toy.
Well, my poor husband didn’t know,
He thought things were going slow
When he left me to get something to eat.
When the nurse showed him the baby,
“Not mine”, he argued with the lady.
But she convinced him. It was so neat.
Later when they told my Danny Boy,
The news wasn’t received with joy,
For he had set his heart upon a baby brother.
But later when I brought him home,
He climbed on the couch in the living room,
And with one look, “I’ve changed my mind”, he told his mother.
Well, one thing I forgot to say,
Is that we named her “Donna Rae”
Her eight lbs, 6 and ½ oz made her cute and fat.
But she refused to sleep at night,
And I had to rock her, it was a sight.
I have to admit at times she was a little brat.
Well, the years have come and gone
But the memories linger on.
And now, Donna, you are many miles away.
With your daughter so sweet and fair,
I wish I could be there
To tell you in person, “Happy Birthday”.
This little poem is actual facts,
Nothing in it that I would have to take back
Except a few extra words to make it rhyme.
Hope it helped to brighten your day,
Keep it, don’t throw it away,
You can use it in your autobiography sometime.
Happy Birthday, Jackie
(On your 27^th^ birthday, August 29, 1985)
It was August 29, nineteen hundred, fifty-eight
And I certainly did not want to be late,
As to the Baptist Hospital I had started on my way,
You see I was pregnant beyond a doubt
And I was so happy I wanted to shout
For I was ready to deliver on that eventful day.
Well, here I’m sorry to relate
That though I’ll never forget the date,
The actual birth, I can’t remember one thing about it.
I can tell you it was a girl
Who had black hair without one curl,
And looked like her brother and sisters, no doubt about it.
Well, I remember who delivered the little one,
His name was Dr. C.P. Herrington,
And to me, he’s the greatest doctor I know.
Friday, August 29, 1958 was the date,
Seven pounds and 10 and ½ ounces was the weight,
And twenty and one half inches she measured from head to toe.
Now the name we had picked out
Was not suitable beyond a doubt
For it was for the boy we were expecting.
So we disregarded the name, “Kenny Paul”,
And chose “Jackie Lynne”, suitable to all.
Aren’t you glad we made the change without neglecting?
Well, little Jack-Jack was loved by all
Thought ofttimes she commenced to bawl
When things did not always go her way.
She wanted her pigtails as long as Donna’s
And cried and cried to her Mamma
When they could not be stretched, to her dismay.
As is oft the case with others,
A nickname was given by her mother,
It was “Toots” and by this name she was often called.
But I’m glad we started calling her Jackie,
For I think “Toots” is tacky,
So it’s good her nickname was dropped by one and all.
Once in church, Jackie caused quite a racket
When she put her feet through the arms of a jacket
And came toddling across the church aisle.
Snickering was heard throughout the house
When all should have been quiet as a mouse,
But sad to say, services were interrupted for awhile.
Often Miss Jack was taken from the House of God
And was given a spanking good and hard
For the mean little tricks she often played.
Sometimes Mamma took her out, sometimes Daddy,
But one or the other was always ready,
It seemed she would never learn to behave.
One other thing I’d like to mention,
(I think it’s worthy of attention)
Is the time she started walking to church all alone.
She walked a mile or two up the road,
She was as mad as a stuffed toad
Because she had to go to school instead of staying home.
For some reason unknown to me,
Donna got to stay home, so you see
This is what made Jackie so upset.
She was returned home by a neighbor so kind,
And I had a switch that burned her behind,
And I don’t think she has run away again yet.
But in spite of it all – the mean little stunts,
Jackie’s good qualities were a whole bunch.
She was very smart to be so small.
When she was only five years old,
She ironed a shirt without being told.
Now I don’t think you can beat that at all.
Speaking of ironing, this I must tell
It fits in here very well,
Was the day I was ironing and as tired as I could be.
She asked, “Mamma, do you want me to pray
That Jesus will help you iron these clothes today?”
When I said, “Yes”, she got down on her knees.
In a few minutes, she arose
And with a face that glowed,
She seemed to assure my heart that God had heard,
I revive as a wilted flower after a rain
And it wasn’t too long until again
The ironing was done and I was free as a bird.
Jack-Jack was very special to Barry.
She helped him to be able to carry
His load at school when it was too hard for him.
He called her his little mother,
Such a help she was to her little brother,
When I attended Danny’s graduation, she baby-sat him.
Once I was sick in bed,
It seemed I was nearly dead,
The doctor could not find out what was wrong,
Jackie kept up my work for me,
Though much too young she seemed to be,
What a blessing she was when my sickness was so long.
One thing I’d like to recall
Is her thoughtfulness to all,
Birthdays, and special days she just does not forget.
If everyone was as thoughtful as she,
A better world this surely would be
But not too many like her have I met.
Now the years passed quickly as they do
And Jackie left for Hobe Sound Bible School,
But every chance she gets she comes back home.
And faithfully her letters have come
Every week, she’s hardly ever missed one.
This helps us not to feel so all alone.
After going away to school,
As is generally the rule,
Miss Jack met Dan Simmons and gave him her heart.
Later they became engaged
And then came the happy day
When she became his wife, never more to part.
After a few years of married life,
In which Jack reveled in being Dan’s wife,
A dear, sweet little baby boy came along
What joy he brought to all,
These happy times we like to recall
He has helped to complete their happy home.
Well, my thoughts are running out,
Not much else to write about,
Except the important thing for which I wrote this rhyme,
For twenty-seven years ago today
You came to us to stay,
So may I say, “Happy Birthday”. Have a good time.
(This little poem is true facts,
Nothing I’d have to take back
Except a few extra words to make it rhyme.
Hope it helps to brighten your day.
Keep it, don’t throw it away,
You can use it in your autobiography sometime.)
(Enclosed is a little bill,
Use is as you will
To buy yourself something fine.
I wish I could send more today,
But it’s the thoughts that count anyway.
So “So long” until next year at this time.)
Happy Birthday, Randy
(On your 18^th^ Birthday, April 26, 1981)
It was April 26, 1963,
I went to the hospital, for you see
A great event was soon to come about.
I knew it would be no fun
But it had to be done,
For after nine long months, there was no backing out.
I just gave you the clue
Of what I was to do,
And that was to give birth to a little one.
I was anxious as could be
As everyone could see,
To get things over, whether it was a daughter or son.
Well, I can’t remember much
About the birth and much,
But within a couple hours, our little boy was born.
I was filled with much joy
Even though I already had three boys.
What a big family (three brothers and two sisters) he had joined.
He was chubby, I must say
For 8 lbs, 13 Oz. He did weigh
And he was twenty and one half inches long.
He had a head of black hair
And not one thing did he wear
The first time I saw him after he was born.
Well, my hospital stay was short
And for home I soon did start
With my precious little bundle of joy.
When we drove up to the gate,
Our 18 month old son, Kenny, did wait
To see his much-missed mother and the boy.
As we put the baby to bed
Kenny looked at him with dread
And furiously gave the bed a shake, his inner thoughts revealing.
He wanted no one to take his place,
He thought it would be a disgrace,
So with jealousy he gave vent to his true feelings.
But Randy didn’t mind at all
He just slept through it all
So his brother decided to leave him alone.
It took adjusting as always,
But many were the good days
That we had together in our happy home.
One thing I forgot to tell
Is that you were the baby, and we named you Randy Dale.
Your brother, Ronnie, takes the credit for your name.
Though he had help from his mother,
He declares he names his brother,
So we just go along with his little game.
One other thing I’d like to mention
That happened and drew our attention
Was the fact your daddy had a serious mishap.
It was six weeks before you were born
As he was bush-hogging on his farm
That a limb hit him in the eye and put it out.
So, Randy, when we came home
We were not all alone
Because your dad was recuperating while on sick leave.
He had cleaned the house
For his beloved spouse,
And for all the work I’d missed I did not grieve.
But after lunch consisting of liver,
He headed straight for the river
To check on his cows who were grazing on clover.
I had thought I had it made
As on the bed I had laid,
But I soon found out my responsibilities weren’t over.
But I found great joy
In caring for my little boy
For as you grew up, Randy, you were a good little lad.
Not many spankings did you get
I can remember yet.
That when I did have to spank, I felt so bad.
Well, the years have come and gone
And now you’re far from homecoming
At Hobe Sound Bible School to get a Christian education.
I hope your coming home is near,
That is, if the draft doesn’t interfere,
And you have to go to service for our nation.
Well, my thoughts are running out,
Not much else to write about
Except the one important thing for which I wrote this rhyme.
Exactly eighteen years ago today,
You came to us to stay
So may I say “Happy Birthday”. Have a nice time.
(This little poem is true facts,
Nothing I’d have to take back
Except a few extra words to make it rhyme.
Hope it helped to brighten your day.
Keep it, don’t throw it away.
You can use it in your autobiography sometime.)
A Poem to my Granddaughter in Nigeria
(Written to Carmen McCain)
Carmen, Carmen, a great task you have asked of me,
To write a letter and send a poem. For don’t you see
I’m getting old and I’m very forgetful and slow,
My mind gets all confused, plus I’m senile you know.
These excuses should be enough to get me off the hook
But since you insist, I’ll stop and take a look,
And work at the job and try to send a poem to you,
It will be the answer to the letter that you sent to me, too.
I greatly appreciate you taking out the time
To write your old grandparents a few lines.
Even thought your brother came to tease and pester you,
It didn’t seem to affect your writing, for you came through
With an interesting letter which we surely did enjoy.
We didn’t realize you were being pestered by a boy.
Anyway, I’m sure he meant no harm to you in anyway at all.
As reflected by your mirror, innocent, handsome and tall,
Showing him why all the girls for him had flipped and fell,
That great smile of his and other great features, as well.
I’d better quit teasing my grandson before I make him sad.
I’m just having fun, Daniel, so laugh and be glad.
How is Laura, doing? Is she old enough for the boys?
Or is she waiting a few years, and for now, playing with her toys?
Naturally, I prefer the latter, for there’s plenty of time yet
For her to meet Mr. Handsome and become his little pet.
To get back to your letter, Carmen, I’m really proud of you.
Your grades are pretty good – the C+ in Algebra will just have to do.
For “algebra was invented to torture people”. Now, isn’t what you said?
But really, it’s not that bad, is it? Or many people would be dead.
They usually come through like you did when they have done their best,
Thought their grades may not be as good as you did on the Bible test.
English, Spanish, Typing, Choir and all your other grades
Makes old Grandma proud of how you’ve worked and what you’ve made.
So let me congratulate you on your first year of high school.
I guess the teachers are impressed with the American, as a rule.
Now, I will try to get back to the rest of the letter
And hope that what I say will do till I can do better.
You asked me if I had read the book, “Anne of Green Gables”?
No, I guess I haven’t. I should add it to my other fables.
As for “Anne of Avonlea”, I have never heard of such,
But, of course, by now, you know that I don’t know very much.
About my summer plans, they probably wouldn’t interest you at all,
For nothing very exciting has happened which is worthy to recall,
Unless it was picking blackberries, blueberries, peas and beans,
Shelling, snapping, washing, putting in the freezer, a sight to be seen,
Dish-washing, house-cleaning, washing clothes and all that good stuff.
I doubt you want to hear more. You’re probably saying “Stop! That’s enough.”
One thing that might interest you, I’m thinking of taking a trip
To Pennsylvania for a camp meeting, if one thing I could skip,
And that is the plane ride of which I’m very much afraid.
If it wasn’t for that scary part, I would have it made.
It’s nice you’re learning to drive, Carmen, but be careful as can be,
For wrecks happen so fast, my dear, as some day you may see.
I was in a terrible wreck when I wasn’t much older than you
And was disabled many weeks, but thankfully, I pulled through.
But hopefully, you’ll be a safe driver, as careful as can be,
And we’ll pray to God that a wreck you’ll never see.
I hope you enjoy your class, as “Hausa” you try to learn,
But I’ll stick with good old English, for as for “Hausa”, I do not yearn.
When you come to see me, “Hausa” I don’t care to hear,
For I’m an English-speaking lady, and “Hausa” is foreign to my ear.
Your reports on Physical Science and “Atlantis”, I would like to see.
Bring them with you when you come and read them both to me.
You must inherit Paw-Paw’s ability for the spelling of words,
For he’s the world’s worst speller, I’m sure you’ve already heard.
Now you’re the one who said you weren’t good in spelling,
But don’t be discouraged, all of us have certain failings.
Now about your adventure of walking in the dark,
I think that you, Ruth and Maria weren’t very smart.
Take an old lady’s advice and don’t try that stunt again,
Or next time you may not escape without a little pain.
I’m glad to hear you’re planning to write some books some day.
Keep that vision before you and never let it get away.
It’s so rewarding to see a book you write in print
And to get letters from people commenting on its contents.
I recently received a letter from a girl in another state
Who read my books and got back to God, this she did relate.
I appreciate the poems you sent, you are quite a poet,
But I guess I don’t have to brag on you, for you already know it.
I love composing poems when it as easy as it is tonight,
But sometimes nothing seems to rhyme or to come out right.
But in spite of the struggles, I have many poems stashed away,
And when you come to visit me, we’ll read them some day.
I long to write another book, I want to write on “Prayer”,
But when I take my pen in hand, the thoughts are just not there.
I guess my age is part of it, my busy life is against it, too,
So it’s doubtful if I’ll ever write again, I really don’t know what to do.
Folks don’t understand, you see. They think all I have to do
Is sit down and start to write and the Lord will see me through.
But I don’t seem to get going anymore, so I guess it’s time to quit
Even though I know God helped me on my other books or I never would have made it.
Well, Carmen it’s late at night, and I am ready for bed.
If I don’t get some sleep tonight, tomorrow I’ll feel nearly dead.
Thanks again for writing us, it sure did make our day,
I hope my answer satisfies you and you won’t throw it away.
Keep it for your scrapbook, it will be fun to read these lines,
For it’s not likely you’ll get another for a long, long time.
Oh, I almost forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday,
May you have many more. This is all I have to say.
Much Love and Prayer,
From here to over there,
To Miss Carmen Ruth McCain
From Me-Maw (Last name the same)
P.S. Please excuse all mistakes,
I’m not a typist so errors I make.
Memorial Poems To My Grandson
[* (The following is a set of poems written in memory of Nathaniel Keith McCain, grandson of the author, and son of Danny McCain. Nathaniel died from Spinal Meningitis. The first was written on the one- year anniversary of his death. The others were written on the next four anniversaries of his death.) *]
Memorial Poem for Nathaniel Keith McCain
(grandson, and son of Danny McCain, who died from spinal meningitis)
On the twenty-fifth of May,
Just one year ago today,
Our little Nathaniel left us for a better land.
Though it nearly broke our heart
From our baby to have to part,
Yet we know God had the situation in hand.
We have often wondered why
Little Nathaniel had to die,
But we’ll understand it better by and by.
Here we don’t have to understand
But just leave it in God’s hand.
He will answer all our questions in the sky.
In my imagination, I can see
The recognition our baby received
As he entered Heaven’s portals in the sky.
Just inside the Eastern gate,
A heavenly band did wait
To welcome our little darling upon high.
Though on earth his loved ones miss him
Yet, there, Jesus picked him up and kissed him
And he wiped away all the tears from his eyes.
His pain was forever ended.
His broken heart was mended,
And never would he miss his earthly ties.
There were many boys and girls,
Just babies when they left this world,
Who were awaiting his arrival in this land.
They were at the gate to meet him,
And with joy they all did greet him
As he joined himself to their heavenly band.
One of the first to take his hand
To take him around the heavenly land
Was a little great uncle called “Little Bill”.
He departed this life years ago,
Oh, we loved that baby so.
The memories cause our heart to ache still.
Then, there’s little Aunt Joni McCoy
Ready to welcome the little boy.
I can visualize her radiant, smiling face.
They will play around the throne
Of their beautiful, heavenly home.
How happy they must be in that wonderful place.
Harold Wayne Roshto, a baby cousin dear
Was also waiting very near,
For he, too, had joined the welcoming committee.
Little Dickie, Aunt Dee’s baby boy
Who is living in that land of joy,
Extends a welcome to that beautiful city.
Can’t you see them as they play
In that land of endless day,
All the babies that have gone on before?
Never a fuss or a fight,
Nothing to mar, not even night,
Just one long eternity of peace and joy.
So be comforted, dear Mary and Dan
For our baby waits in a better land.
We must strive to go to him when life is o’er.
Jesus will give us grace,
‘Til once more we see his face,
Then we will never worry about parting anymore.
