Saturday, April 06, 2013

The Days are Long But the Years are Short

I loved this poem written by  
(I included the background he gave for writing the poem.) 
I have a soft spot for those acknowledging wisdom 
that's been learned from many long years of life.

These Things I Know
by Boyd K. Packer
In 1992, having served 9 years as assistant to the 12 and 22 years as a member of the quorum of the 12, I reached the age of 68. I felt impressed to start what I called an “Unfinished Composition.”  The first part of that work goes like this:

I had a thought the other night,
a thought profound and deep.
It came when I was too worn down
too tired to go to sleep.
I’d had a very busy day and pondered on my fate.
The thought was this: When I was young, I wasn’t 68.

I could walk without a limp, I had no shoulder pain.
I could read a line through twice and quote it back again.
I could work for endless hours and hardly stop to breathe.
The things that now I cannot do I mastered then with ease.

If I could now turn back the years--if that were mine to choose--
I would not barter age for youth, I’d have too much to lose.
I’m quite content to move ahead to yield my youth, however grand.
The thing I’d lose if I went back is what I understand.

--10 years later I decided to add a few more lines to that poem.

Ten years have fallen to who knows where.
And with it much of pain.
A metal hip erased my limp. I walk quite straight again.
Another plate in my neck(?) holds fast
A wonderful creation. It backed my polio away.
I’ve joined the stiffnecked generation.
The signs of aging can be seen, those things will not get better.
The only thing that grows in strength in me is my forgetter.
You ask, “Do I remember you?”
Of course, you’re much the same.
But don’t go getting all upset if I can’t recall your name.

I would agree I’ve learned some things I did not want to know.
But each has brought those precious truths that make the Spirit grow.
Of all the blessings that have come, the best thing in my life
is the companionship and comfort I get from my dear wife.
Our children all have married well with families of their own.
With children and grandchildren, how soon they all have grown.

I have not changed my mind one bit about regaining youth.
We are meant to age for with it comes the knowledge of the truth.

You ask what will the future bring--just what will be my fate?
I’ll go along and not complain. Ask when I’m 88.

--And last year I added these lines:

And now you see I’m 88, the years have flown so fast.
I walked, I limped, I held a cane, and now I ride at last.
I take a nap now and again, but Priesthood Power remains.
For all the physical things I lack, there are great spiritual gains.

I’ve traveled the world a million miles and another million too.
With the help of satellites, my journeys are not through.

I now can say with all certainty that I know and love the Lord.
I can testify with them of old as I preach his Holy Word.
I know what he felt in Gethsemane is too much to comprehend.
I known he did it all for us--we have no greater friend.
I know that he will come anew with power and glory.
I know I will see him again at the end of my life story.
I’ll kneel before his wounded feet,
I’ll feel his spirit glow.
My whispering, quivering voice will say, “Oh Lord, My God, I know.”

Between sessions I dropped Nick off at a friend's house and ran to the garden store to replace a dead plant (the only one I own that gives NO leeway for forgetting to water. Once it's dry it's done for.)
As I drove past Olympus High, I snapped a photo of these guys snapping photos and remembering the "Old Olympus" before it gets torn down next week. A lot of people have been visiting to walk down memory lane. So many memories in high school. 

Courtney and friends snuck after school--while teachers were in a faculty meeting--and roller bladed down the halls. So proud!! (A couple of teachers saw them donning their blades and happily "looked the other way!" LOVE High School teachers!!)

After I got home I took a jog, albeit grudgingly -- started out "having to" more than "wanting to." But at the bottom of the hill I could smell blooming trees! Aaahh, love that smell! The apricot and magnolia blooms seem to last only a week -- so glad I didn't miss it.
Marty and Carter under the apricot tree.

Taught Nick to do a back flip on Thursday. He told me I was the best back flip teacher!

1 comment:

Helen said...

love this post! thanks for keeping up your blog :)