Born in a simple, modest house,
A three room clapboard shack,
With two small rooms across the front,
A lean-to on the back.
Born to a couple strong as steel,
Whose strength came from above,
Pledged to each other, and their God,
To rear their kids with love.
To Frank and Winnie, I was born,
Back in the days of yore,
On February twenty nine
In nineteen twenty four.
Now in this crowded domicile
Lived Mom and Dad, and me,
With Harry, Howard, Chester, Hal,
And little Alice Marie.
This house had been my parents’ home,
With every rising sun,
Since nineteen eleven, when they were wed,
On January one.
The eight of us existed here
Within this crowded state
Until my first real birthday passed,
In nineteen twenty eight.
‘Twas then we moved into a house
A few yards down the road.
No better, but a little bit
More spacious than the old.
This house, a little larger, but
As I recall the facts,
It had one extra added room;
Two leaned against the back.
Here on this place Dad started out,
And worked from sun to sun
On rented land sharecropping, as
His Dad before had done.
Plowing, planting, chopping, picking
The cotton, corn, and grain,
Fighting grass, and weeds, and insects,
Too much or little rain.
Taking only that which sprouted
And grew there in the sod.
His hand securely to the plow,
His faith and trust in God!
From Monday Morn through Saturday
He took care of his work.
On the Sabbath Day, he rested,
And took us all to church.
My Dad was all a Dad should be.
The leader of his clan.
Belonging to a man.
His hand was firm, but always kind.
His word possessed a clout.
He often was in error, but
He never was in doubt!
His days were spent around the farm.
The habit of his life.
His nights were always spent at home
With children and his wife.
My Mom was kind and gentle, and
At teaching love and kindness by
Example and precept.
She had six kids to care for, born
In thirteen years of time.
Her first she bore at seventeen,
Her last at twenty nine.
Untrained, uneducated, with
A reverence for life.
She only prayed that she might be
A mother and a wife.
A lot of things she didn’t know.
Some things she could not be.
But she is in my Hall of Fame
For all she did for me!
In this old house I learned about
Life’s blessings, joys, and gains.
In this house I was introduced
To sadness, death, and pain.
From early on I learned to run
To Mom when I was scared,
And seek the refuge of her arms,
Because I knew she cared!
If I was wounded, hurt, or sick,
Or bruised, or cut, or sprained,
I knew if I could get to Mom,
She’d make me well again!
We didn’t have a lot of things,
But we were blessed indeed!
Though variety was lacking,
We had enough to eat.
There always was a guiding force
By which our home was graced.
A powerful, invisible,
A force that we call FAITH!
Another force that blessed our clan,
As through the years we groped,
A simple, yet a mighty force.
A force that we call HOPE!
One other constant resident
Came surely from above.
That was, without a single doubt,
The best of all, called LOVE!
For decades now, they’ve both been dead.
Their smiles and voices gone.
But the aura of my Mom and Dad,
Goes on, and on, and on!
They’re here today, they’ll always stay.
I know the reason why!
Because, you see, they’ll live in me,
Until the day I die!