No One Ever Promised


My hand.

My father’s hand.

My baby son’s foot.

My father’s eyes locked on my baby son’s eyes.

My face in the gentle expression of a mother and a daughter all at once.

My father wouldn’t live much past that day, a few weeks or so, but no one knew that in that moment. Just as we couldn’t tell the future, many trusted to care for him could not see his past. They saw a sick man, maybe even a dying man, but not the life that he had lived for 70 years. They couldn’t see the vitality hidden deep within that hospital gown, the life that pushed air in and out of that  tracheostomy tube.

This was my father, a proud grandpa, just 2 years earlier with my second son.


Life is funny how it can be taken for granted one moment then taken the next. Yet, no matter how closely death happens around us, we still can’t help but forget how precarious life is. Perhaps it is woven into the fabric of the nature of survival itself.

But it is worth it to try. To try to appreciate the time we have with our loved ones right now when they are being funny and sweet or ornery and frustrating. Because, life deals the good with the bad. Life finds the ultimate balance in death.

I wrote this poem for his prayer card and I carry it with me as a reminder to not just appreciate life but to appreciate those who are living it with me.

No one ever promised you tomorrow

So I will carry a heart full of yesterdays

To help me live and love each blessed day

Let the moments and pictures hold the sorrow at bay

So I can carry you with me

So with me you will stay.

4 thoughts on “No One Ever Promised

  1. Robert Quinn says:

    I lost my grandfather 8 years ago this coming week so this really meant a lot to me. I can’t ever replace my China marine hero, but my children help him live on. Thank you.


  2. Claudia says:

    What a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing those 2 photos as well.


  3. Margaret says:

    Your poem is beautiful. We felt the same way when our Mom was in the hospital dying. She was an old woman with tubes, etc. I brought pictures of her with her grandchildren & hung them around. That hospital personnel needed to understand she was so much more.
    And no, we didn’t want to give he a needle to put her down as they asked of us. Thank you for sharing. ❤️


  4. That was a beautiful poem. I had your dad for PE when I was in Canaan elementary. He was great. Thank you for sharing your love for him with us.


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