Two Year Memorial for Nathaniel
Two years ago today
On the 25th of May
We bid farewell to our precious baby boy.
Though it caused us pain and grief,
Yet in Jesus we found relief
As he whispered words of comfort o’er and o’er.
Dear Jesus, we humbly pray
Set our baby on your knee today
And give him our message of good will,
That though yet he is so sadly missed,
Yet, now he has a little sis
And the vacancy he left, she helps to fill.
Tell him, Jesus, just to wait
Right inside the Eastern gate
For we’ll soon join him in that land so fair.
Little sister will be with us
And other kinfolk near us.
What a reunion we will have over there.
And, Jesus, can you prepare
A nice big rocking chair
For Mommy, Daddy and grandparents to take turns
To rock the little boy?
It will give them so much joy
As he cuddles close within their circling arms.
Of course, Daddy will be near
To lift his lad so dear
And bounce him lovingly on his knee.
The grand-dads will have to wait
For it will never be too late
To cuddle the grand-son they have longed to see.
There will be friends and kinfolk galore
Standing outside the mansion door
Awaiting their turn to caress the little boy.
Oh we can hardly wait
To step inside the pearly gate
And be re-united with little Nathaniel forever more.
Dear Jesus, as we close this prayer,
We know he’s safe within Your care,
So we patiently wait until we see him once more.
Help us not to miss the way
For it will be a grand homecoming day
When we meet our baby on that golden shore.
Three Year Memorial for Nathaniel
You left us three years ago today
On this twenty-fifth day of May,
Our dear little Nathaniel lad.
Though we’ve accepted God’s perfect will,
Yet many times the tears flow still
As memories make our heart so sad.
You were only four months to the day
When meningitis struck and took you away.
It was indeed a painful blow.
But God was near in that dark hour,
And sustained us by His mighty power,
His grace to all He did bestow.
We’ll soon be reunited, dear little boy,
Then, oh what happiness, what joy
Will be ours on that day.
Our tears will be wiped away forever,
We’ll sorrow no more, no never,
Forgotten will be the twenty-fifth of May.
Four Year Memorial for Nathaniel
I guess I’m just getting old,
At least that’s what I’ve been told.
For I can’t thnk of a thing that will rhyme,
But though I’m old, I remember the 25th of May
Was when our little Nathaniel passed away
And I will compose a memorial poem next year at this time.
Five Year Memorial for Nathaniel
What a sad, sad day
Was the twenty-fifth of May,
Five years ago when Nathaniel departed this life.
Such a precious little boy
Who had brought us so much joy,
But he left us behind in this old world of sin and strife.
God in his wisdom knoweth best,
So, we in Him find sweet rest,
As we journey on through this dark vale of tears.
If in this world, only we had hope,
So miserable we’d be that we’d only mope
And pine our lives away through the passing years.
But I’m so glad for the hope of Heaven
Where we can go if our sins are forgiven,
And be reunited with our loved ones over there.
Though our baby had gone before,
We need no sorrow anymore
For some day we can join him in that home so fair.
I know he’ll be waiting near the throne
To welcome all his loved ones home.
May God help us to make it to that land.
There we’ll lay our old cross down
And put on our robe and crown,
As we join Nathaniel and the angel band.
Can’t you visualize this meeting?
Can’t you sense that gently greeting?
Can’t you hear the wondrous music o’er Heaven roll?
Can’t you just see our little boy?
Can’t you tell he’s full of joy?
Can’t you feel the Heavenly pull in your soul?
But for now, we’ll patient be
Until Nathaniel we can see,
Then we’ll never have to leave him anymore.
What a glorious, wonderful day,
Even if it be the twenty-fifth of May,
When we greet our baby on that Heavenly shore.
Just a little while to wait
Before we enter Heaven’s gate,
And see Nathaniel leading the welcoming committee.
What smiles will light our face
As we sing “Amazing Grace”
That sustained us on earth and brought us safely to that city.
Memorial Tributes To My Sisters
(The following poems provide tributes to sisters of the author)
Memorial Tribute to Lois Cebrynski
by Georgia D McCain (Sister of the Deceased)
Lois Davenport Cebrynski, a precious mom and our oldest sister,
Born July 16,1916, left us December 8.2003, my, how we’ll miss her.
She’s always been there for us since day number one.
It will be hard to adjust to her being gone.
As a little girl, she was always my second mother,
My many hugs and kisses sometimes seem to her to smother.
I slept with her at night. it wasn’t the same without my Lois.
When she crawled into bed with me, it was time to rejoice.
Sometimes, she would play cards with her boyfriend at night.
I’d cuddle up at her feet and go to sleep. What a sight,
But she was always patient and kind to me, wouldn’t fuss at all,
Probably one reason was that she didn’t want to hear me bawl,
I remember her working at Central Hospital for a very small amount
And would buy us material for a school dress from her small account.
Dear Lois – our elder sister – our friend, counselor and guide.
We could face our problems better with our big sister at our side.
But though loving, she didn’t mind telling you what she thought.
Whether you liked what she said or it made you feel distraught.
I remember once a cousin smarting off about our mother dear
But her smart remarks, Miss Lois did not care to hear,
She went stomping down the road toward her, as mad as she could be.
‘My Mamma is a lady, she shouted / don’t talk about her to me.’
But in spite of her speaking her piece to one and all,
She could be gracious and kind to whoever on her would call.
You should have seen her when she was learning to drive,
My, it’s a wonder she ever came out of that alive.
She would start out and sometimes end up in a ditch.
Someone would come along and on the old car would hitch.
Get it safely back home for her to try again.
Yes, she finally learned to drive – but oh, what a pain.
She married Mike Cebrynski when he was in the service here.
He later went overseas and she was left behind, none to cheer.
When I was a teenager, she took me to Pennsylvania, I was happy as could be.
I got to ride on a train -- her in-laws, we went up north to see.
Her husband was still overseas and she was being a good wife,
Checking on his parents while he was at war, risking his life.
Her husband returned from war but later he passed away.
She never married again but sold her house later, moved to Highway East Apartments to stay.
While living there, she would oft buy gifts to give to her kin,
As well as her friends, Lois’ giving knew no end.
I have things I cherish given to me by my dear Lois,
I couldn’t have chosen more appropriately, had I a choice.
Elaine, her youngest sister, called her daily to talk to her by phone,
It wasn’t possible to visit every day, so this way Lois wouldn’t feel so alone.
While Bertie was living, the three would meet to eat liver that Bertie cooked,
Lois, Elaine and Bertie, “the Lonely Liver Lovers Club”, they were booked.
Lois loved her sister, Edith, and would visit her once in awhile.
This made them both very happy, you could tell by their smile.
Her children were all faithful, visiting, playing with her her favorite game, or bringing her a meal,
She loved her kids and was happy when they visited her, this you could feel.
She loved her apartment at Highway Twenty-Eight East
And hated so badly to leave it, to say the least .
But after her fall, she had to go where she could get good care,
It was best she not be left alone when no one could be there.
She was taken to the Oaks Care Center where she could receive that care
But really was not happy the whole time she was there.
I carried her to my bible studies and for her I would pray,
She seemed very appreciative and would thank me every day.
Often she would voice her opinion about wanting to go home,
Her children tried to help by moving her to assisted living where she would not be alone.
But while there, she fell and back to a nursing home she went.
It was the best they could do, so at Lexington House, her days would be spent,
She wouldn’t eat much but in visiting her one day,
I brought her two baked sweet potatoes, and she soon put one away,
Sometimes, she would talk to you and sometime, she would just stare,
But at least she knew we loved her and were there.
At Lexington, she came down with a fever of one hundred and four.
And her dear children had to move her once more.
This time to Rapides General Hospital where she spent her last days.
Our dear sister and mother, we now have to put her away,
But though our hearts are broken, we have happy memories in our heart
As we say our last good-bye and from her we have to part.
One memory I have is praying to God to make her rational while I was there.
I wanted to pray with her and let her know how much God did care.
My God answered prayer and I saw her on Monday a week before she passed on,
I went to fifth floor in Rehab and for a few minutes we were there alone.
I talked to her and prayed with her and asked if she was ready to meet God.
“Yes”, she answered, knowing she had only a short time left on earth to trod.
So we must relinquish our hold on our dear sister and mother,
And trust her to God who knows better than any other
What is best for our loved ones who have gone on before.
We’ll understand it better when we pass to the other shore.
Memorial for Delia Gottfried
by Georgia McCain (Sister of the Deceased)
Delia Irene Gottfried, that is her name…
We called her Delee, or Dee, to her it was all the same.
Born into a large family, she was the fifth sister,
We, who are left behind, are surely going to miss her.
As we miss our sister, Billie, who’s been gone a short while,
It’s so hard to give them up and keep going on with a smile.
Dee was very attached to Billie, she took her under her wing,
When she was taken away from us, oh, the heartache it did bring.
The vacancy it left in Dee’s life, she was reaching out to have filled,
She wanted to mother someone, to love and help them as she willed.
Dee was once a mother to a little one to whom she gave birth,
But he, too, was taken, from her, only a short time did he live on earth.
Her first husband died in service, they hadn’t been too long wed,
And her last husband, as you know, has for a few years been dead.
So Dee was a very lonely person, as all of us well know,
She enjoyed doing deeds of kindness, trying her best her love to show.
She liked to make different kinds of jelly, working at it most of the day,
And then, bless her heart, she would give it all away.
At Christmas, she’d make candy and all kinds of treats
And give them to her doctor, nurse, and others. I thought that was rather neat.
I loved to see her face light up – just like the noon day sun,
When someone showed appreciation for the little things she had done.
When one of the sisters had a birthday, she’s the one who called,
To let us know about the party. We’d meet together and have a ball.
She was ready to help when needed whatever the task would be,
I had a garage sale once, and who showed up to help me but good old faithful Dee.
Once I had some peas to shell, I think it was a bushel or two,
And Dee came and shelled peas like she had nothing else to do.
I have childhood memories of Dee, for she was a little older than me,
We would work and play together from morning until eve.
Most of the time, we were best of friends, but sometimes we would fight,
But however the day would go, we would usually make up by night.
Dear Dee! How terrible she suffered sometimes at the rest home,
Sometimes, she would cry to God begging Him to take her home.
Or she would pleadingly ask God to somehow ease the pain,
Then she’d say, “You pray Georgia”, and I’d pray in Jesus’ name.
Asking him if it could be His divine and precious will,
To touch her painful body, and if he could see fit, to heal.
But God, who always knows best, didn’t see fit to heal our dear sis,
She’s gone now and oh, how greatly she will be missed.
We’ll miss her love, her calls, her thoughtful deeds,
We’ll miss her coming to us when we are in need.
Dear Dee – your vacant place cannot be filled by another,
Though we’re thankful to have six more sisters and two brothers.
Just how soon we’ll leave this earth, only God, Himself is aware,
Some of us may go as you did, Dee, others may meet Jesus in the air.
For his coming is just around the corner, it is very near,
Dear folk, let us be ready to meet him, then He’ll wipe away the tears.
There will be no more grief or heartache as we’re experiencing right now,. As we say, “Goodbye, dear Dee—we love you—we’ll miss you—but God is going to help us somehow”.
A Heartbreaking Experience
(story about death of sister, Billie Davenport Fenchak, from book, “Remarkable Incidents and Answers to Prayer”)
While in the process of writing this book, an awful tragedy struck our family. My younger sister, Billie Davenport Fenchak, was found dead in her home. She had been sitting at her computer and fell out of her chair with her fingers in the position of one using the computer. It was the next day before she was found. This has caused untold grief to those who loved her so dearly.
There were nine girls and two boys in the family and she was the first one to go -- with the exception of a little boy we called "Little Bill" who went to Heaven about sixty-five years ago. Billie appeared to be the picture of health, therefore causing the shock to be greater. May it be a warning to all that God can take us away any minute without any previous warning. Oh, how we need to be ready at all times to meet God. Take heed, dear friend! Don't put off salvation until it's eternally too late.
On a table in my sister’s home was the mail she had gotten that day. On the top of the mail was found this poem copied in her handwriting. Why was it there? Did she have a premonition that death was near? Or was it the providence of God? Only God knows.
Here’s the Poem:
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 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 is a 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 you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know and bury
Your sorrow in doing good deeds.
Miss me -- but let me go.
Memorial Tributes To Church Friends
(The next two poems provide tributes to church friends of the author.)
Memorial Poem for Clint Simmons
(Written as memorial for long-time friend and fellow church member, Clint Simmons, He was born Nov. 11, 1914 and died Mar. 11, 1994)
Our Dear Brother Simmons:
His seat is vacant, not only in the home, but in the second pew,
There’s been an empty spot in church for several weeks now, and we’re wondering just what to do.
Not only in the church pew, but outside on the parking lot, also.
The place occupied by his Toyota truck will eventually be filled by another, we know.
Brother Simmons was always the first one to arrive at church and Sunday School.
If his truck wasn’t there when we drove up, we knew he or his wife was sick, as a general rule.
Dear Brother Simmons, our Sunday School Superintendent, is gone beyond this vale of tears,
But he’s been so faithful to carry on for so many, many years.
Now, who will we ever find to take our brother’s place?
Who will come and fill his shoes to help us in this Christian race?
Who will be as faithful as our dear friend and brother,
To do the little deeds of love neglected by so many others?
Who will turn the heat on in winter when the weather is so bad,
And have the church so cool in summer, making our hearts so glad?
Who will do the little things unnoticed by most everyone,
And never brag or boast at what all “I have done.”
Who will? you tell me-- Who else do you know
That can take our beloved brother’s place and to the world can show;
That Christianity is doing the little things like helping a brother in need,
Whether in church, on the street or in homes, Brother Simmons was a man of good deeds.
Never will we forget the load of wood he delivered when my husband was sick in bed,
He didn’t ask us if we needed it, just hauled it to us instead.
He didn’t ring a bell as the hypocrites do, and announce, “Look what I have done.”
But he just backed up his truck, unloaded the wood, and left as he had come.
But it wasn’t always the big things like a load of firewood,
He saw the need in little things and helped whenever he could.
Every day when the postman passed, Brother Simmons, without fail
Would check his widowed sister-in-law’s mailbox and take to her the mail.
A little thing! No! This meant a lot to Mrs. Reiff,
This daily deed was a great help and a bright spot in her life.
He was very devoted to his sick wife and did for her whatever he could,
Whether it was buying groceries, wiping dishes or just bringing in the wood.
Dear Brother Simmons: His memory began to fail him in his last few years,
Leaving him ofttimes frustrated and very close to tears,
But he didn’t let it get him down, just kept doing the best he could,
And if things didn’t always turn out right, he would just leave it with his God.
Brother Simmons was loved by all, his step-children, grandchildren, relatives and friends,
His easy-going way, his faithfulness and non-complaining attitude, we will remember ‘til life on earth doth end.
We now come to the parting of our dear friend and brother,
Dear and faithful George Clinton Simmons, we will miss him as no other.
His life’s work is ended, he has gone to his reward,
Hear Jesus’ glad welcome, “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
The Joe Redmond Family
(Tribute to a church family who moved to Texas)
The voice on the telephone was one I had never heard before,
“It’s Joe Redmond”, he introduced himself, and then we said lots more.
It was a pleasure to converse with someone who spoke the same language I spoke.
Before he hung up, I felt I knew him. No, it wasn’t a joke.
They were searching for a church that agreed with their point of view,
And though our little church was small, how we longed to see them, too.
But to Texas they planned to move, already had the moving van,
So we figured that call was it, no use making any more plans,
But not too many days after that, another call we got,
They had changed their minds and were remaining on the same spot.
So, to our church, the Redmond family came. It was Easter night,
April 14, 1996, we remember the date because it made our life so bright.
Our hearts seemed knit together from the very first, these Yankees and Rebels,
And our love has grown these months – I’m here to tell you.
Dear Lori became a close friend whom I talked to every day,
It brightened my life as for one another we could understand and pray.
Our telephone conversations were something I looked forward to, I felt less alone,
For before I met the Redmonds, I had no Christian friend here to talk to on the phone.
Joe was my friend too, but he just couldn’t understand
Why I was so nervous with such shaky hands.
He loved to tease me about my vitamins and what else you couldn’t tell
Of course, it was a proven fact that vitamins helped to keep us well.
The second time I saw Joe, he asked me to adopt him as a son,
I readily agreed, for with seven children already, why not another one?
But not only did I adopt Joe, but his whole fami-i-ly—
His wife, Lori, his children, Sarah, Mary and also his son, Lee.
