Happy Birthday to My Granddaughter


It was 18 years ago that my first grandchild was born–Marian Renee.  I had an opportunity to speak to her briefly earlier today to wish her a happy birthday. It is difficult to believe that she is now “of age.”  Where does the time go?

Forty-four years ago, my favorite aunt shared a poem with me that I have always remembered.  It is a poem that I would like to share here in honor of Marian’s birthday.

If you can trust yourself though others doubt you
And conquer fears that limit what you dare
So you can freely give to those about you
The skills and talents that rare yours to share;

If you can live, not for your pleasure only,
But gladly lend your gentleness and grace
To warm the hearts of those whose lives are lonely
And help to make their world a better place;

If you can balance dreams with practicality
And deal in facts, but never lose ideals,
If you can face the harshness of reality
And find the truths that prejudice conceals;

If you can be courageous when defeated
And humble in the face of victory,
Or give your best until a task’s completed,
However difficult that task may be;

If you can temper facts with understanding
And seek to gently guide, not to control,
And neither be too lax nor too demanding,
But keep in mind the worth of every soul…

If you can strive, not caring who gets credit,
And work at building bridges, and not walls,
Or hearing idle slander, just forget it
And never fail to help someone who falls;

If you can give your help without begrudging
The patience, time and effort you impart,
Or look at others’ weakness without judging
And see, not with your eyes, but with your heart;

If you can take resources that surround you
And use them in the way you feel you should,
You’ll be a woman…and all those around you
Will be the richer for your womanhood!

 — by Gale Baker Stanton–

 Happy birthday, dear Marian. I love you.

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