Loving One Another

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter


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Back in 1991 I wrote a poem for my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. With the framed poem, I gave her a ceramic teeter-totter. The piece is a wind-up music box that plays “Playmates” as the little mice go up and down. She always had the poem and music box with her the next fourteen years as she was in and out of hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. When she died, I inherited them – and I treasure the memories they bring to mind.

My mom had a cousin close to her age, Madge, who lived with mom’s family when she was a child. Eventually Madge married and moved into a home of her own. She and her husband had two sons, Ronnie & Donnie. Mom married and moved to California where my sister and I were born. I loved meeting and spending time with my cousins when we would go to spend Christmas vacation back in Washington with Mom’s family. Through the years I have stayed in touch with Ronnie. He is near my age. However, I had lost touch with Ronnie’s little brother, Donnie, until last Saturday.

Donnie, whom I had not seen in 60 years, and his wife, Patti, came to spend this Labor Day weekend with Bob and me. What a treat! We reminisced and told stories and went through family photos and various family “artifacts.” One of my inherited treasures is a letter written on the occasion of our mutual great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They were married September 1, 1875. The letter is “A Saga of the Valley” – the valley in and around North Bend and Fall City, Washington where my mother and Donnie’s mom were born and raised. The letter was typed on onion skin, is brittle and faded, and hard to read – but is is legible. I will retype it and send it to my newly reacquainted cousin, Donnie. He will share it with his daughter who is into the study of genealogies.

As I was headed into the office to my computer, I spotted this ceramic teeter-totter music box. I realized I had forgotten to share that with Donnie. His mom, like mine, was a devoted mother who was wonderfully supportive of her two sons. I think he will appreciate this poem – and he certainly will concur – Life is Like a Teeter-Totter!

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of ups and downs.
Kids learn to roll and toss with it,
To shake away the frowns,
If they have a loving home
To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of bounces and of bumps.
Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump
And shake away the lumps
If they have a loving mother
To hug them tight and with kisses smother.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
It works better in pairs,
They keep each ther balanced
And handle love in shares
If they have had their mother’s arms
To guard against abuse and harms.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of laugh and silly giggle.
Full of noise and wonderment –
Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –
If they have been secure in love
Both from home’s hearth and God above.

Thank you, Mom, for filling my life
With love… more ups than downs, for sure.
You seemed to know my every need;
For every hurt you had a cure.
Happy Birthday, Mother dear –
I thank God each day that you are near!

God Bless our Moms!!
JanBeek ;o)

Comments on: "Life is Like a Teeter-Totter" (6)

  1. What a beautiful poem and a wonderful post Jan! Your posts always warm my heart. How special to be reunited with your cousin. Thank you for sharing this delightful story from your life. Blessings all around!
    Love and hugs, Gina

    • Yes, it is a gift to be able to reunite with long-lost relatives/friends – isn’t it? Thank you for visiting, Gina. I thought of you – when I read the word “balance” in my 22year old poem. Life is a balancing act in more ways than one. Bless you, dear friend!

  2. I wish I had the talent to write a marvelous poem like that for you, too, mother dear! You have been a fantastic mom throughout the years……and don’t you forget it!!!

  3. That is a beautiful poem – and a loving tribute to your mother. I can see why she treasured it. Thank you for sharing….Blessings – Patty

  4. Thank you for the kind remarks. Blessings to you, too, Patty. I need to go see what you were up to today! ;o)

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