Sarah is to me as precious and as sweet as can be.
I love her like my own granddaughter, as one can plainly see.
She always had a smile and hug for me, it helped to make my day.
Dear sweet Sarah, I wish you could have stayed here always.
Lee – such a sweet boy, he was always nice and kind,
Even when I pretended that I could read his mind.
He played his guitar at church and made us all hap-py,
I have a special place in my heart for dear, sweet Lee.
And then there’s Mary, such a darling little girl.
She loves her doll-babies – some with lots of curls.
She brought them to church to increase our numbers few.
Mary was a blessing – we love her, yes, we do.
I thank my loving Heavenly Father for sending the Redmonds our way,
Though it was for such a short time, seemed like only a few days.
It broke my heart when you left us, I’ve shed many, many tears,
I’m wondering when I’ll see you again. Please don’t let it be years.
But if God doesn’t allow our paths to cross again,
I’ll still thank God I met you, regardless of the present pain.
For Joe and Lori, Sarah, Mary, and Lee,
I love you very much, you are like my fam-i-ly.
I’ll never forget you—our hearts have been knit together in love,
And oh, how I trust we all make it to the Heavenly home above,
Where there’ll be no more separations, no more lonely tears,
But we’ll rejoice together forever through billions of years.
By your adopted Mom and Grandmom,
Georgia D. McCain
Little Things Used of God
He was just nineteen but his life had been rough.
He smoked and drank, pretended to be tough.
He cursed, cheated, and lied as well.
He was wretched and miserable, bound for hell.
He longed to be different, he wanted to change,
He was very unhappy, quite tired of the game.
He longed for a friend, but none could be found,
So Johnny kept on going down, down, down.
He had reached the bottom in utter despair,
And it looked as if everybody would leave him there.
But a little old lady, her hair turning gray,
Met Johnny as she was going home one day.
He looked so dejected, so fearful, so lone,
She wanted to do something that would help him along.
“Good morning, Son, don’t believe we’ve met,
Folks call me ‘Granny’, don’t know your name yet”.
“Aw, go on”, said Johnny, “you know about me,
Johnny, the drunkard, the bum, you see,
I’m no good, so let no one see you stand here talking to me”.
“Tut-tut”, said Granny, “Such things you do say,
“Come, Johnny, come home with me today”.
“Come home”, This never before had Johnny heard,
And his heart was touched by such a kind word.
So Johnny went home with Granny that day,
And she told him about Jesus along the way,
How he died for the drunkard, the gambler as well,
How he gave His life’s blood to redeem us from hell,
How he maketh intercession for all that will come
Confessing their sins in the name of the Son.
They reached Granny’s house and after a good meal,
She read him the Bible and together they kneeled.
In humble contrition he opened his heart,
Confessed all his sins and Jesus did his part.
He forgave all his sins and filled his soul
With peace and love and blessings untold.
Determined to help others who were outcasts like he,
Johnny arose from his knees thrilled to be free.
He labored for Jesus and everybody heard
How Johnny was won by just a kind word.
Yes, just a kind word by one so in need
Served its purpose in sowing a seed.
In a poor sinner’s heart black with despair,
Jesus knew what was needed so He sent Granny there.
So, Friends, speak kind words whenever you can
And you will receive your reward in that heavenly land.
She was in a hospital in a room all alone
And for days she had wished she might go home,
But some bones had been broken in a wreck she was in
And she had to be laid up until they could mend.
She had many friends, they would come and go
And oh, Mary seemed to enjoy them so.
But when darkness closed in and all were gone,
Mary and her thoughts were all alone.
She thought of her childhood and then later years
How her life had been wasted. She shed bitter tears,
Because of her past that she couldn’t make right,
And she resolved to better night after night.
Of all Mary’s friends, not a Christian she knew
Who could tell her of Jesus and help her to do
The things that she should, read the Bible and pray
So Mary grew more bitter with each passing day.
Twas on Monday morn when a nurse came in
With a card in her hand that someone had sent.
She handed it to Mary as she stood by the bed,
Mary looked at the signature and then she read,
“Dear Mary, it is impossible for me to go
To a hospital to visit, but I want you to know
That the Lord whom I serve is with you each day,
And he will save you just now if you will only pray
For forgiveness of sins, confessing them all,
Jesus is waiting just now if on Him you will call.
I love you, dear Mary, and want you to share
The assurance I have that Jesus is near.”
Mary laid down the card and blinked back the tears,
As again her mind wondered back over the years.
Twas the first time, either by word or by letter
That anyone had cared for her to be better.
Conviction seized her soul that day,
And for the first time in her life, she started to pray.
She prayed best she could with the card as a guide
And nothing from Jesus did she attempt to hide.
She confessed all her sins, the great and the small
And Jesus, bless his Name, forgave her of all.
Then she told all her friends day after day
How the simple little card had pointed the way.
Yes, just a little card mailed with a prayer
That one of God’s servants had sent there.
God knew the heart of this girl so sweet,
Knew what was needed to make life complete,
A little convalescent card with a message so tender
Melted Mary’s heart and caused her to surrender.
So dear friend, send your cards to those not well,
For by these little cards, one never can tell
What good can by accomplished for our great God
Until our last step on this earth we have trod.
He was just a farmer, his ways were plain,
He lived on his crops, his vegetables and grain.
He was neighbors to no one, he lived to himself,
So it was no wander he had hardly a friend left.
But there was a Mr. Smith who lived next door
Who wanted to be neighbors, and what was more
He wanted to win the disgruntled one to Jesus the King,
So he waited for an opportunity in which to bring
The message of salvation to this simple old one,
But the weeks passed by and the opportunity didn’t come.
But Smith kept on praying in Jesus’ Name,
Believing God to move when the right time came.
Now Brown had on his farm a mean old cow
Who jumped the fence and did devour,
All the beans from our Christian friend’s garden,
And Brown decided he had better go and beg pardon
For fear Mr. Smith would be very mean
To his old cow that ate up his beans.
“Think nothing of it”, said Smith with a smile,
“I’ll help fix your fence then after awhile”,
“I’ll plant some more beans right over here,
For I don’t think it’s to late in the year”.
“Don’t need to bother”, said Brown with a yelp,
“I’ll fix my own fence. I don’t need your help”.
So Brown turned and left, feeling very smart
While Smith prayed that God would speak to his heart.
Two weeks passed by, then Smith’s big hog,
Broke into Brown’s yard and rooted up the sod.
Brown was so mad he reached for his gun,
And shot Smith’s hog as she started to run.
He went to his neighbor prepared for a fight,
But Smith told him it was perfectly alright.
“I suppose it’s upsetting to have your yard,
Ruined by a hog rooting up the sod.
I’ll pay for the damage and fill in the holes”.
And as Smith was speaking, he prayed for Brown’s soul.
Brown calmed down and lay down his gun.
He felt so mean and low, that he wanted to run.
“What kind of man are you?”, he asked with a sigh.
A lump came to his throat, he wanted to cry.
“I’ve bemeaned you, I’ve cussed you and what’s more,
I came over to get you at your own door.
But you’ve always been gentle, kind and good.
What makes you like this? Tell me if you would”.
Smith’s prayers had been answered, his opportunity had come
To tell Brown of Jesus, the Crucified One,
Who could save him from sin and wash him so clean
That he would never again want to be mean.
Smith testified freely of God’s wonderful grace
And as he did there was a shine on his face.
By now Brown was weeping. He was hungry for God,
But he looked across the field at the broken sod.
At the big hog laying dead on his back,
And he felt that his sins were much too black
To be forgiven by God, to be remembered no more,
So he looked helplessly at Smith who stood in the door.
“Come inside”, invited Smith, seemily reading his mind,
And he picked up the Bible and read him a line.
“Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them like snow”,
He read as Brown set with his head bowed low.
Then together they kneeled as Smith helped him to pray
That Jesus would come and wash his sins all away.
The blessing fell as they prayed clear through,
And Brown shouted and cried and testified, too.
How God had taken his burden of sin
And gave him such joy and peace within.
He went to the neighbors he had not seen in years,
And shook their hands and told them with tears,
How he had been won by just a kind act,
And as they looked at his face, none doubted the fact,
Yes, just a kind act, a kind word or a card
May help to bring some soul to our Lord.
So be kind, my friends, though trials may be great
And we may meet some at Heaven’s gate
Who was won by kind words, a card or a deed.
We never can tell what will sow a seed
If we surrender our lives to be used of the Lord,
And some day, thank God, we’ll receive our reward.
A Mother’s Prayer
Our Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of prayer,
We thank Thee because we know Thou dost care.
We thank Thee for sparing us for another Mother’s Day.
We praise Thee for keeping us in the straight narrow way.
Lord, wilt Thou deal with mothers this whole land o’er,
That we might renew our effort as never before.
To try to save our children at whatever the cost.
Help us, Lord, to pay the price that not one will be lost.
“Is anything too hard for me?” Thou dost say in Thy Word.
Help us to grasp this promise and stand on it, Lord.
Some things move only through prayer and fasting,
But in hard cases like these, the results are usually lasting.
So just now, Father, as a mother of seven,
I purpose to do all I can to get my children to Heaven.
First, there’s our eldest son, Ronnie, who is many miles away,
Wilt Thou somehow bend low and speak to him today?
I dedicated him to Thee when he was just a little boy,
And when he makes right choices, it gives me so much joy
He is a sweet, considerate son and dearly loved by all,
But the most important thing is that he listen to Thy call.
Let him feel Thy touch just now, Lord, as we wait before the throne,
And when this life is over, may we be together in our Heavenly home.
Next, is our son, Danny, who is also far away,
Help him in everything to let Thee have Thy way,
Thou has called him to preach, Lord, we praise Thee with our whole heart.
Help him to be a fearless preacher and to all the truth impart.
Help him to launch out deep, Lord, and not play around the shore.
The lessons he learns and the depths he goes will help him forevermore.
Give him a great burden, Lord, a vision for the lost,
Oh, may he seek to win them whatever may be the cost.
Stir him clear of any snare the devil puts in his way,
Oh, Lord Jesus, lay Thy hand our our Danny Boy today.
Then, Lord, there’s our daughter, Donna, who says she has heard Thy call,
Help her to be obedient in everything, and give to Thee her all
Oh, may she walk so carefully, and daily to Thee pray.
May Thy loving hand take her hand and guide her along life’s way.
Lead her to the proper field of service, Lord, for Thee,
And keep her from entanglements with a life blessed and free.
Help her to be humble, Lord, take her down so deep,
May Thy Word be her guide, its commandments may she keep.
Now, Lord, here’s our little girl, Jackie, who’s still with us in the home,
Keep Thy hand upon her, Lord, may she never from Thee roam.
Help us to teach her, Jesus, the right way in which to go,
May she have an humble spirit and a Christian love to show.
There’s many snares laid for her, but help her to stay clean,
And when temptations dark assail her, may she learn on Thee to lean.
We can’t forget to pray, O Lord, for our other three little boys,
There’s Kenny, Randy, and Barry, who have brought us many joys.
May we have the wisdom, Lord, to guide their lives aright.
And help us, Lord, to pray for them every day and night.
Please grant that not one of them will be eternally lost,
Oh, save them, Jesus, one and all, save them at any cost.
We commit ourselves unto Thee, Lord, and our children, one and all,
We feel that Thou art listening as on Thy loving name we call.
We know it won’t be long, Lord, till thou will call us home,
Grant that all seven of our children will meet us around the throne.
Look to the Saviour
Have you friends whom you love and you thought they loved you,
Who have turned their backs on you and proved untrue?
Are you criticized because of your stand?
Then look to the Savior, He understands.
Is your heart heavy for the indifferent and unconcerned?
For the backsliders and sinners does your heart ever yearn?
Is your burden so heavy ‘til it seems you will die?
Then look to the Saviour, He’ll answer by and by.
Are you weary and tired with the toils of the years?
Do you long for sweet rest and shed bitter tears?
As you think of the work that yet must be done?
Then look to the Saviour, He will soon come.
Is your body afflicted and you suffer much pain,
And it seems you’ll never be in good health again?
You can’t understand why you’re in this condition,
Then look to the Saviour, He is the great physician.
The persecutions, afflictions, and toils of the day,
The burdens and heartaches will soon pass away.
The Lord is taking notice from His home in the sky.
So look to the Saviour, your redemption draweth nigh.
A Prayer Answering God
(Introduction to book, “Amazing Answers to Prevailing Prayer”)
This book which you are now holding in your hand,
Is sent to encourage God’s people all over the land.
Our faith is being tested, we are tempted and tried,
But we can win the battle with God at our side.
For whatever the situation, God will always be there
To defeat the devil as we hold on in prayer.
Yesterday, today, and forever, God is always the same,
And he promised to answer prayer, if we ask in Jesus’ Name.
Sometimes, He answers immediately, just as soon as we pray,
But more often, we must keep praying, holding on day after day.
Never should we give up because the answer may tarry,
For nearly always in answering, God’s plan vary.
Many have continued praying for many long years,
And the prayers have been recorded as well as the tears.
In this book, you’ll find that prayer has not been in vain,
For you’ll see how God has answered again and again.
Your soul will be blest and your cup will run o’er.
When you read how God often knocked on a heart’s door.
While Mother was praying, or perhaps a dear wife,
God brought a sinner to repentance, and gave him new life.
Or perhaps someone was sick and lying at death’s door,
But because of someone’s prayers, God intervened once more.
Once through the faith of a child who was three,
A mother was healed of cancer, causing a glorious jubilee.
Another cancer patient, a Catholic, with only a few days to live,
Read a tract, gave his heart to God, and was then wonderfully healed.
Other cancer victims, some with heart ailments and other diseases,
That doctors couldn’t help, but God could, for He doeth as he pleases.
Other answers are recorded, some for the supplying of needs.
For protection, help in trouble, for reaping after the sowing of seed.
There are missionary stories telling what they went through,
Because they loved Jesus, and at great cost remained true.
My prayer is that God will bless this book to your heart,
And if you are discouraged, you’ll take a new start.
I appreciate all who have given their consent
For me to use their experiences and put them in print.
May each incident by used of God to help someone to see
That He’s a prayer-answering God, and He will always be.
This God Is Our God
(Introduction to book, “Remarkable Incidents and Answers to Prayer”)
Once again, I’ve felt God’s leadership in writing another book.
Will you take a few moments and through its pages look?
You will notice that most entries have been by others lent.
I appreciate their kindness in giving me their consent.
I’ve been blessed time and again, and also, shed many a tear,
As I’ve read and typed the stories during the past year.
They remind me that God loves His children with an everlasting love,
And His ear is opened to their cry as He looks down from Heaven above.
Not only does He hear His children, but also He hears the sinner’s cry,
And if they come to Him repenting, He will not pass them by.
For it’s not His will they perish and spend eternity in hell,
But He longs for everyone to go to Heaven where all is well.
The prayer of faith for the healing of the sick and lame
Have received amazing answers when prayed in Jesus’ Name.
But not only answers for great needs, as you can readily tell,
But God is interested in the little things that make up life, as well,
Like telling you where your car keys are when you absentmindedly misplaced them,
And directing one to find their dentures which by their loss “disgraced” them.
He provides for the poor and needy who trust in Him alone,
And the ways which He provides proves He is still on the throne.
He comes in mighty power to the church folk who pray,
And the revival He giveth encourages them on their way.
The saints rejoices greatly to see their answered prayer,
And the sinners who mind God are so thankful they are there.
Their lives have changed, they are not the same,
They have become a new creature in Jesus’ Name.
When His people are desperate and know not which way to turn,
He has been known to send an angel which makes His child’s heart burn.
They, seemingly, appear from nowhere to help, for God does care,
And, when their mission is completed, they seem to vanish in thin air.
Sometimes it’s protection that’s needed, though one may be unaware,
But God knows just what to do and will always be there.
Just remember, whatever the need, we serve a great God,
And He’ll be here beside us as long as on earth we trod.
Sometimes He may bear long in answering our prayer,
But they are being recorded in Heaven and we know God does care.
And some day, as we hold steady, and look to God above,
We shall see the answer and rejoice in His great love.
Dear Friend, as you read this poem, and through these pages look,
Remember that the things mentioned in this poem are recorded in this book.
I trust you’ll enjoy each story and will be drawn closer to God,
For we need lots of encouragement as we continue on earth to trod.
And when life’s work is ended and we leave behind our care and tears,
May we meet together in Heaven rejoicing through countless years!
