No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
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My Nana and her sisters frequently wrote poems to one another on birthdays and special occasions. Today I share one written by Nana’s sister, Bernice, of her mother (my g-grandmother), Edith Bernice “Ede” (Lansil) Haines:
For Mother’s Birthday
Nearly sixty years ago,
He stood there with his bride,
He was that sweet girls handsome beau,
His chest was filled with pride.
Her eyes were blue, his twinkled brown,
They made their vows for life,
Then kept those vows for all the years,
Did John and Ede, his wife.
The children came, all eight of them,
Three boys, five girls were born,
They grew and loved, were snug and safe,
And welcomed every morn.
First Edith with her cherry ways,
Their firstborn, small and coy,
She thrived, untouched by “flapper” days,
And filled their hearts with joy.
Her days have passed so fruitfully,
They’ve beautified her face,
Grandchildren now upon her knee,
How did she stand the pace?
Jack grew to be so tall and fine,
Don Juan and bon vivant,
He’s traveled o’er this big wide world,
The sea his happy haunt.
Does he think about those days
He and Edith danced together,
The “flivver” with the “cranky” ways,
Baby Nat, light as a feather.
Next Walter came to stay a while,
He couldn’t tarry long,
His baby ways, his happy smile,
So brief was his life’s song.
Yes, John and Ede knew sadness,
The baby’s coat was white as snow,
A trolley ride ended gladness,
Leaving emptiness we’ll never know.
Doris was the next to come,
So thoughtful, so serene.
In yellow ruffled evening gown,
She danced just like a queen.
She’s smart, ambitious, she’s our prize.
In her class she’ll be first,
Compassion smiles in her blue eyes,
Soon she will be a nurse.
And then the dimpled daughter came,
Called Marion Jeanette.
So effervescent and so gay,
She was her family pet.
She flew a plane up in the clouds,
She skied down snowy slopes.
Today out west she can be proud,
She lived up to all hopes.
Bill came along, Mom’s special son.
He brought her all his love.
When came the day she needed him
He joined her up above.
Always there when needed,
Ready with his helping hand.
He even went to fight the war,
Upon old England’s land.
While he was there he gave his all
To each of us each day,
He gave us fun and “had a ball”,
Too soon he went away.
Next came the girl with golden hair,
To this happy group she came,
They gave her warmth, they gave her hope,
She’s called Bernice by name.
Thanks for the memories of days gone by,
Times of happiness and joy,
They’ll like the way she raised her brood,
Of three girls and four boys.
Then Ede and John they took a rest.
A fine family was theirs,
To love and raise and give the best,
And protect from all life’s cares.
But Natalie was bound to find,
A way to be our girl.
She came and blessed our happy home.
She became our precious pearl.
A writer and a poetess,
Joanne and Ed she gave.
Down on Cape Cod she settled,
A pioneer so brave.
Our names may change to Hall or White,
Or something else it seems,
Like Thomson perhaps Richards,
Yet “Haines” will haunt our dreams.
We hope Ede and John are proud of us
On their perch among the stars,
That they love us still away out there,
On Jupiter or Mars.
It’s nineteen hundred sixty-five,
Our childhood years have past.
Swan boats, root beer, happy rides,
From which the dye was cast.
They did us proud did Ede and John,
They gave us zest for life,
Through smiles and tears and joy and pain,
Through happy times and strife.
We’re scattered far and traveled wide,
We’ve lived and quelled our fears.
Today we look back with pride,
Upon those passing years.
“We pass this way but once” she said,
So let’s look on ahead,
Our heads held high, our stops serene,
We’ll follow where she led.
P.S. Thought talent seems to be my lack,
I just had to get in the act.
“Poetic license” isn’t here,
I meant each word; I hope that’s clear.