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100 Candles

by Shonda Creemer

100 Candles

I was named after the month I was born in ~ May Rose. Momma always used to say that April showers brought May flowers.....cuz Momma lost her little April just two years prior to my birth in 1909. And after me ~ she was unable to have any more. But that is another story all together.

Today is my 100th birthday. Later, in the lounge ~ there will be cake and ice cream and I do believe a reporter from Channel 11. A celebration is planned, one not many get to partake in. I am sure I will need help blowing out all of those candles!

But for now, I am here ~ in my tiny room ~ alone with my thoughts. As I scan these four walls colored a creamy beige, I am content with this last place on Earth that I will call “home”. I've got my favorite chair where I can sit and watch my programs. I've got my comfy quilt I can wrap up in. My walls are decorated with various pictures of the lives I have touched, the places I've seen, the life I have lived. I've witnessed so much in my lifetime. Wars, depressions, technology, sickness, disasters ~ then we have such wonderments as inventions of flight and sight, walls coming down, desegregation and trips to the moon.

But what I keep coming back to is my own personal experience with this ride called life. I look down at my speckled left hand, now wrinkled from age, skin as thin as parchment paper and wonder what it would have looked like with a wedding band on it. I came close once, back in 1941; but instead of a wedding ~ I attended a funeral. My Love....My One and Only ~ My Forever Mate ~ My Beloved William....died far, far away fighting for everything we now hold dear. All I have left of us is my memories and a tattered old box filled with letters now turned yellow with age. And of course the Purple Heart he was given for his sacrifice. There were others....I tried to love again, but I always kept coming back to him. It seemed that no other could fill my heart the way he did. Because of this, I was not blessed with children ~ and due to the fact that I was an only child, I had no niece or nephew to spoil either. Oh ~ I did have my little four-legged “babies” through the years...each one bringing me so much joy at times it seemed I would overflow!

But my true passion in life became my job, now I guess I can't really call it a job ~ because I enjoyed it so much. I taught elementary. And I had the wonderful privilege of teaching for almost 40 years before I retired. It was amazing the twinkle in their eye when they discovered something new and exciting. I remember it to this day, along with nearly every child's name that I taught. Over the many years, I was humbled at the mere fact that I was given the chance to touch so many little hearts and minds, why ~ I even had the rare occasion of teaching some of my children's children!!! I collected so many cherished memories.

I've received a mail box full of birthday greeting's from all over the United States and the world as well....my “children” it seems have spread themselves far and wide! How marvelous of them to remember me after so many years.

I've been pondering here..in the silence, a question I know will be asked of me this evening at the celebration. And I want with all I've left in me to get it right.

What is my secret to this long and blessed life?

And all I have to say is:

I really have no secret it seems. I've lived my life as I was raised. To keep the faith through all of my hardships...loosing my William.....not being able to love another...grieving the children I never had. To find the bigger purpose....my joy of teaching and the little lives I touched along the way. And to just keep pressing toward the goal of doing God's will and making it to Heaven.

To live. To love. To laugh. To cry. To grieve. To hold fast. To simply believe. To keep the faith. And if all of that is a secret....I still have some teaching to do! Perhaps that is why He has given me so many years and so many candles on my birthday cake....my work on Earth is not yet through.

06/08/2009

Author's Note: prompt was "secret"

Posted on 06/08/2009
Copyright © 2021 Shonda Creemer

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Charlie Morgan on 06/08/09 at 12:50 PM

...shonda, i have chill bumps just reading this...a gillion quesions enter memind...none of gainful importance to you, just impressed with what you say, i too am working on my fortieth year educating minds [as best we can, eh?...]

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