Growing Up at the Davenport House
This multiple-page one paragraph (deliberate stream-of consciousness narrative) letter written from Georgia Davenport McCain to her sister, Delia (Dee) Davenport Gottfried, for her birthday in 1996. It is an amazing description of life growing up at the Davenport house. It takes us all back to that innocent time many years ago when the Davenport siblings were just beginning their lives. Not only does it include many stories involving all Davenport family members, it provides an incredible look at the way things were for many in that generation. It should be interesting not only to family members but to anyone since it conveys a great description of those “good old days”. It would be hard to find better material for a movie that captures both the fun and difficult times for that time frame.
I think I remember you saying that you liked to get letters in your cards, so I thought I would oblige you. We will just let all the mistakes go free as I don't really feel like reading things over for mistakes. By the way, some people like to get back at you when you do them something like when I was so sweet to make birthday calls to all my sisters all during the day, and then when my birthday came, some of my sisters just kept calling me all during the day to get even with me. That wasn't nice, was it? Of course, I know you wouldn't dare do anything like that, nor would I, but some think nothing of harassing dear little innocent people. Boy, you're really getting old! I'm glad I can't ever catch up with you for I'd sure hate to be as ancient as you are. It's nice to be real young and "cool". It's also nice to be a middle child for you can always be younger than half your sisters and always have the other half wishing they could be as young as me. Ha. Ha. Ha. Don't I wish?? Hey, do you remember the time you and Lucille dared me to pull the one peach on the tree that Mamma and Daddy were waiting to get ripe? You old goats! You caused me to get the beating of my life. But you sure didn't get any of that peach. I enjoyed eating it in front of you two and letting the juice slip down my mouth and watch you drool. Ha. Ha. Ha. I bet you dreamed about how good that peach tasted. Honestly, I wonder if it did taste good. Probably tasted like green persimmons but, buddy, I never would have admitted it. I would have eaten it if it would have tasted like cow's dung. Enough of the peach. I think I remember forgiving you for your ugly actions by giving you some of my delicious peaches that a friend so graciously gave me. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed them and realized what a sweet, loving, forgiving sister you have. Even though that's not all the tricks you pulled on me. You probably don't remember tying my feet together so we could jump through the house. I guess it was you. I sure couldn't tie my own feet together. Anyway, it so happened that as I got good and tied up so I couldn't run, but all I could do was hop, hop, hop, that Mamma decided she had enough of our foolishness and out came the switch, out of mid-air, and as you and Lucille, (I suppose you were the two culprits) took off running on two good, free legs while I came hopping behind and got the brunt of that miserable old switch. I can almost feel it yet. Now, doesn't that make you feel ashamed? How you treated your poor, little innocent sister who always was so kind and sweet to you. Everything I did, you tattled on me. Of course I didn't do anything worthy to be tattled on, but you would find something and be like the old tattler's wagon, and I, the little innocent victim, would be severely punished. Shame! Shame! Shame! Don't your conscience hurt as you recall all the mean stunts you pulled on me? Especially, since I never retaliated in any way, just took it on the chin like a sweet girl (well, not on the chin but I took it on my hinder part). It's a wonder I survived, but somehow I did and lived to tell it. Like the time you and I were hunting the cows and got lost. I kept telling you that we were going the wrong direction, but, of course, you were older, and knew it all so I had to keep following you, knowing we were going wrong. Anyway, you finally listened to me (for one time in your life) and went the way I said, and we made it home before dark (without any cows. They probably had already beat us home and were already milked and were lying down chewing their cud.) Another time, me and you and Lucille, the trio, were gone in the woods hunting cows and Tom Joe met us when we came back ready to push us in the water as we crossed a log that had fallen over a creek. He ran across about half-way, laughing as he came, thinking of his good joke, and his foot slipped and down into the creek he slipped. He said, "Ugh-gh-gh-gh-gh" as he went under and we were like the three Billy Goat Gruffs as we ran across laughing our heads off (almost). I reminded him of this little stunt at the reunion. I don't know if he remembered it or not, but he'll remember it now. Like he and Buddy Conn tearing up our play houses. I told him of that, too. Poor old Tom Joe! I hope he's doing fine. Do you remember the time we went through the woods looking in all the stump holes to see if we could find a baby? That's where we were told they came from and we wanted to find Mamma one as she didn't have enough. Times have changed now. I saw a doll someone got for Christmas. And she had a big belly. Somehow, they would move her dress or do something and get the baby out of her stomach. Which is the worse? We were so ignorant and kids today know it all. Pitiful! Were you with us the day we decided to go for a ride with two boys? It was on Sunday afternoon and we knew Daddy and Mamma would never hear of such a thing, so we walked through the woods and met them on the highway. I can't remember how we let them know where we would meet them. It certainly wasn't by telephone. Seems like it was Two-Cents Hooter and Noel Somebody. I think Margaret Reed was with us. Anyway, they picked us up and we were driving peacefully down the road, and lo and behold, we had a flat. Of course, we didn't have an extra, so what were we to do? We had to get home for we were scared to death of what was going to happen to us anyway, for pulling a stunt like we were pulling. Anyway, there was nothing to do but come home on the flat. What a noise as we drove down the road in that old rattletrap car with a flat tire. Little ignorant kids! We were singing "Coming in on a flat and a prayer." But we made it and didn't get caught, but we never pulled that stunt again. I don't know how Noel made out with his borrowed car. I know it wasn't Two-Cents because he couldn't even afford a stamp to write me a letter. It was in the mailbox and I can't remember it all, but I do remember he said he put some vaseline on the stamp to make it stick (was probably a used one). It made me so disgusted until I never wanted to see Two-Cents again. Poor ole fellow! I should have been ashamed. He was probably almost as poor as we were. I just remember -- the song we sang as we came home on the flat was supposed to be "Coming in on a wing and a prayer" but we sang, "Coming in on a flat with no spare." Boy, if Mamma would have known what her little darlings have done, she would have probably done us what she threatened to do one day when we kept giggling and laughing. She said she felt like beating us to death and throwing us over the fence. Ha. Can you believe our dear sweet mother saying that? We did laugh then. We got hysterical. I think she even smiled then. Ha; it was really hilarious, like Lucille saying she was treated like a _____ little old rabbit. I don't know how a rabbit is treated but I know one thing, I wanted to treat her like something the day you and I were lying on the floor and she sat on our heads and peed on us. Wasn't that a nerve? The little rat. Lucille and I were next to each other in our age so when Aunt Viola got some little girl dresses from someone she worked for, though they just fit Lucille, I got half of them. Of course, they were way too short for me but I wore them anyway. One day, one of my classmates, Maggie Dell Walker, got mad at me, and told me, "You think you are smart because you wear short dresses". Ha. She didn't know I wore short dresses because it was all I had to wear. I remember in the sixth grade, I had two dresses to my name. I wore one two days and the other I wore three days. At midterm, Oma took one of her old green skirts and made me a skirt and bought me a sweater to go with it and, brother, I thought I was the most dressed up kid at Tioga School. I wasn't like Bertie -- Daddy bought her a pair of shoes and naturally, he always bought them bigger than our foot so we could wear them longer. (Of course they usually wore out before we grew into them). Anyway, one day she was late for the bus and was running the best she could with her big shoes and someone yelled, "If you'd kick off those big old shoes, you could run faster." I know that really made her feel better. 1 guess we took quite a bit of ribbing since we were so desperately poor, but one day we got a real treat. Somehow, Mamma and Daddy managed to buy us a loaf of real light bread, and instead of having biscuits and a fried pie in our lunch, we had some real light bread sandwiches. Every day my friend, Minnie Lee Phillips and I halved our sandwiches, and traded with each other, but today I wasn't about to half my light bread sandwiches with Minnie Lee Phillips, so when dinner came, I ran and hid (way up on a platform where everyone could see me with light bread sandwiches). Needless to say, Minnie Lee Phillips saw me too, and demanded half of my sandwiches. Can you believe it? I had to come across. Boy, did that ever hurt? Lorraine Jordon use to buy a loaf of bread every day at the commissary to fix their lunches. She would open it on the bus and eat the end slice (which we throw away now) and, oh, how I would drool as I watched her eat that piece of bread. I remember when we had to start going into the gym to eat our lunch. By then, most everybody (but us) had graduated to light bread. We still brought our two biscuits and fried pie. I ate my fried pie for recess and, at dinner, I threw my two biscuits away because I was ashamed to eat biscuits with almost everyone else eating their light bread sandwiches. One day, a boy reached over and got my lunch as I tossed it into the trash. He opened it and turned and stared at me. I felt like sinking through the seat. Shame on me! Now, I'd like to have one of those good old biscuit sandwiches instead of light bread. Speaking of eating! Remember how when we had company, we kids would have to wait until the grown people ate before we could have anything – I remember one day Aunt Viola (I don't remember who else) was eating with us, and when they got through, they kept sitting around the table talking and we poor little kids were about to starve to death (we thought). How we looked longingly at that table spread with food and wished they would get their fat selves up from that table and let us have a few crumbs. Ha. How times have changed!!! But some traditions have been handed down from one generation to the next, like good old chicken and dumplings. Mamma usually killed a hen on Sunday since we had no refrigeration. I remember Lucille and I would go to church on Sunday morning and our friend was Maybelle Roshto. She would come home with us every Sunday, and, at times Mamma wouldn't want us to bring her home. We would take off running as soon as church was over, but she would catch up with us and we would head for home knowing we were going to catch it when she left. But she liked chicken and dumplings, too, and that was one sure way to get some. I'm sure Oma and Lois (I think it was Lois) remembers the good meals cooked with chicken because they found a BIG old black hen one day in the woods. It must have been crippled because they were able to chase it down and bring it home. When they proudly presented it to Daddy, he was very arrogant about it and they were told to take that -- thing back to the woods, that it was a buzzard. That Daddy was something else. As he got older, he couldn't hear good, he said. One day, Lois and I were on the front porch and Daddy was outside. Lois asked me something about the peas that Daddy had a whole bunch of. I kinda whispered to her, "Lois, I really don't know what I'm going to do with any more peas." I hated to tell Daddy I didn't need anymore after he was so sweet to raise them for his kids. Anyway, after I whispered (I thought) to Lois, Daddy, who was in the yard and couldn't hear, hollered out to me, "Georgie, if you don't want those -- peas, you certainly don't have to have them". Was I ever got away with? Lois was my other Mamma. I slept with her as long as she was home. When she went to work, someone got in the bed with me up in the night one night and I thought my dear Lois had come home. I hugged her and hugged her saying, "My dear sweet Lois. My dear sweet Lois." Lois was the one who bought my graduation ring. She helped us all she could. I think she made $30.00 a month, working at the State Colony. I bought my own High School graduation gown. I was working on Saturdays at Kress making $1.98 a week. It took 30 cents of this to catch the bus to go get my check every week. That left me $1.68.That left me with the big sum of 68¢ a week for spending money, and $1.00 a week to pay on my graduation gown. But I made it and I was as dressed up as anybody else around. I still have pictures of me dressed in my pretty satin, pink graduation gown. Boy, was I ever pretty???? I couldn't always boast of being so pretty in my beautiful clothes, though. I remember once not having a coat to wear to school, and Mamma made me one out of an old gray army blanket. Boy, did people stare and openly make fun of me! As they did, my new overalls Mamma made me. She dyed some white feed sacks blue and proceeded to make me a pair of overalls so I could be like all the other little girls. Well, I was like all the other little girls, alright. The first place, she didn't have enough material to make the legs, so she just sewed some from about the knees on down. It was the same kind but had this big seam in it. I remember even the boys laughing and making fun of my overalls. Needless to say, that wasn't my favorite apparel after that. I finally made enough money to buy me a nice outfit with a real nice sweater. Boy, I turned some heads in that outfit – that is, until I washed my sweater. It drew up until it would probably not have fit old Tom. I was absolutely sick. I hung it up and tied some irons on the tail of it to stretch it but that didn't work very well, so there went my only decent set of clothes that I ever remember owning when I was in school, unless it was the skirt and sweater that Oma got for me in the sixth grade, the skirt she made from one of her skirts. I might have had another decent outfit or two since we had to pick cotton to buy ourselves school clothes. I remember being an A-One cotton picker. One time I out-picked everybody, grown people and all. They just couldn't understand it. Weighed my cotton over and over to make sure they didn't make a mistake. We also picked blackberries and sold to Mrs. Jordan for 10 cents a gallon. Once when she paid us, Bertie needed some money for something and Mamma gave Bertie our hard-earned blackberry money. To get school supplies, we brought hen eggs to the commissary at Tioga and traded them for writing paper, pencils, or what have you – School days were something else. I remember the first day I ever went - how I hated it and hated to be away from my Mamma. I remember getting off the bus, running all the way home, climbing over some steps by the big pecan tree and going in the house and telling Mamma I was never going back as I had to stay at that school "tree" hours. She didn't make me go back that year. Good ole Mamma!! It was fun staying home. Lucille and I could play with our pet pigs that Daddy gave us. We named them Pork Chops and Spare Ribs. How we loved those pigs. We would scratch their bellies and they loved it. Would lie down and let us scratch as long as we pleased. And would you believe?? One day, they got to be grown hogs, but, of course, we still loved our Pork Chops and Spare Ribs. Then lo and behold, we got up one morning and our pigs were nowhere to be seen. Can you believe Daddy killed our pets and scraped off their hide and we had to help eat those pigs. What a low blow! It took a long time to get over that one. But in spite of the hardships, we had lots of fun. Tom Joe was usually our best playmate. We were playing "Ghosts" in the barn one day, and we would holler, "There's a ghost" and then we would run jump out the door. I decided to have some fun, so I went to the house and got a white rag and tied it around my hand and went back and climbed under the barn, and stuck my hand through a hole and wiggled it. One of them hollered, "There's a ghost", and about that time, I wiggled my fingers, and they yelled as loud as they could, "There's a ghost.” and ran screaming out of the barn. I got so scared that 1 crawled out from under that barn as quickly as I could. I scared my own self. Everette always bragged on Lucille, how she could beat me up. I was always scared I'd hurt her and get myself a good beating. But one day I got tired of Everette saying how Lucille could beat me up, so I picked a fight out of her and brought her in front of Everette and gave her one good licking. I don't know if Mamma whipped me or not. I remember one day she was whipping several of us for something and as she got ahold of one of you, I made a bee-line into my room and grabbed my overalls off the nail and was pulling on my poor naked legs when she came after me. She got so tickled, the best I can remember, she could hardly whip me. Reminds me of the time my kids got into something and I whipped one and started after Barry. He ran and jumped on the bottom bunk bed, knowing I couldn't raise my switch very high or I would hit the other bunk. When I came after him, he started saying, "You're sweet, Mamma. You're sweet, Mamma. Who can whip a child telling you how sweet you are? I forget to mention when I was talking about playing in the barn one time, Uncle Harvey Roshto came to see us and he was drunk. One of the bigger girls took us to the barn to hide and we were watching him through the cracks. He started swinging around one of the posts on the front porch and he fell out in the yard with a thud. We all laughed and laughed. I have some unique memories about some of our kinfolks. Elizabeth used to come and gossip. Mamma wouldn't let us stay in the house and listen like we would have liked to do, so I remember hiding under the front porch so I could hear all the latest gossip. I remember once Liz got mad at Mamma and was yelling at her. She was somewhere on that trail between our house and hers. Mamma was a peace-loving person, so Lois took it up. All I can remember is Liz saying Mamma wasn't a lady about something, and Lois stomping her feet going down that trail and yelling, "My mamma is a lady". I can't remember too much about my older sisters but I remember Edith telling about getting in the china berry tree and took a notion she had to use the bath room, and just as she let it fly, Daddy (I think it was) walked under the tree and was showered. You can guess what happened after that. I wonder what happened to those old china berry trees. Maybe they burned when the old house burned. Wasn't that pitiful? Poor old Mamma had been cleaning and had a box of old newspapers sitting on the table and when the house caught on fire, she grabbed that old box of newspapers and made a fast exit. She said later she thought it was a box of groceries. Elaine and Billie were down on the creek somewhere and when they found out the house was afire, they ran and grabbed their dolls and took off. I guess it was the first decent doll they ever had. Like the doll I got that was all bent up and they told me Santa Claus fell down the chimney and bent up my doll and I believed it. Well, did he?? I had another little doll I got for Christmas and we went to Aunt Ruby's and I went out to the toilet with Catherine. Her dress caught my doll and threw it into the old deep toilet hole and I never saw it again. It broke my heart, but Aunt Fannie promised me another, so that consoled me somewhat, but of course, she died before she bought it. Like Elizabeth! She used to get us to do her work for her as she was on the lazy side (like me) and she'd promise us something pretty when she went to town. We'd work ourselves silly and then wait and wait for her to go to town. Finally, the day arrived and we would wait all day to see what she was going to get us. When she came home, we'd make a bee line to her house and wait for our gift. Of course, she didn't have anything. Never intended to buy us anything. Just wanted us to do her work. Anyway, dear old Daddy always brought us a 10 cent bag of candy when he came from work. We used to wait for him at the bend of the road. We always brought Spot or Lep or whatever his name was and he could let us know when Daddy was coming. He would start wagging