- December 12, 2016
- Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
With hands all brown and gnarly, yet gentle as could be
Grandpa lifted Bucky up to hold him on his knee.
Pride was written ‘crost his face in every krinkly line,
Lines that softened when he smiled, yet showed the wear of time.
“Lets set here, sonny, where it’s warm, and gaze upon the tree
Yer daddy hauled in from the woods – ain’t it dandy as can be?”
‘This boy’s the one that’s dandy,’ he mused all to himself;
The boy’s thoughts ran to Christmas, and he asked about the elf,
In bright green clothes an’ pointy shoes, an’ fur upon his hat –
An ornament, dangling from a limb, to tantalize the cat.
The old man’s eyes grew misty to hear the little voice
Bring up the very ornament that would’ve been his choice
To lift off that tree and cuddle, an’ let the mem’ries run
Of when he was a little boy, his daddy’s only son.
“Well, tell me Grampaw,'” Bucky urged, all impatiently –
While Grampaw struggled in his mind with painful memory.
“Son, that was mine when I’s yer’ size,” the old man softly said,
“My Momma bought it for me, with hair from off her head.
See, times wuz’ tough, my folks wuz’ poor – ‘er, brokes a better word –
They had no money for Christmas, but then somewhere they heard
Mom could sell her long dark hair, an’ money would be paid;
She cut an’ sold it to buy food – an’ that elf – for me that day.
Dad brought in a drought-bound tree, all scraggly, with few limbs
Mom an’ me made paper chains an’ strung popcorn for trim.
An’ as we worked Mom laughed with me an’ even sung a song
‘Bout the Savior an’ His greatest gift – freeing us from wrong.
On Christmas morn’ as I awoke, the tree was all aglow
With candles twinklin’ ‘mongst the limbs – jest here an’ there the’d show.
Then I spied somethin’ else there, hung way up near the top –
It was this very elf, my boy – an my eyes nearly popped.
When Momma reached an’ took it down an’ pressed it in my hand
An’ said it wuz’ my very own, the best elf in the land!
I asked her what an elf was, an’ she said they wasn’t real,
But that they represented things that we could only feel.
She said “There’s no way to see God, the Giver of all good,
But when I’d see an’ hold my elf I’d know I really could.”
Depend upon the things God said, an’ know He cared for me,
An’ that my life would turn out good in this ‘land of the free.’
She said I shouldn’t ever fear, no matter what befell
‘Cause God knew all about it – an’ He was the one to tell
If I had special needs or wants, or dreams within my heart –
He’d be right there, just like this elf, an’ always take my part!
My Momma died that winter, so me an’ Dad wuz left alone;
Except I always had my elf, an’ her words to let me know
That God was there though I couldn’t see, an’ so wuz Momma’s love
An’ that’s been true all through my life, sure as stars above!
I’ve lived good on this ol’ land, with friends and plenty health,
Had a home and love an’ fam’ly – the better part of wealth!
Sure, there’s been droughts and blizzards, but they always made me grow
In faith an’ strength an’ grit an’ try, ’cause boy, I always knowed
The very truth my Momma taught that long ago Christmas Eve,
That everything is possible if we will just BELIEVE!
There’s soldier boys an’ soldier girls an’ people of all kinds
In places far away from here, with no Christmas tree tonight;
I just hope they’ve got some elves an’ somethin’ they set stock in.”
Bucky said “I wish they were here, so they could hear you talkin’!”
Then Bucky said, “Why Grampaw, now yer elf is here with me,
An’ I feel sure that God is too, although I cannot see . . .
So what y’r Momma said was true, ’bout things we only feel
‘Cause you an’ me are certain that Christmas time is REAL!
So, Grampaw, let’s tell all the world – they surely ought to know –
* MERRY CHRISTMAS * GOD LOVES YOU *
* THAT’S WHY HE MAKES SNOW *“
About Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns is thankful one grandfather from England and another from Missouri settled in Wyoming . . . that they both became involved with horses, cattle and sheep . . . and that she was bles’t to grow up and continue to live within...