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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: Too Many Times to Count
By Linda Goergen
07/19/11


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How many times
have I turned
to gaze at you
as I pass

Too many times to count

You’re always there
wearing that
distant look
unchanged
delicate
pale
rose-petal pink
dress
handmade
by mother
so long ago

You’re always
sitting
on the same
pink plaid
baby-sized quilt
in the same
lonely spot
of shadowed
yard

So many times
I have paused -
reached out
just to touch you…
but I can never reach you
you always remain
behind the glass
framed in time
eternally young

I have stopped
and talked to you
willing you
to hear my voice
behind the picture
above the clouds
in your
Heavenly abode

There was only
the two of us
and countless times
I have pondered
Why – I
was blessed to live
while you
not even reaching
nine months old
had to taste the kiss of death

But as the glitter
of this world fades
and I long more
for Heaven’s shore
I know
it was you blessed
not I

To arrive
in your baby innocence
and grow
where your spirit
could soar
through sinless fields
of glory
in the purest of peace

I picture you
beyond the oval frame
unrestricted
by this world’s strife
joyously
attending family reunions
where you now
embrace
more relatives than I

And I weep

seeing
mother and dad
aging - failing
too fast
I know
it will be your turn
to take them by the hand

But someday
by faith
I’ll step beyond
this side
of paradise
and join you
in that kingdom
of no more tears…
I’ll step around
the dusty glass
and finally
feel the comfort
of my sister’s hand
and we’ll hug
dance
praise
and delight
in sorely missed
conversations
too many times to count



Footnote:

Reva Jean Skinner
July 3, 1949 – March 23, 1950
My only sibling, taken by SIDS,
leaving me an only child and her forever missed



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This article has been read 363 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leola Ogle 07/21/11
What a poignant, heat wrenching story/poem. Every parent who has lost a baby will be touched by this (although it was your sister). The image frozen in time by a photo. God bless!
Noel Mitaxa 07/26/11
You blend wistfulness, grief, hope and respect with skilful simplicity. Excellent work.
Kim Hamlin07/27/11
Just beautiful! Love it and it truly captures the truth of how much better our eternal lives will be when we never have to say good-bye! Thank you for this!
CD Swanson 07/28/11
Congratulations on being chosen as the winner this week. This was a touching story that pulls on the heart strings. God Bless you~
Edmond Ng 07/28/11
Congratulations on placing first at your level! An excellent poem that touches the heart. God bless.
Robert Johnson07/28/11
Excellent, well-crafted poem! I believe you have captured the sentiment of both the earthly sorrow of death and the heavenly anticipation of seeing a loved one again. It was inspiring and a hope filled message that is well deserving of the honor of 1st place. Congratulations!
Danielle King 07/28/11
Simply beautiful. Heartbreaking yet filled with hope. A poem I'll remember. Congratulations on placing 1st.
Joe Moreland07/28/11
Congratulations Linda on your win this week. It is certainly a well deserved one! This is one of the most touching pieces I've ever read and is certainly something I plan to share with friends and family. Thanks for sharing something so personal with us and lending your deft touch to the crafting of such a beautiful work. You are a true artist.
Noel Mitaxa 07/28/11
ongratulations on a very well-deserved win.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/02/11
Beautiful and congrats! You've been on fire lately, I'm so glad that fire was lit in the most unexpected way. Keep it up!