his tail when he heard his truck, over by Baily Branch. We would all get real excited and start jumping up and down waiting for him to arrive. He wou1d stop and pick us up and when we got home, Mamma would divide out the candy. Of course, Tom Joe always showed up to get his share and we would get so mad. While Daddy rested, we had to scratch the red bugs off his legs and get him some coffee and cool water. Daddy usually bought all the groceries, too. He could get a sack of flour, 25 pounds, for 25 cents. The way we made coffee was on a wood stove in an old black aluminum pot. We would put the last grounds in the pot and put water on it and boil it and pour it over fresh grounds. We took turns in the mornings. Daddy would wake us up about 4 o'clock in the morning and we would have to get up in the freezing cold and build a fire in the stove and put on coffee. We would then hop back in bed and go to sleep. Soon, he would be yelling at us to get out of bed and get that coffee made. Our fire would be gone out so we would have to start over. Oh, what a time we had until Dear old Mom would come to our rescue. Bless her memory! Speaking of a wood stove, I was one of the ones designated to help saw wood. I remember how Lucille and I would don our wood-cutting clothes and off we would go to saw wood. Daddy was on one end of the saw and one of us on the other. Lucille always did everything perfect, according to Daddy, but old Georgie rode the saw and didn't have enough sense to saw a stick of firewood. Uh, how hard I tried! I would have given anything to hear Daddy brag on me just one time like he did Lucille, but alas, my dream was never realized. I, seemingly, was always the world's worst wood-cutter. But it didn't stop him from taking me to the woods every time there was wood to be cut. Wood-cutting wasn't the only duty I had. We took turns washing the dishes as we did building a fire and making coffee. It was my time to wash them and I forget whose time it was to dry them but I'm inclined to think it was Delia's. Anyway, I kept washing and piling them up in the drying pan, and hollering for Delia to come on, but she paid me no attention. Finally, I washed Mamma's big old milk crock and piled it on the already filled pan. Needless to say, it crashed to the floor and broke into a jillion pieces, and when Mamma got through with me, I felt like I was in about as many pieces as the bowl. I always blamed Delia for that whipping. I felt it belonged to her. but she got off scott-free. Another task we performed was helping Mamma pick geese. We would chase them down and hold their legs apart for Mamma to pluck the feathers for pillows or for feather mattresses. I remember one day handing her a goose and she said, "This is the one I've been wanting to get to the whole time." We asked why. We couldn't understand what was different about that goose and the rest. She looked at us and laughed, and said, "Because this is the last one." Reason enough, don't you think? Do you remember the trips to Aunt Susie and Uncle Jeff's? Oh, how scared I was of that bayou! We would hoop and holler until Billie would answer us, and then here she would come over to get us. Once over, I was thrilled. They could cook the best meals. Then every once in awhile, Mamma would let us spend the night and Billie could make the most delicious homemade candy with that thick cream that they separated from the milk in their milk separator. I used to love to watch them do this, and then Uncle Jeff would take the cream to town every so often and sell it to help them survive. Oh, the good old days. Now, our deep freezes bulge with things we get on quick sale and don't need, but it's such a good deal so we get it, whether we need it or not. Which reminds me, someone just called me and told me that Super One has some sausage on quick sale for 69 cents a pound so I'd better quit for now and go buy some for I only have about ten or so pounds and I might run out. Besides I just made some room in my freezer. I gave 2 cakes and a pie to the Trochees next door as I bought them on quick sale and couldn't handle them all but I just couldn't pass up that good bargain. Also, I found some walnuts, shelled, on sale today so I got a bunch of them. Of course, I've still got some from last year but these will keep a long time in the freezer and I just might need them. Who knows? That's why I got rid of the cakes, to make room for the walnuts. But we'll soon have plenty of room anyway. Someone gave Randy a chest type freezer and he has an upright that he's giving to us. We already have two chest types but they are both chop-the-block, so we need another. Now, we'll have plenty of room. (for a week or so). Pitiful! Most of us girls liked to go to church. Of course, we would have to walk as there was no other way to get there. Except one time, I remember Daddy decided he would attend a revival meeting that they were having. So, we all loaded up on his old flat-bed truck and went to church, every night as I remember. But as far as I know, that was the last time Daddy took us to church. I enjoyed going to Sunday School. My teacher was Mr. Matt Roshto. He had us memorize a Scripture verse to say when he called our name. I was always one to love attention, (I guess there were so many kids at home until I didn't get very much). Anyway, I tried to memorize the longest Scriptures in the Bible so he would brag on me. I still remember one I quoted to him one morning and was really bragged on. It was, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." Because of Adam's and Eve's disobedience, we have had to earn our living by the sweat of our brow from that day forward, I guess it was good for us to learn verses from the Bible for what else would have stayed with me for over sixty years? Speaking of showing out, when I was in High School, the boys had a big hole of water that they would put a pole in when they took gym, and swing across it. It seemed to me that they did it with such ease, that one day while we girls were taking gym that I decided I would try it. So I got the big, long pole and stuck it in the middle of the mud hole and made my swing and, lo and behold, it just didn't work like it did for those boys, and just as I got right in the middle of the pond, my pole stuck and there I was suspended with nothing to do but slide down the pole into that nasty, muddy water. Talking about being embarrassed and everybody was howling. I crawled out looking like our old hogs that use to wallow in the mire. My teacher was trying to be mad and bawl me out but all she could do was laugh hysterically like the rest. I remember Elizabeth Wooley lying down on the ground and laughing. She thought it was so hilarious. I don't remember cracking a smile. Anyway, I was sent to the Home Economics building to wash and dry my clothes as there was no more to put on. You'd think that would have cured me forever of trying to show out, but would you believe that, not long after that, we were playing ball at school in a big, open field and I was catching. I don't know why they let me catch, as I sure couldn't catch anything. Anyway, a huge old billy-goat came strolling across the field, and all those silly little girls started running and screaming, but not old brave Georgia. She just held her ground to let everybody know how big and brave she was. That big old goat came up behind me and put those old horns between my legs and lifted me completely off the ground. Can you believe I was so stupid? But at least I got the attention and that was what I was after. Speaking of the goat, that reminds me of the cow that used to drink our bath water. We would put a zinc tub of water in the sun to warm for us nine or ten kids to take a bath (the first one got clean, the second, maybe. By, the fifth or sixth, the water was pretty thick (ha )). Anyway, sometimes, the old cow would come by and see our water warming in the sun and about drink it all up. Boy, were we mad? Saturday nights were usually our bath nights. The other times we had a small basin that we took what we called "spit baths". We would wash off the best we could and make do. Our drinking water was in a large granite bucket with a community dipper. Everybody drank from the same dipper and put it back in the big bucket. And yet, people were a lot healthier then than now. I remember going to the doctor only once in my lifetime at home (other than a tonsil operation). I had a tremendous swelling under my neck that was awfully painful, so Mamma and Daddy took me to a doctor. Otherwise. when we got sick, we just took doses of Asphidity and Quinine or some kind of pills that we couldn't swallow, so Mamma hid them in clabber and we slurped them down. Nowaday, kids wouldn't drink clabber, not even good old butter milk. But back there, it was either drink clabber or else because there was no refrigeration. The only time we had fresh milk was right after the cow was milked. It was nice and warm then and oh, so delicious. Once we managed an ice box, and would have ice delivered twice a week to put in the ice compartment. It might last a day or so, then everything would sour, but we sure enjoyed it while it lasted. Aunt Viola used to put her milk in a gallon jar and tie a string around the top and put it in the old spring. Believe it or not, it stayed pretty cool. Our lightning system consisted of coal-oil lamps with globes (sometimes). The old lamp globes would get so black with smut, and oh, how I hated to wash those black things. Most of the time, we just used them without globes. Feature trying to get lessons with an old coal-oil lamp and no globe. But we did it and somehow I managed to get all the way through High School and graduated seventh in my class. Believe it or not! I thought anybody that had curls when I was in school was rich, so I had to figure out a way to get me some curls. Finally, I found a way. You could take those long pieces of tin that you unwound potted meat with and wrap them in paper, and they made good hair rollers. Believe it or not, we slept in those things. Don't ask me how we stood it. I don't know, The main thing was we had curls the next day. Beautiful, lovely unmanageable, kinky curls. At last, we were it! We ironed our clothes (what we had) with flat irons which we heated on top of the wood stove. Oh, how many times would we run that hot iron across one of our precious pieces of clothes and there would be a streak of smut left behind, almost impossible to get off. Did I hear someone say, "Those were the good old days'?" Do you remember a party Lois gave one night and we all went down, including Daddy. He had indulged in a little too much "minerals". Lois had some cool drinks in a big old tub with some ice to keep them cold (no refrigeration). Daddy reached behind him to find a chair to sit in and he felt the edge of the tub, and thinking it was a chair, he backed up and sat down. It was the tub of ice water and he sunk to the bottom. Needless to say, he dismissed himself and went home. I don't remember if we laughed then or not as we knew what we were allowed to do and what we couldn't, but I tell you it has furnished many good laughs since then. Speaking of Lois. they once lived in a little three-room shot gun house with a curtain in between the kitchen and middle room. They would take a bath in a zinc tub in the kitchen. One evening, Mike came in with poison ivy all over him and someone told him a cure. I can't remember what the cure was but it was something to put in his bath water. On second thought, I think it was coppus. Anyway, he proceeds to put a good quantity in his bath water to try to relieve him of his terrible discomfort. When the water filled with coppus touched his sensitive skin, he jumped out of that water and went running from one side of that little kitchen to the other, screaming bloody murder at the top of his lungs. I don’t know how long he leaped and ran, but he had company, and it was quite hard to suppress some laughter on the other side of that curtain as the yells were heard repeatedly and he could be seen passing that curtain time and again in the suit he was born in. I think Bean Devore and Ann were there that night. I can remember some funny things in my past life. Mamma and I went to the doctor one day. She was going for a check-up and I was her chauffer. I had a frozen shoulder, and I remember warning her not to fall as I would be unable to catch her with that frozen shoulder. Well, we made it fine until we got back to Tioga and stopped at a Drug store. There was a step-up there and Mamma couldn’t see well, and missed the step-up and fell. Well I did the thing I had warned her I couldn’t do and reached down to catch her and pulled my frozen arm. I nearly went into orbit. Oh, how that hurt! I just fell down beside her and there we both lay. She finally wallowed around and got up and stood looking down at me. I said, “Mamma, I’ll be alright in a minute. Don’t worry about me.” Finally, I was able to get up. As I did, I looked in the Drug Store and they were laughing. I didn’t appreciate that but what could I do? Later, we were gathered at Mamma’s and I was telling Bertie about it. She said, “Be quiet. I want to have some fun.” So she got Mamma’s attention and proceeds to tell her tale. She said, “I have a friend that works in the bank (near the Drug Store where we fell) and she said the other day that she looked out the window and there were two old drunk ladies wallowing around on the pavement in front of Pearson’s Drug.” Mamma looked at her so funny and dropped her head on the table and didn’t say a word. Bertie started laughing and said, “Mamma, that wasn’t you, was it?” Mamma didn’t say a word. After a good laugh, she let her know she was just picking at her. Speaking of Bertie: Remember the time she was sleeping on the front porch (no screens, no nothing) and had her arms back over her head, and an old cow or horse sauntered by and woke her up licking her hands. I don’t know how she could sleep anyway for the mosquitoes, but somehow, we survived. We would pile up piles of cow manure just before dark and light a match to it. This was supposed to keep the mosquitoes away. Whether it did or not, nobody knows. Remember the time we made the play house under the pecan tree and were going to sleep out there that night. Before dark, we made our beds and climbed in but it was a different tale when the darkness settled and the mosquitoes started swarming. One by one, we found our way through the dark and safely back to our regular bed. Mamma knew we’d be back all the time. Ha!! I wonder how even we could cope if suddenly we had to go back to the “good old days”. Remember how we had to either get our water from a spring or a well. Fortunately, we had a well and would draw the water with a rope pulley and a big long well bucket. (I think we still have one). Sometimes, we would muddy the well and have to wait until it cleared before we could use it. Sometimes, the rope would be old and rotten and would break and go to the bottom of the well. Daddy would get an old hook and put it on a rope and fish for the bucket until he caught it and brought it safely to the top. Of course, by then, the well would be muddy again and we would have to wait a day or so until it cleared. To wash, we had two zinc tubs and a rub-board. We’d sort out our clothes and start rubbing them on that old rub-board. Incidentally, I still have one of those, too. Our dirtiest clothes were boiled in an old black pot (which I have one, too). It would take us all day to wash, hanging the clothes on a line which often broke just as we got it full. Then, what a time we’d have, rinsing every thing again. We always had lots of chickens running around in the yard plus some cats, dogs, a goat or two, pigs, cows, horses, and what have you. I remember an old goat getting in the house one day and jumped right up in the middle of the bed. Boy, did we give him a chase!! Not only did the goat get in, but a few times, we found a snake in. the house. With no screens, we could expect any kind of a guest. Mamma reached in a chicken nest once without looking and her hand touched a coiled-up chicken snake. Needless to say, she didn’t argue with him over who could have the egg. Speaking of the snakes, were you playing in the barn with us the day we were swinging on a sack filled with other sacks? Daddy kept to gather his produce. Anyway, hanging from the ceiling, it made a wonderful swing. We were taking turns swinging when all of a sudden, one of the old rotten sacks split open and a big old snake stuck his old black head out. It liked to have scared us to death. That finished our play in the barn for a while. We had to find ways to entertain ourselves back in those days. We didn’t have as much as a radio for years. But finally Daddy managed to buy one, I think the first one in our community. Do you remember how mad it made Mamma because she didn’t have chairs in the house and here he buys a radio. I remember how she went in and sat on the floor in front of the radio to get her point across about the chairs. But anyway, we enjoyed it. People would come Saturday night to listen at the Grand Ole Opry. While Lois was playing dominoes with her boyfriend or listening to the radio, I would lie down at her feet waiting for her to go to bed with me as she was one of my bed partners. (I think I had a couple more as about four of us slept in one bed. I was a bed-wetter so everybody hated to sleep with me but dear old Lois loved me and put up with me). I remember one night, people assembled at Wilder Vaughn’s to watch a fight with Joe Louis and somebody, and just as they settled down, Joe Louis knocked him out in the first round, so that ended that little party. Daddy enjoyed sports. He had a big flat bed truck that he used to make a living with, and he used this to haul the Rigolette team to their ball games. I think they each paid him a nickel or dime for gas, if they had it, and if not, they could ride free. Daddy was a hard worker. Besides making cross-ties for a living, he farmed his forty-eight acre farm (with Mamma and the kids’ help). I remember him raising lots of watermelons and sometimes he would peddle them to get a few dimes, but most of the time, he was very generous in giving them to all the neighbors. But he hated for anyone to steal from him. Once, he found a real long tennis shoe track in his field, and somehow he figured out who the culprit was who stole his melons. I never found out how the daddy of the boy found out, but I remember him marching the boy to our house and making him confess it and apologize. I don’t remember if he offered to pay or not, but I’m sure Daddy wouldn’t have taken any money. His ego was satisfied when he had to confess. Speaking of watermelons, I remember hearing Doc Roshto telling how he was once crawling through Albert Holland’s watermelon patch to steal a melon. He was crawling so Mr. Albert couldn’t see him. He said all of a sudden he saw a pair of shoes in his path, and looking up, he saw a man, Mr. Albert. I remember how we laughed when he dared to tell that on himself. Watermelons were the big thing back then on the Fourth of July. We really celebrated with what we had to celebrate with. We usually made homemade ice cream. They didn’t make Blue Bell then, nor would we have been able to afford it. So, we took a big zinc tub and filled it with ice, and put several gallon buckets with tight lids on them and someone would sit or kneel by the tub and turn them around and around until we felt they were frozen. Boy, would our mouth water as we waited for that ice cream. After an hour or two, we would conclude it was ready, and all of us would gather around with our bowls and spoons and wait for our helping.The time that I remember the most vividly was the time that salt got in all the ice cream and it was awful and we had to feed it to the hogs. Talk about a bunch of sick little kids (as well as dear old Mamma. She loved homemade ice cream more than anything I know.) Anyway we lived to tell it though it was one of the most disappointing times of my life. Even though we celebrated the Fourth and a few other of the more important holidays, we hardly ever celebrated birthdays much. I guess we were too poor for gifts, but sometimes, Mamma would make us a cake. We hardly ever had enough sugar to use so she would substitute sorghum molasses for sugar. We called it a syrup cake. We ate it. Whether we really enjoyed it or not, I cannot say. I don’t notice any of this type at our birthday gatherings now-a-days when we meet for each of the sisters’ birthday. I remember only one time receiving a gift as a child. That gift was a small saucer that Mamma had gotten out of oatmeal (Remember how they use to put little glasses, saucers, and cups in oatmeal. My, my, it’s a wonder they didn’t break and get glass all in the oats, but I never remember finding a broken one. I still have some little dessert dishes that came out of oatmeal. No telling what they’re worth). Anyway, back to my saucer. I was as proud of that as I would be a hundred dollar bill today. I kept it for years. I don’t know what happened to it unless it burned up when the house burned down. Anyway, it made a little girl happy for many years.
