Ah, New Year, a time of reflection and reminiscing; a time to look ahead. It’s also a time when I really enjoy reviewing old journal entries. Sometimes I go way back as I did this morning and I had the surprise of coming across a poem I wrote in 1991.
The context of the poem was another of Stephen’s many impending departures. At the time he was still on active duty in the United States Coast Guard and was preparing to get underway on the USCGC Barque Eagle, a beautiful sailing vessel used by the Coast Guard Academy for training of cadets; Stephen would be riding her as one of the trainers. Originally commissioned in 1936 under Hitler’s navy, the “Gorch Fock”, as it was called by the Germans, became a WWII war prize and was allocated to the Coast Guard in 1946. Stephen would be gone all summer so I wrote this poem and tucked it into his sea bag for him to find later.
As I pondered the poem this morning, 28 years later, and the circumstances in which it had been written, I had to marvel at something: Stephen has always been departing! Our entire relationship has been built around saying Good Bye. It doesn’t get any easier. Nor would I want it to. Our love is deep and real; I want it to hurt when he leaves.
So now, another year begins and we have said another Good Bye. And again, this 28-year-old poem is a comfort as I trust the Bigger Hands which hold us both.
Today we part long the path
That God has placed us on;
Though temporary, still it hurts
I’ll miss you when you’re gone.
The cords of faith will keep us close
God’s deeper love will abide;
The trial we with joy can face
Knowing He is by our side.
The comfort comes in peaceful knowledge
God the worlds did frame;
Victory will be assured us
When the battle’s fought in His name.
Today my hand lets go of yours
God’s grace will allow me to stand;
My faith and trust are in the One
Who holds us in Bigger Hands.