Sunday, March 05, 2006

Reading from Theo's funeral

Etude Realiste
by Algernon Charles Swinburne

A baby's feet, like sea-shells pink,
Might tempt, should Heaven see meet,
An angel's lips to kiss, we think,
A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat
They stretch and spread and wink,
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower-bells that expand and shrink,
Gleam half so heavenly sweet
As shine on life's untrodden brink.
A baby's feet.

A baby's hands, like rosebuds furl'd,
Whence yet no leaf expands,
Ope if you touch, though close upcurl'd,
A baby's hands.

Then, even as warriors grip their brands
When battle's bolt is hurl'd,
They close, clench'd hard like tightening bands.

No rosebuds yet by dawn impearl'd
Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world--
A baby's hands.

A baby's eyes, ere speech begin,
Ere lips learn words or sighs,
Bless all things bright enough to win
A baby's eyes.

Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies,
And sleep flows out and in,
Lies perfect in them...Paradise.

Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
Their speech make dumb the wise,
By mute glad godhead felt within,
A baby's eyes.


This poem was beautifully read by my aunt Nancy Helbert Salyer.

1 comment:

Loretta Mullins Mays said...


I graduated from Coeburn High School a few years ahead of you. A mutual friend of ours directed me to your blog last fall. I've checked it almost daily since. I'm so glad you decided to share your journey with the world. Your writings are so beautiful and full of emotion. You have taken me back to the time when my son, also born in May, was a baby. And I have relived moments with my daughter from her first year when there medical problems and some scary times. I have always known how blessed we are and I thank God for it everyday. Reading your postings, getting inside your head and your heart, feeling the pain and anguish you're going through, I thank God for you. No parent should ever doubt that our children are the greatest gifts we'll ever receive. You have made me, and I'm sure many others, pay more attention to the little things and be grateful for every minute.

I have been praying for you, Jamie and Theo since Day 1. I will continue to ask God to give you the strength and comfort to get you through each day. Please continue to share with us as you can. I hope someday you'll consider writing a book for parents of terminal children. Not having walked through the river you're standing in now, I can only imagine how comforting it would be to hear from others with similar circumstances -- comforting to know that what you're going through is normal and okay.

Thank you again for sharing Theo with those of us who never had the opportunity to meet him.

Love in Christ,

Loretta Mullins Mays