If you have noticed, I have not made any paragraphs. I did this purposely as I tried to continue on from one subject to the other, combining them as many happy or funny memories along life’s way. Being a sister of eight more sisters and two brothers, there’s been lots of fun times to tell. But there comes an end to all things. And I’m coming to the end of what I remember. I’m sure my older sisters could add much more and probably my younger brothers and sisters. Welcome to add all you want. I will enjoy reading it as I hope you do this. I did not want to close this manuscript without mentioning the dark part of our life and that is about “Little Bill”. After seven girls, Mamma had a little boy. Oh, how happy we were. I remember Daddy standing at the foot of her bed (folks didn’t go to the hospital then to have babies. They were born at home with the help of a midwife.) Anyway, Daddy stood there with the biggest grin on his face and said, “Let’s just call him Little Bill” after him, as everyone called him “Bill”. Anyway, “Little Bill” it was. He was the joy of our life. I was about four or five, so can’t remember much but I do remember Mamma making him little dresses that we called aprons, to wear. I remember when he started to walk, how we’d tell him, “Stand up, Little Bill, and show us your new dress. He would slowly get to his feet and look around at us as if to say “See, I did it.” Anyway, Little Bill took pneumonia and was very, very sick. They didn’t have the proper antibiotics then or else we didn’t have any money. So, he got worse and worse. One night, Uncle Albert was sitting up with him and Uncle Albert said, “Artie, he’s’ gone”. Oh, what sadness that brought to our family. I can still remember them laying him out, I think on top of the sewing machine. But one consolation is that he’s in Heaven and if we live for God, we can go to see him someday. Mamma was sad, sad after this. I remember seeing her cry one morning in the kitchen after he was gone. Uh, how it hurt me to see my Mamma cry. But God sent her two more little girls after this and, in the end, sent two little boys. I understand they were quite a handful to her in her old age, but she surely loved them and did all she could for them. One by one, we all married and left home. Daddy passed away first and then dear old Mom. I remember I went to see her one day not long before she died, and she was defrosting her refrigerator. I could tell she wasn’t feeling well, so I offered to do it for her My back was to her as I worked but I was talking to her. All at once, she stopped talking. I turned and I could see something was wrong. I went to her and tried to talk to her but she couldn’t respond. I thought, “Oh me, what can I do?” I got her under the arms and prayed for God to help me get her to bed. I don’t know how I did it but, with God’s help, I got her to the bed. She said she came to as I was putting her on the bed. I then called Edith and I can’t remember if we took her to the doctor or she got better, but anyway, that was the beginning of the end. She didn’t live much longer. She died in the hospita1 nineteen years ago last month. Bless her sweet memory.
I will bring this young book to an end. I have enjoyed writing it and hope you enjoy reading it. Danny read part of it when he was here and asked me to keep a copy for my descendants to read. This will probably be as close to a book of our past as I will ever write. So, enjoy it!
Have a Happy Birthday!!
Your loving sister,
P.S. I decided to come out in the open and sign my name since I get blamed for everything anyway.
A Tribute for William F. McCain
(Given at funeral of father-in-law of author on Jan. 2, 1989)
Due to the fact that the church Papa attended as long as he was physically able, the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Tioga, is presently without a pastor, the family of the deceased has requested me as one, closely associated with Papa, and also a member of the same church he was affiliated with, to say a few words in his behalf. Also, I am representing my son, Danny, who for years expressed the desire to preach Papa’s funeral when he passed on, but is presently serving in missionary work in Nigeria, Africa. He doesn’t even know that Papa is deceased.
In preparing this little memorial, several thoughts came to my mind concerning Papa. First, his relationship to God. Second, his meekness. Third, his love of peace, and fourth, his loving, his caring and his sharing.
In Revelations 3:20, we read, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.”
There was a time in Papa’s life when he heard the knock of Jesus on his heart’s door and let Him in. It was during a revival at our little church in the year 1970. God placed a burden on my heart for Papa Though he was an exceptionally good moral man, didn’t smoke, curse, or steal, was kind and considerate and worked hard to support his family, Papa had never been saved. In fact, I had never known him to go to church. I spoke to my husband telling him of my burden. We agreed to invite Papa to the revival and furnish him transportation. He agreed to come and the second night he came, he was converted.
After his conversion, he attended church regularly, always sat on the front bench and was prompt to testify at every opportunity. His testimony usually went something like this. “I want to stand up here and tell you I am a Christian. I was saved right here at this church.” And he would always add, “and I’m still saved.”
Once, an older evangelist held a revival for us and he made the statement that Papa was the oldest convert that he’d seen. Papa commented, “I’m glad I’m that person.” He was happy in his new found experience.
After church, our family always took Papa home for dinner. His favorite food was turnip greens and corn bread, which I added to our menu every Sunday. He would always show appreciation for the meal by commenting, “A good dinner, Georgia, a good dinner”.
Papa always asked for prayer as long as we was responsive, When we would visit, he would say, “Will you pray for me before you go?” Of course, it was a pleasure.
Oh, the great mercy of God to reach down to an old 88 year old man and pluck him as a brand from the burning. If any of you are up in the years and feel your life is spent and you have left God out and there’s no hope, just consider the mercy extended Papa and know the same God will extend mercy to you if you will give Him a chance.
The second thing I want to note about Papa was his meekness. Let us read a few verses from Numbers 12:1-9:
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, “Hath the Lord spoken only by Moses?Hath he not spoken also by us?” And the Lord heard it. 3 – (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth). 4 – And the Lord spoke suddenly to Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, “Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5 – And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. 6 – And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make it known unto him in vision, and will speak to him in a dream. 7 – My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold; wherefore then were we not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9 – And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed.
We notice in the first two verses that Moses’ brother and sister spoke against Moses but he did not retaliate in any way nor did he complain to God. Verse 3 says Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
When it came to defending God’s cause, Moses stood straight and tall like when the people made the golden calf to worship. Moses renounced it boldly, but when it came to defending himself, he said absolutely nothing. But though Moses said nothing, God did. His anger was kindled against Aaron and Miriam. He defended his servant, Moses.
I feel sure that many times God took notice of Papa when people would perhaps criticize or misunderstand him, and Papa would say nothing. If Moses was the meekest man on earth, Papa must have run a close second. I have been in the family for 42 years and not one time have I seen him ruffled. I’ve never heard him argue or fuss with anyone. Never has he tried to defend himself. He had an excellent spirit as did Daniel and was gifted with the virtue of meekness. 1 Peter 3:4 tells us that a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Timothy 6:11-13 exhorts us to “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.”
I feel that Papa has laid hold on the eternal life he has striven for and is now at rest with Jesus.
The third thing we want to notice about Papa was his love of peace. Roman 12:18 reads, “If it be possible as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,” Proverbs 16:7 reads, “when a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
If Papa had an enemy, God evidently kept him at peace with him for he was one person on earth who, seemingly, had no enemies. He strove to get along with everybody. He expressed his love for peace in an interview for a newspaper on his 95th birthday. I quote, “W.F. McCain, Pineville, does not want to hassle anyone and he does not want anyone hassling him.” “Avoid confusion,” he often repeated in an interview Monday. “It’s not necessary to always be arguing and fighting. Treat everybody right and go to church. Avoid confusion.” End quote.
Not only was Papa a peace-loving man but he was a non-complaining person. Though the last two and one-half years of his life was spent in bed with tube feeding, not once did he ever complain, never did you hear Papa say, “this old tube stuck in my nose is driving me nuts – this bed is too hard – these bed sores are hurting me, – my roommate is a nuisance – I’m too hot or too cold”. All the legitimate complaints of an elderly rest home patient were never expressed by Papa. It was always, “I’m doing pretty good. Come back to see me”.
On his 105th birthday, Papa was given a party and he knew everyone. Talked to them and asked about different members of their families and seemed so pleased to have everyone come and visit.
Not long prior to that, my husband and I visited him in the hospital and he named all his children by name and one of his nephews, and said, “Tell all of them I love them and to come see me.”
Yes, Papa was a dear. In all the years I’ve known him, I’ve known him, I’ve never known him to complain once. Though he never had more than the bare necessities of life, he accepted it without murmuring and complaining. He was content in whatever state he was in.
Lastly, we want to mention Papa’s Loving, Caring, and Sharing. James 2:15-16 reads, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, not withstanding, ye give them not those things which are needful to the body. What does it profit?”
Years ago, when times were very hard, Papa’s sister-in-law, a widow passed away leaving several orphan children, some wanted to put them in an orphanage but Papa and his beloved wife took them into their home, fed them and did the best they could for them, loving them and sharing their meager existence with them though they had a large family themselves. Papa didn’t say, “Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled”, but he reached out loving hands to them and shared such as he had.
Life has been rough for Papa, as a whole, but today he has laid his old armor by, and I feel sure as the rewards will be meted out, that Papa will be in the forefront to receive his rewards, the greatest of which will be hearing Jesus say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joys of the Lord”.
The Final Sermon of Mrs. Georgia Davenport McCain
(This was tribute delivered at the funeral of Mrs. Georgia Davenport McCain by her son, Dr. Danny McCain, December 2013)
The purpose of this service is to remember Mrs. Georgia Davenport McCain, to offer praise and worship to the Creator for her life, to be comforted with the word of God and to be reminded of the sacredness of life and the certainty of death.
Although we cannot help but be sad when we think of the loss of our mother and grandmother and sister and aunt and friend and neighbor, my mother would not want this to be a time of mourning but a time of celebration because she has finally achieved the goal she has sought for all her life. Therefore we do not want you to feel bad if something in this service causes you to smile or laugh at loud. My mother was a fun-loving woman and nothing would have pleased her more than to know that her family and friends really enjoyed her funeral.
It is a little strange for a son to preach the funeral sermon for his mother. Fortunately, I have also been given the privilege of preaching the funeral sermon for both my father and father-in-law. After my dad passed away, my mother insisted I would also preach her funeral sermon. It was not a request. It was a statement of fact. She periodically reminded me of this demand, including not more than a week before she passed away.
My family specifically requested that this service be scheduled for 2:00 PM. According to my brothers who live here, that particular time was the high point of my mother’s day. It was the time I would call her from Nigeria. For the first 14 years we lived in Nigeria, we did not have a telephone. When phones and the Internet became available, I called my mother every day at 2:00 PM her time. My mother was very lonely after my father passed away and looked forward to any kind of interaction with people. My call became regular enough that she could anticipate it and would actually sit by the phone waiting for the call. So my family has scheduled this funeral service at this time so I would have one more opportunity to talk to my mother indirectly by talking to all of those she loved so much and who loved her, at her favorite hour of the day.
I will now provide two preliminary statements to the main part of sermon. The first deals with the scripture I will examine. The second deals with the way I have organized the sermon.
Background to the Book of Revelation
For the last 15 years, I have been slowly reading through the Bible, taking lots of notes. Last November 8, 2012 I finally got to the book of Revelation and started reading through it. I have gone through this rather strange book very slowly twice in the last year and am just about to complete my third reading of it. In fact, during the past 13 months, I have written 662 pages of devotional notes about this book in my daily quiet time. Since I had limited knowledge of this book before, it has been a real learning experience for me.
One of the things I have learned is that this is a book for those who suffer, especially for those who have lost loved ones or are facing possible death themselves because of their faith. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned about this book is that the main lessons of the book are found in the big overall message of the book and not in all of the small details about creatures and beasts with ten horns and seven heads and red dragons and horses of many colors and prostitutes and angels with trumpets and bowls and scrolls and other strange things.
The overall message of the book of Revelation is fairly simple. I have identified four major teachings in the book. In this sermon I will share three of those. Interestingly, I have spoken on the holistic picture of this book only once before today. That sermon was delivered about five months ago (July 14, 2013) at the Tioga Wesleyan Methodist Church with my mother in attendance. Therefore, she got to hear a little of what would become her own funeral sermon.
Structure of Sermon
The second preliminary thing I will say is about the structure or outline of this presentation. I have built my presentation around three simple “sayings” that we hear all the time. There is nothing particular profound about any of them. They are common “sayings.”
We people in the South are known for our colorful and descriptive language. The older folks especially have preserved many old sayings. My mother was full of them. She even wrote a seven page poem one time that was filled with old sayings. Here are few my mother used to say:
My dad made a modest salary but she would still have to “pinch pennies” to “make ends meet.” She never considered herself in this category but some people were “poor as Job’s turkey” though there were times when she was “broke as a haint.”
She would sometimes say she had been “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” and later in life, she would say “the old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.”
She was quite colorful in her description of various social vices.
People who were obnoxious would be “grouchy as a fox.” Those who did not control their anger would get “mad as a hornet,” while others would be “madder than a wet setting hen.”
Those who did not tell the truth were “lying like a yeller dog.”
People who did strange things were described as being “nutty as a fruit cake” or “crazy as a bessie bug.”
Some of our friends who will remain unmentioned would get “high as a kite” or “drunk as a skunk” or even more likely “drunker than Cooter Brown.” By the way, I have recently found out who old Cooter Brown was. Remind me sometime and I will tell you.
When it came to money, some people were “tight as the bark on a tree” and for others “money would burn a hole in their pocket.” Unfortunately, some were also “crooked as a barrel of snakes.”
She was proud of her family.
She would affirm us children by saying we were “smart as a whip” or “sharp as a tack.”
If we followed the example of our dad we were “a chip off the old block.”
She taught us loyalty to our family, reminding us that “blood runs thicker than water.”
She taught us kids her wholesome philosophy of life largely with her proverbs:
She would warn us about bad company by saying “birds of a feather flock together.”
The Bible warned “be sure your sins will find you out” but my mother’s version of that was “every chicken has to come home to roost” and “if you make your bed hard, you will have to lie in it.”
She taught us to be courageous in the face of criticism by advising “sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you” and taught us to accept the disappointments of life by saying, there was “no use to cry over spilt milk.”
When we were about to make a quick decision, she would say, “just hold your horses.” She taught us to be patient in life by advising “you have to crawl before you can walk”
She warned us against hypocrisy by saying “the pot can’t call the kettle black” and to accept responsibility in life with the guidance “if the shoe fits, wear it.”
To be diligent, she encouraged us to “make hay while the sun shines” and “an ounce of pound is worth a pound of prevention” and warned us “if you snooze, you lose.”
Though we were not always happy about it, she was careful about the things she would allow in our house, which she knew would negatively shape our thinking, reminding us that “you cannot help if a bird flies over your head, but you can stop him from building a nest in your hair.”
I am convinced that the three major points in Revelation I will share have parallels in my mother’s life. Therefore, I am going to share these with you from Revelation and then illustrate them from my mother’s life. To describe these points, I have chosen to use some of these common phrases I have heard my mother make or are found in her seven page poem.
“Life Ain’t Easy.”
Excuse the English but I think we all know that phrase. If you are offended by my Rigolette English you can say “Life is tough” or even “Life isn’t easy.” Or if you want another one of my mother’s proverbs, you could say, “You got a hard row to hoe.”
Observations from Revelation
There are some preachers who tell us today that if you just come to Jesus, life will be easy; you will never be sick and you will have plenty of money in your pocket. However that is not the message you read in the book of Revelation. The message you read in Revelation is “Life ain’t easy.”
