Hand in Hand

Sadly, three of my good friends all lost family members over the last few months. One lost his grandmother, the second lost her brother, and the third is dealing with the recent death of his father. Naturally these losses caused a great deal of grief, upset, and certainly a lot of reflection on the importance each loved one had in their lives. I’m fortunate that both of my parents are still here, but the death of my grandmother over twenty years ago still has the power to upset me as though it were only yesterday that she passed away.

Luckily, my grandmother wasn’t someone I saw only on holidays or occasional Sunday afternoons. She was my second mother. She lived in her old farmhouse just through the cornfield, behind the tomato rows, and past the walnut tree at the end of the path. If I didn’t actually see her face to face every single day of my life, I still saw her in the backyard when I looked across the field, or I caught a glimpse of her in the thick butterbean rows. She was in my life when I was born and throughout my life helped me in any way she could. In her later years, as much as I could, I tried to help her. When she died I thought about how she had been there for me since my beginning and how as she aged and needed help, it was a natural matter of course that I would do what I could for her at the end.

I’m not much of a writer, and even less of a poet, but when my grandmother died the poem below just came out of me. She was a good, Christian woman and I think she would have liked what this poem says. When she was alive, she was there not just for me, but for my entire extended family and she knew we were there for her. She believed we will all ultimately be together again.

Religious beliefs are tricky, personal things, different for each of us, but it always eased my mind to see how strongly my grandmother held on to hers. She said we’ll all be together again, I believe her, and I find comfort in that. I hope my three friends find the same comfort as they remember how their loved ones cared for them, how they returned that love, and how we’ll be back together again in time, all notions that I tried to express twenty years ago when I wrote this tiny poem about my grandmother:

Hand in Hand

You held me tight in times I might
Not have wanted to stand.
A child so young, life just begun,
You there to hold my hand.

Your years flew past, painfully fast,
Sooner than I had planned.
Effort in talking, weakness in walking,
My turn to hold your hand.

But there’ll come a time, both yours and mine
To see wonderful things, so grand.
We’ll meet in that place, a smile on the face
And we’ll hold each other‘s hand.

Stuart M. Perkins

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “Hand in Hand

  1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It’s a happy coincidence (if you believe in coincidences) that I would then visit yours today and read your post, because today would have been my Grandmother’s birthday. She died forty years ago this past April, when I was in high school. Your poem is perfect! Thank you–Nancy

  2. What a wonderful poem. Beautiful sentiment.

  3. That was a beautiful poem! I guess only the hard times makes us rethink our lives and poems are a way to share our grief and pain.

  4. eleanorjanebirdy

    I’m not normally much of a one for poetry, but that’s a lovely sentiment. You were lucky to have such a wonderful presence in your life, even if it wasn’t for as long and you both would have wished.

  5. Lisa

    This is so lovely. I am very touched that you included me and my brother. The tribute to your grandmother is very inspiring, I know she has always been very special to you. I believe I have read that poem before, right? It is exceptional.

  6. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and liking my driving conversation post. This is such a poignant post. Your poem is so beautifully written. It expresses so much more than just words. You have a true gift.

  7. Hi Stuart, What a wonderful blog you have! Thanks for sharing about the important stuff. The love between your Grandma and you springs forth from your story, which is quite touching.

  8. Diane

    What a wonderful tribute to Nanny! Thanks, Stu.

  9. This is great! Thanks for visiting my blog. I will be following yours.

  10. Something swirling in the air about grandmothers this week! Wonderful poem!

  11. Your words, including your poem convey how much you cherished your grandmother. That is just beautiful. 🙂

  12. Beautiful and touching tribute to your grandma. I also love the description of where your grandma lived from your house. Wonderful images there. And you are definitely a writer and a good one.

  13. Thank you for liking my post! It led me here and having read your cat inspired malapropisms as well as the appreciation and understanding in grieving recent passings, you made me smile both times. Terrific!

  14. Okay, okay, the poem made me cry. Indeed, it did. Thank you for sharing that.

  15. powerful, keep writing from emotion, it suits you

  16. That was a truly beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it.

  17. Pingback: Hand in Hand | Circle of Light Spiritual Centre

  18. Such a beautiful post about the love of a family. Very easy to visualize your Grandmother out in the garden and her love wafting across the field to you. Losing a loved one is so painful; but picture-perfect memories can be
    the glue holding the lost love and you emotionally together. Thank you for visiting poetrycottage.

  19. Kerin

    Can’t read without tears. And, completely relate. Feels like parallel relationships with Nannie and Grandma. Miss them every day!

  20. embrystical

    Lovely!

  21. Great poem, touching words. Now that I live on a farm with my in-laws, I know that “across the yard” kind of family. On the other hand. my family was never so close, even under the same roof.

  22. Obviously, a grandmother to be remembered. But also a grandson– for being there. And the fact that you wrote a poem– makes you poet. Have a wonderful day!

  23. You must have really loved your grandma. Lucky you though, never met any of mine… If only the people we love would stay alive… Nice poem Stuart

  24. Privileged to read your poem expressing the profound loving relationship you and your grandmother enjoyed (which incidentally mirrors the strength of Christian faith my late maternal grandmother had, whereupon I subsequently discovered she had prayed for me unstintingly, unfailingly, faithfully, unconditionally, daily). That generation, borne out of the privations of both World Wars, was quite remarkable. I’d love to reciprocate by sharing the poem I wrote to celebrate the life of my Gran. A fellow shining star in a dimly-lit world.

  25. ddreamz

    Stuart..this is beautiful!!! I lost my mum a year ago and your poem reminded me of her!!

  26. I’ve been there. You can never repay your grandmother for everything she has done for you.
    All you can do is pass the extra parent’s love you’ve been given down to others.

  27. tellthetruth1

    That’s beautiful, Stuart; and what a lovely thing to have had someone in your life who had such great faith. That must leave you great comfort. I do hope so 🙂

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