In Revelation 6, the Lamb began to open the various seals which appear to be glimpses of various problems on the earth.
The first seal contained a rider on a horse with a bow who went out to conquer (6:2). This represents the wars on the earth.
The second seal contained a red horse “who was given power to take peace from the earth” (6:4). For the last 12 years, I have lived in a part of the world that has periodically erupted into violence with seven churches and one mosque being burned within a mile of my house and hundreds of people being killed within 15 miles of my house. I can tell you when there is no peace, life is not easy.
The third seal contained a black horse which contained small amounts of food for a very big price (6:5-6). This represents hunger and famine.
The fourth seal was opened and it had a pale horse whose rider was named “Death and Hades” (6:8). Death and the grave are two of the most common but also two of the saddest experiences in this life.
These are some of the general problems the world faces. However, there were things in Revelation that individuals, including followers of Jesus faced.
John said when the fifth seal was opened he “saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained” (6:9). These were God’s people who had been killed for their faith. The fact that God’s people are killed for their faith is mentioned eight or ten more times in the Book of Revelation.
When the sixth seal was opened, John described earthquakes and other natural disasters (6:12).
The seventh seal introduced seven trumpets and when each of them were blown, terrible things happened on the earth including hail and fire, meteorites and other celestial bodies falling from heaven, locust plagues and other horrible things (6:17-21).
In 7:14, John sees a great multitude dressed in white and is told these are the ones “who have come out of great tribulation.” Great tribulation means that the people, including God’s people, had suffered a lot.
We could continue but the point should be obvious. Life on this earth is not easy. We are told in Job, “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). One of the purposes of a funeral is to remind us of the darker realities of life. Life is not always fun and games.
Life of Georgia McCain
My mother’s life was a confirmation of the truth that is taught in the book of Revelation.
My mother was born in 1926 and raised in the Great Depression. Times were hard; jobs were difficult to find; food was scarce; life was uncertain and stressful.
My mother lived during the Word War II era. One brother-in-law died in the war. Another brother-in-law lost a leg in the war. The whole nation had to sacrifice in order to guarantee success in that war. It was a very difficult time to live.
My mother had a husband and seven kids to feed and take care of on a modest salary. These were seven energetic, rambunctious, hungry kids that at times made her want to “run through the woods” (another of her common sayings).
My mother was involved in several accidents – one that cut off her finger, another that turned her foot around backwards and another that incapacitated her for weeks.
My mother had to suffer while watching her husband spend three weeks in the hospital recovered from losing his eye. She spent hundreds of hours in the hospital with her parents, her brothers and sisters, her children and grandchildren.
My mother spent hours and days in prayer, begging God to spare her family or friends of one tragedy or another.
Obviously the events surrounding the end of my mother’s life further illustrate that life was indeed difficult for her. It would nice if my mother could have slipped away from this world from some painless disease. However, she actually suffered a serious accident that broke an arm, bones in her hand and foot, fractured a vertebrae, crushed several ribs, and punctured a lung. These caused intense pain and a lot of anguish on the part of those close to her. My mother’s life is a testimony to the very important fact: Life ain’t easy.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? If I could answer that question, I would be one of the most famous and popular persons in the world. However, I will only quote two verses that give us a hint. The psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67). There is something about suffering and tough times that force us to look to God for strength and protection and wisdom and those things help us to grow and develop into better persons.
The second passage is Peter’s benediction which says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10). This passage tells us the way to be fully restored and strong and firm and steadfast is through the pathway of suffering.
These verses suggest that there is something about difficult times that toughens us and makes us strong and firm and steadfast and prepares us for what God has called us to do. I think all who knew my mother would agree that she was a tough lady. They would also agree that God’s image has been restored in her in a large way and she was “strong and firm and steadfast” in her faith and in her life. Perhaps part of the reason is because life was not easy for her.
“Hang in There.”
Another common expression we hear when life gets difficult is the phrase “hang in there.” What do you do when life becomes painful and difficult? You hang in there.
Observations from Revelation
Perhaps the most important message in Revelation is perseverance which means “hang in there.” The book was written about 60 years after Jesus permanently departed from this world. By this time, the Jews had been persecuting the Christians for years and the Roman government had also begun a period of official government persecution. There was a lot of pressure being put on the Christians to abandon their faith and go back to their pagan religions. Christian believers were being thrown in prison and killed for their faith. Life was difficult. What should they do?
The book of Revelation answers those questions. Starting with the messages to the seven churches, Jesus states that the most important thing they need to do is be overcomers:
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (2:7).
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death (2:11).
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it (2:17).
He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations (2:26).
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels (3:5).
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name (3:12).
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (3:21).
It is those who have been victorious over the beast who will be given harps and be called to sing the song: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.” (15:3). Right in the middle of the book we read, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints” (13:10b). Near the end of the book we read, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children” (21:7). The last book of the Bible makes a serious call to “hang in there.”
Life of Mrs. Georgia McCain
I am confident that most of you who knew my mother would say that she lived and died as an overcomer. She lived a life of victory and perseverance. She knew what she believed and she practiced it. She would not give into the temptations to do things she thought were wrong, no matter who else was doing them or how attractive they might be or how much pressure her kids put on her. She was a person who was an overcomer.
I think all who knew Georgia McCain, whether casually or intimately, would agree that the statement the Apostle Paul made at the end of his life, fits her very well. He said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
As you know, my mother had a great talent for writing poems, having written hundreds over the years. About two months ago, I said to my mother, “Mamma, you need to write a poem for your funeral.” When I said that, she laughed and laughed. She said, “Imagine someone writing a poem for her own funeral.” The next day I mentioned it again. She still laughed. About the third time I mentioned it, she saw I was serious. She said, “I will think about it.” I continued reminding her for about two weeks. Finally, one day, she said to me, “I have something for you today.” She then read me a poem she had written to be read at her funeral. Unfortunately, the poem has gotten misplaced and we could not find it before this funeral. However, I can tell you the theme of the poem she wrote for this day. It was “Hang in there.” She urged all of her family and friends to keep the faith so that we could all be reunited some day on the other side.
I trust that when you go from this place today, you will remember that one of the great things that my mother taught you through her example was: When life is tough, hang in there.
Keep on overcoming.
Keep on serving Jesus Christ.
Keep on reading the Bible and praying
Keep on attending and working in the church.
Keep on loving your neighbor as yourself.
Keep on doing the right thing.
Keep on hanging in there.
“It’s Worth the Wait.”
This is another common statement we have all heard.
When you have years of loneliness but finally find the right spouse, it is worth the wait.
When you put up with a lot conflict and abuse at work but finally get promoted to a position of responsibility, it is worth the wait.
When you complete many years of school and finally get that degree which opens up doors of opportunity for you, it is worth the wait.
Observations from Revelation
The latter part of the book of Revelation is designed to encourage the believers that no matter how much trouble they have experienced, it is worth the wait. I will not have time to show you all of the details related to the reward of those who are faithful but will give you a sample. Do you know what passage I read on the morning I learned about my mother’s accident? It was this: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (21:1-7).
When you think about the possibility of experiencing the things in that passage, it is certainly worth the wait. There are many other scriptures in the book of Revelation that also tell about the life after death for the believer. Many of these are written in highly figurative language and it is sometimes difficult to understand what they all mean. What this passage tells us about is whatever tough times we have to go through in this life, we should hang in there because it is worth the wait. In this final point, I will talk about two reasons it is worth the wait.
Life of Mrs. Georgia McCain
My mother has received two kinds of rewards for her faithfulness.
The rewards in this life
All who knew my mother would agree that she lived a happy and fulfilled life, one filled with rewards even in this life. My mother accomplished many things in her life and received a lot of satisfaction out of her life and her ministry.
A couple of nights ago, my brother, Ronnie made available to me a link to a video of speeches my mother and father both made on their 60th anniversary salvation. My daddy stood up and one of the things he said, “I am grateful that I have raised seven kids and . . .” I was preparing myself for him to describe some of the wonderful accomplishments of his kids but then he said, “as far as I know, none of them have ever been in jail.” Really, Daddy, I think you could have done better than that. I know my mother was very proud that her kids and her grandkids have all been successful in life, not just because they managed to stay out of jail.
My mother got a lot of happiness from doing little things for people. She made jelly and gave it away. She made pecan pies and gave them away. She would do anything she could to make people happy. And she beamed with joy when she gave those things away.
My mother got a lot of reward out of going to the nursing homes and holding her Bible studies for 35 years. She almost glowed when she told about Robert. Robert was a person she met in the nursing home who was not a Christian but through my mother’s efforts, became a follower of Jesus a few months before he died. She would often say, “If Robert is the only person who went to heaven because of my nursing home services, it is worth all of the efforts I have invested.”
My mother received abundant rewards in writing the ten books she wrote. She has received letters from all over the country and, in fact, all over the world, telling how her books have been a blessing in various ways.
In 1994, one of our former military heads of state in Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo was thrown in prison in Jos by Sani Abacha, the military dictator who was in power at that time. I used to go to preach in the Jos prison and while preaching there once, I met the former head of state. We developed a friendship while he was in prison. I used to send him books to read. Eventually the military dictator died and Obasanjo was released. Nine months later, Nigeria moved back to democracy and the former military head of state, General Obasanjo was elected to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I was invited to Aso Rock (the equivalent to the White House) several times over the next eight years. On President Obasanjo’s 69th birthday I was invited to speak in the Aso Rock Chapel with hundreds of senior government officials and other important people present. In fact, the church service was national televised. The president sat on the front row. At the end of the service the president stood up and responded to my sermon. He said, “I first met Dr. McCain in prison.” And then he added, “His mother is a writer. Dr. McCain gave me one of his mother’s books which was a great source of comfort to me while I was in prison.” So this little old lady who was born and lived her whole life on Rigolette had the privilege of ministering to the president of the largest country in Africa. This and many similar experiences gave her a lot of satisfaction in this life. However there is more.
The rewards in the afterlife
On December 9th, 2013, four days ago, my mother, Georgia McCain, was invited into the eternal city and began to experience that amazing place for the first time. One of my friends called me about one hour after my mother died and the words that came to me during that conversation were: “Can you imagine what my mother has experienced during the last hour?”
I have four academic degrees related to the Bible but I must confess that I have little idea what my mother will experience in that eternal world. However, I know some things for sure.
We know she will experience rest. She no longer has to struggle with the tiredness and pain and other difficulties of this old world. While the earth was being judged, John heard a voice from heaven saying, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).
We know that she will experience reunion. Paul wrote that the Lord would descend from heaven with a shout, “. . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Can you imagine all of the people that my mother has been reunited with, including my dad who left this world five years ago and my son, her grandson, who left this world 37 years ago?
We know that she will experience reconstruction. After learning that there will be no more pain and suffering in the holy city, Jesus said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Every day when I talked to my mother, she would say, “I am just about to take my beauty nap.” We often teased each other so she would often say, “With all of these beauty naps I am taking, I am going to be so beautiful, you want even recognize me when you come.” Those beauty naps have indeed paid off and if we could see her right now, I am quite sure, she would be right – we would hardly recognize her. The next time I see my mother, there will be no more scars on her foot, no more wrinkles in her face, no more grey in her hair and no more false teeth in her mouth. She will have been thoroughly and beautifully reconstructed.
We know that she will experience re-assignment. Many people seem to think that when we get to heaven, we will just sit around and dabble our toes in the River of Life for millions of years, just doing nothing. I think my mother would get pretty bored with that after a few hours. She hated idleness, which was one of her biggest struggles during the latter part of her life. However, all of that is over now. I love the verse in Revelation 22:1-3 that says:
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.
What does it mean that his servants will serve him? Service means doing something. It does not mean idleness. I believe when we get to heaven, God is going to give us assignments to do things that we will enjoy doing and will be part of the eternal reward we will receive. What kind of assignment do you think my mother has been given? I am not sure but it may have something to do with the cooking department.
My mother’s life on this earth is over. She has kept the faith and is now beginning to enjoy the blessings and rewards of her faith and faithfulness. However, the influence from my mother’s life is not over. She will continue to play a huge part in the lives of all who knew her.
My mother never considered herself a preacher though she fulfilled that role many times. However, my mother has one more message for all of you before you leave this place today. She has preached that lesson with her whole heart throughout her whole life. That message is this:
Life Ain’t Easy.
Hang in There.
It’s Worth the Wait.
I challenge you to learn the lessons my mother preached during her 87 years and prepare to join her and many others who have discovered and followed that same blessed formula.
(Presented at the Funeral Service of Mrs. Georgia Davenport McCain on 13 December 2013 by Dr. Danny McCain at the Rush’s Funeral Home, Pineville, Louisiana, USA)
About The Author
Mrs. McCain died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident at age 87 on December 9, 2013. She maintained her Christian commitment and ministry, as well as her writing skills, until the time of her unfortunate death.
At the time of her death, many of her books were out of print. To preserve the books and allow many new readers to enjoy, the books are being converted to e-books by her family. To increase relevancy and impact to a more contemporary and international audience, minor edits to the original text have been made to some of the books.
The following article was published in the Cenla Focus in October 2012 prior to Mrs. McCain’s death, and provides a synopsis of Mrs. McCain’s life as an author. It was authored by Holly Jo Linzay
Georgia McCain, an author of 10 published books, recalls the day she felt the Lord Jesus lead her to start writing. “I was standing in the kitchen, and God asked me, ‘What is that in your hand?” McCain remembers, and answered, “‘Only a pen, Lord.’ Then He asked me if I would use the pen for his honor and glory, and I said, ‘Yes, Lord, as you direct me, I will write for the glory and honor of God.”
That very night, her first short novel unfolded completely from beginning to end. “The Lord gave me the name of the book and just opened up the story for me from the first page to the last,” notes McCain about her first book, Through Troubled Waters, which was published more than 40 years ago. Her first book is a work of fiction interwoven with Biblical truths. McCain has sold thousands of copies, and has received letters from people all over the world expressing how the book touched their hearts. “I never dreamed about writing a book, let alone getting one published,’ McCain notes.
As a child, McCain wrote poems and made up short stories. In the ninth grade, as her teacher was passing out Christmas gifts to the class, she called McCain to the front of the classroom. She told the class that Georgia had a gift for all her classmates. Stunned, McCain realized her teacher had made copies of a story she had written and shared it with the class. From time to time, she would write another short story. Later, she was asked by a preacher to write a story that would continue and develop in a religious paper. ‘I told him that I couldn’t just sit down and write a story. God had to give me the thoughts: McCain recalls, remembering it was later that night that she heard God question her about writing. When her son, Danny, came home from college, he read her story, Through Troubled Waters, and encouraged McCain to get it published. “Everything I write, I want it to honor God,’ McCain says with conviction.
The 84-year-old author is a woman of prayer, and has lived a life in pursuit of holiness. Growing up as one of 14 children In the rural community of Rigolette, McCain graduated from Tioga High School. At 19 years old, she met and started dating a young man named Carl McCain. He worked as a lineman for South Central Bell and she was working as a telephone operator. After a whirlwind courtship, the two were married on July 1, 1946.
The young couple made their home in Rigolette and raised their seven children—Ronald, Danny, Kenny, Randy, Barry, Donna and Jackie. The family attended Tioga Wesleyan Methodist Church, where Georgia and Carl served in every ministry they could. They have 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The two were married for 62 years before Carl passed away. Her home is a testament to a close-knit family with photographs vying for space on shelves stocked full with mementoes from the grandchildren. A legacy of love is showcased with framed drawings from the kids alongside epic poems written by McCain about her family.
In between her serving at her church and raising seven children, McCain found time to write more books. Her second book, Trials and Triumphs, is non-fiction and retates many of her personal experiences, including the loss of her four-month-old grandson, Nathaniel, to meningitis. Her third book, a fictional novel, Shattered Shackles, deals with alcoholism and its affect on a family. “My daddy was an alcoholic, who would say he was tapering off when he was trying to quit. Later, he did sober up,” McCain says, adding that her real-life experience probably played a role in the book.
Another of her books, God’s Little Lambs, is a compilation of stories written for children that can be read as bedtime stories or for family devotions. At one time, McCain says she felt impressed to write a novel about some twins. In Straight Paths, the story of fiery-tempered “Connie Slocum” unwinds as she struggles with heartaches, persecution, separation and loneliness. In the book’s sequel, Plucked Out of the Net, Connie’s twin brother, “Donnie Slocum,” is featured in a story of redemption.
Three of McCain’s books have dealt with prayer and answers to “prevailing” prayer. “It is absolutely amazing that God has spoken to me over and over, and keeps giving me books to write. He has faithfully led me all the way,” notes McCain. In all, she has written 10 books, and family and friends are after her to write a book of poems. She has written long poems with clever rhymes marking nearly every milestone in her and her family’s life.
It does not take long to get caught up reading one of McCain’s books, and believing the incredible stories of faith in the non-fiction books. Written In such honest prose, her words flow from her heart and from a life seeking after holiness. If her books inspire and encourage or cause someone to “seek the Lord,” then McCain says the books have served their purpose. “God deserves all the glory for anything accomplished through the writing or reading of these books,” she emphasizes.
A woman of faith, McCain has taught Sunday School and Bible studies in just about every ministry at her church. In addition, for the last 34 years, she has taught three different Bible study groups at three different nursing homes. McCain has been honored and received numerous awards for her volunteer service from Ball Senior Citizens Center and various nursing homes. In 2001, she was named the Volunteer of the Year of Tioga Manor and named “Most Faithful” volunteer at two other nursing homes.
When her husband Carl served for a number of years on the Rapides Parish Police Jury, McCain supported him by participating in a variety of ways in the community. Known as a great cook by her family and friends, her daughter, Donna, presented her with a cookbook of the family recipes on her 50th wedding anniversary. Besides serving the Lord, McCain says her most important role in life has been as a wife and mother. She said all her children are “successful and love the Lord,” and that they never gave her a “lick of trouble” beceuse she kept them in church and a “switch on their behinds”, if needed. Her son, Danny, who is a missionary in Nigeria, even calls her every day.
McCain says she is “blessed beyond measure by the Lord” with family and friends. Some have called her a “prayer warrior,” in seeking God’s will in her life. One piece of advice she freely gives out to all who will listen is the same encouragement she offers in her last book, Walking with God for Over 50 Years, “Sometimes when we can’t seem to pray our way through, we can often times praise our way through to God. Try it.”
Books by Georgia McCain
Trials and Triumphs
In Straight Paths
Plucked Out of the Net
Through Troubled Waters
Remarkable Incidents & Answers to Prayers
Amazing Answers to Prevailing Prayers
God’s Little Lambs
Walking With God for Over 50 Years
Celebration of Life, Family, and Faith – Collection of Poems, Tributes, and Stories
In addition, many of her family recipes are provided in the following book, compiled by her daughter, Donna McCain Wilson, on the occasion of her 60^th^ wedding anniversary:
Still Cooking After Sixty Years
Plans are to make all available via ebooks. Stay tuned.
Letters From Readers of Georgia McCain Books
The following are excerpts from some of the many letters I have received from my readers from different parts of the country from as far away as Alaska. Also, God has seen fit to place my books in several foreign countries, namely Haiti, the Bahamas, Republic of South Africa, New Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Taiwan, England, and South America. I have been encouraged time and again upon receiving letters from people relating how God used one of my books to help them spiritually. Some have been saved, some sanctified, some edified, strengthened, and encouraged. Again, I say, “all glory to Jesus!” He, it is that gives me a nudge when it’s time to write another book. And though I’m a very busy person in the work of the Lord, plus all my other duties as a housewife, when I feel God leading, I let many things go undone and busy myself with my writing, which I enjoy as God helps. I’ve often thought that if only one person would walk up to me in Heaven and say “It was your book that helped me to turn to Jesus and helped to enlighten my way to Heaven,” it would be worth all the time and effort put forth in writing them. One soul is worth everything.
I have a son who is a missionary to Africa. A few years back, he visited a man in jail named Olusegun Obasanjo, and gave him one of my books entitled, Amazing Answers to Prevailing Prayer. Later Mr. Obasanjo got saved, straightened out his life, and ran for president of Nigeria and was elected. Whether or not my book had anything at all to do with Mr. Obasanjo’s salvation, I know not, but later after he became president, my son visited him, and he told my son that his mother’s book was very inspirational. Later, the president wrote a book entitled Women of Virtue: Stories of Outstanding Women in the Bible, and my son brought me a copy on one of his trips home. So one never knows how far their works for Christ will reach when we put it in God’s hands and take our hands off. It will take eternity to tell any good my writing for God’s Glory alone has accomplished.
Trust you enjoy the following letters from my readers:
I have just become a Christian and your books have helped me so much. I have four and am wondering if you have written anymore. I really like In Straight Paths and Through Troubled Waters. Will you pray for me? I need more help spiritually.
Your six books arrived for the Stephen D. Herron Memorial Library, and we feel honored to place them in the memorial room. I trust that the people who use the room for study and prayer will profit greatly from reading them. You have always been a great blessing to each of us.
I cried most of the time while reading your book Shattered Shackles because many happenings had been a reality in my life. I’ve had lots of heartaches.
I am a young person who likes to read but am quite selective in what I read. So many of these so-called Christian novels are so aimless and mushy, it’s disgusting, but I would recommend your books to anyone. The explanation of holiness is very good.
I am so happy to know we have dedicated writers such as you who are willing to do the hard work of hammering out a good clean book for people to read. May God bless you as you use your talent for Him. We may never write best sellers but as long as we keep His smile upon our work, it is a best seller. Keep up the good work. (From another writer)
A note to say thanks for the books. Couldn’t put them down. Now that’s what I call talent. They were really enlightening. Thanks a million.
I read your book, which was a great inspiration to me. I never dreamed anyone could even imagine or dream up so much adversity and heartache as I have been through. Your book lifted my spirits in a very dark and lonely period of my life.
I’ve read two of your books in two days, as I couldn’t lay them down after I started. I will pass them around and I’m sure others will enjoy them, too.
I was happy when I came across your book entitled Through Troubled Waters. I read part of it, but the owner took it away before I finished it. My troubles are so great that at times I feel it may be I have sinned. I do not know what to do. The portion of your book I read inspired me greatly. Could you send me a copy and any other that will help me solve my problems. (This came from Ghana, West Africa, and I sent him a copy)
I just finished reading your book, Trials and Triumphs, and felt real impressed to write and tell you how much it encouraged me. I have been asking the Lord to give me more faith and this book helped me so much. Thank you so much for writing it,
A dear sister gave me two of your books, and I really enjoyed both of them. I feel they have helped me spiritually. I really crave good reading that will draw me closer to God.
Just finished your book, In Straight Paths, and it was such an inspiration to me. I was encouraged and excited when I finished reading it. I received your book at church as a Mother’s Day gift for being the youngest mother. It’s a real life book where I really feel like I can see me at times. It is indeed wonderful and makes me feel that God will help me, as I need it. Pray for me! God bless you.
Your book answers a need out in the public for explaining what real heart holiness is. There is much confusion at this point.
Have read your book, Through Troubled Waters, over and over. Very good.
I believe your book, Through Troubled Waters, is the best book I’ve ever read and the most spiritual for religious fiction. Keep writing books as they help many people.
Thank God for the old-fashioned way of salvation and holiness and for people like you who can write beautiful stories that holds high its banner. May God richly bless you.
Thanks so very much for your books. I read In Straight Paths once again and am now reading the sequel, Plucked out of the Net. I enjoy them so much. Praise God for blessing you with this gift! I pray it will always glorify Him.
I am writing to you in regards to your books I purchased in Findley, Ohio. I gave one to a lady who wasn’t saved. I later sent the other book, Shattered Shackles, to her. She has read them, and they have been a help to her. She has gotten saved and doing her best to walk in the light.
Hope you will write more books. I really appreciate how the Lord has helped you to entwine the gospel in your stories.
Enclosed is a money order for your book, Plucked out of the Net. Sure appreciate your writings. So good and stay close to holiness emphasis. So much today that is called Christian fiction isn’t Christian at all. May the Lord bless you is our prayer.
I’m happy to have the opportunity to receive another book of yours. They have all been excellent and wife and I have read and reread them during the long winter evenings.
I’ve enjoyed your books much and have shared them with others. In fact, they are all out now. I would like to order your latest one. We need more good Christian books for our young people. Also, us older ones enjoy them.
A friend of mine loaned me two of your books. I enjoyed them so much that I would like to send them to my brother who is in jail in North Carolina. One of the books reminds me of him.
I am so happy to have your books where interested and hungry souls can get them. I’m sure your writings are blessing many. The book Through Troubled Waters has been mentioned several times at church illustrating truths of the message given.
I thought you might like to hear of one incident where a young man was kept home from church because of illness in his family. Someone had loaned him your book, Through Troubled Waters, and he read it. The next week he testified how God had mightily dealt with his heart. The church prayed for him until he felt a clear witness.
I’m writing to see if you have written another book. I just read one and think it is wonderful. It has been a real blessing to me. I praise God for people like you that can write such a book, especially the teaching on holiness. If you have written another book, let me know.
The book, Through Troubled Waters, has been such a help to me in many ways. I wish I had what the nurse in the story had. I would gladly give all I had. She is so pure and good. Would that this old world had more like her. Wish I could talk to someone like the nurse but I’m afraid it’s too late. I’m not young anymore. I’m 37 and 1/2. (Thank God, there’s help for anyone who truly wants God in their life. I contacted the lady and did my best to help her. Author.)
Your book came yesterday. I read the inside information but haven’t read the contents yet, but will and also, will let others read it. Your talent came from your sixth grade teacher. ha (He was my sixth grade teacher.) I’m sending a contribution to help with your good work. Keep in touch!
God sure did inspire you as you wrote the book, Through Troubled Waters. Everything that you tucked away here and there as you wrote was amazing. How anyone could think of so much to fit into a story!! I was very much pleased with the way God helped you to use the Scriptures to teach sanctification. There are many who will read it in your book that never would study along that line any other way. I feel that this was the main reason God helped you to get this needful book out. I feel that souls will make it to Heaven because of it—souls that you would never have come into contact with, otherwise.
It usually takes me a week or ten days before I finish a book but finished yours in three evenings. The clear guidance into sanctification is the best I’ve ever read and helped me a lot. The story is so true to life. It holds you completely in suspense all the time. Thank you very much for the book.
We never dreamed we would get to see the author of that wonderful book, Through Troubled Waters. I have wanted to get a copy to send to a real good friend in South America and now I have it. So your good book will perhaps go around the globe.
My family and I have really enjoyed your first four books.
Your book, Shattered Shackles, is so touching. After reading some in your book this morning, I was so moved on by the Spirit to pray for those that are so shackled by drink or drugs. God can surely move on their heart to bring them to Christ.
I am fifteen years old and am writing to compliment you on your book, Through Troubled Waters. I am reading it the second time. I’m going to write a book report on it for school. I’m sure your book has helped many people.
I think you are brave to address the divorce and remarriage issue in your book, Plucked out of the Net. Our young people need that. Lots of people are getting awfully lenient about it. My husband and daughter read the book and really liked it. I think we all agree that it is the best yet. The message is real good.
We wanted to thank you for the privilege of reading your lovely little book. Our youngest daughter in California has just read hers and found it very profitable reading. We did, too. Of course, unless you truly loved the Saviour, you couldn’t have done such a book.
I praise the Lord for giving you such a beautiful gift of writing and for your willingness to share it.
I sat right down and read your book and I truly enjoyed it. We all have our problems and I am no exception. Your book came to me at a time when I was depressed and so unhappy. I received a real blessing from it. You have a wonderful talent in telling of God’s love through stories of life as we live it every day. Thanks!
I would like to tell the world what God and your book has done for me. Praise the Lord! It made me stop and realize there is a God and He truly loves me, regardless of the sins I had committed and the wrong I had done. God was calling me for one of His children. Before I read the book, I had so much hatred and bitterness in my heart. At times I even hated myself. Just as I put the book down, I had a strong urge to fall on my knees and ask the Lord to forgive my sins and to take the hatred and bitterness out of my heart. Praise the Lord! He immediately answered my prayer.
Believe the Lord has ordained the writing of this book for his people who are in troubled waters.
Enjoyed your book thoroughly. I want five more copies.
We all have our problems and I am no exception. Your book came to me at a time when I was so depressed and so unhappy. I received a real blessing from it.
Surprised and happy to receive your book. The Lord certainly used you in writing it. It is interesting, emotional and evangelistic, very well written, and I’m sure it is a blessing to all who read it. I am interested in ordering some more copies. .
We agreed to use your book for a part of our yearly youth Reading Course. Each year we recommend four or five books for the spiritual edification of our youth and sell them as a package to each youth society. I am heartily recommending it to our youth for two reasons, one is the danger of not obtaining holiness of heart and the other is the need of more personal workers on a one-to-one basis. The book is well written and I’m sure will continue to bless many lives.
Finished reading your fine book. It has an evangelistic message that is up to date and practical. Its message is desperately needed by thousands today.
The story is so true to life. It holds you in suspense all the time. I really enjoyed reading it. The clear guidance into sanctification is the best I’ve ever read and helped me a lot. My copy will be passed on to others as the Lord guides, and pray with me that many will be brought to a better understanding and to the blessing of sanctification.
I read your beautiful book and was truly blessed by it.
Magnificent! It really inspired my mind as well as my heart.Thank you! I will pass this wonderful book on, for truly it’s a soul winner.
If possible, we sure could use more books in this place.
A wonderful message for both young and old. Sure it will be a blessing to many people.
My grandmother taught me you could live above sin in this life. Your book has enlightened me in this matter
Have read your book and found it very enlightening.
May God continue to bless you. (This letter is from the Louisiana State Prison at Angola. I sent more books.)
May God bless those who have taken time to write to me over the years concerning my books. I deeply appreciate it. There are more, but we will sign off for this time. (Author)
This book is a collection of poems, stories, and tributes that Georgia Davenport McCain wrote over a 40 year period. They celebrate her life, family, and faith. Since she had 10 published books, mostly Christian novels or celebrations of her faith, her family often encouraged her to publish her book of poems. Even though she indicated a willingness to do this someday, she never did. After her death as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident, a binder of her poems was discovered in her house. Unfortunately, one of the poems not discovered was her poem she had read to family members to be presented at her funeral. Her poems provide a perspective of life experiences. “Celebration of Southern Expressions” provides a tribute to many of the Southern expressions that are common to her friends and family in the Deep South, but may not be recognized elsewhere. “The Snake Story” describes her experience discovering a snake in the chapel while delivering a funeral tribute. “Tribulations of a Politicians Wife” provides a view of her life as the wife of an elected Police Juror in Louisiana. “The Cat Law” gives a perspective on an effort to pass an ordinance to control cats. “The Old Folks Home” describes the difficult but joyful transition to living in an “old folks home”. “A Tribute to My Daughter and the Senior Citizen Center of Ball” describes her daughter's initiative to get her connected with the Senior Center, her initial reluctance, and the eventual great joy she received from the Senior Center”. “The Birthday Surprise” was written to her sisters to “confess” to a birthday prank. “My Special Day, Mother's Day' and “Mamma's Blues” conveys a mother's loneliness sometimes felt with remote children. Her poems included many tributes to her family. “MeMaw's Words of Wisdom” and “Nanny's Poem for Lauren's Wedding” were requested by granddaughters to be read at their weddings. “A Tribute to My Family” was a poem she read at her Golden Anniversary Celebration that celebrates the lives of her children and grandchildren. “Conning Mamma” was read at her 60th Anniversary Celebration and describes her daughter's secretive attempts to extract her recipes for publication of a cookbook to be distributed at the celebration. Also included are poems to celelebrate the birthdays of 4 children and the life of a grandson who died of spinal meningitis, provide advice to a granddaughter living in Nigeria, and memorial tributes to deceased sisters. There are also two tribute poems for close church friends. Several poems celebrate her faith. “Little Things Used of God” provide 3 different stories of the impact made from seemingly small acts of kindness and faith, including befriending an alcoholic, sending a card to a hospital patient, and demonstrating kindness to an angry neighbor. “A Mother's Prayer” demonstrates a mother's burden for her children and faith that all will be reunited in heaven. “Look to the Savior” urges the reader to look to the Savior as an answer to deal with life's many trials, tribulations, and challenges. “This God is Our God” was written as an introduction to her book, “Remarkable Incidents and Answers to Prayer” and emphazizes the greatness of God and his presence when needed. There are a few other non-poetic items included. A summary of her published books, as well as a few letters from readers, are provided. A letter, written to her sister in 1996 about growing up in the 20's , 30's, and 40's, provides an incredible look at the “way things were” for many in that genearation. A tribute to her father-in-law, delivered at his funeral at 106-years old, provides an interesting perspective of his life and his Christian conversion at 88 years old. Finally, her funeral tribute delivered by her son, Dr. Danny McCain, in 2013, is included.