Tag Archives: Children Youth and Family

A visit from a smile


A smile visited my face today

and will not go away

but that’s OK

I do not want it erased

I want my grandchildren to see

how happy they make me.

 

A sort of Self Portrait Melba Christie

 

What is around the corner?


It seems like a simple question. What is around the corner? All one needs to do is look and see. But obviously the question is rhetorical and sometimes plain scary? However, it is probably a very common question these days. English writer and poet G. K. Chesterton once said, “There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.” As a child I would love to play hide and seek. I’d always hide in a corner so that I would not be seen and could ultimately surprise whomever had been called”it”. As they turned the corner I would jump out and tag them and most of the time scare the heck out the person. Today it is I who is scared to turn the corner. J.R.R. Tolkien  once wrote,”“Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate and though I oft have passed them by a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

As I grow older and some say wiser (I hope  that’s the case); I have learned to take the paths that help me become a better human being. I am wary of where the road may lead me so I try very hard to forge new paths for myself and others. The surprise element is not as attractive as it use to be. This does not mean that I will not take risks every so often. Life is about taking chances and meeting challenges face to face. But one never knows what’s around the corner. As an optimistic I try to keep positive and look forward to wonderful things. I visualize what I want to be around the corner and usually find what I looked forward to finding.

The reality is that this is not the case for a lot of people. The violence and uncertainty that some folks have to live with on a daily basis makes it difficult to be optimistic about what can be found just around the corner. Some missing children barely turned the corner from their homes when they were kidnapped or attacked. Other innocent young children cannot turn any corner on any street in their neighborhoods without finding themselves at risk of being killed in the crossfire of drug dealers. Some families reach the corner and find themselves at a dead-end about finding jobs or getting the proper housing or health care they need. Therefore, many folks are not too enthusiastic about what they might find just around the corner.

I propose we work collectively to improve the odds of what children might find just around the corner. We must protect our children because not only are they our future but they are our present as well. Our children fill our lives now.  I often put myself in the shoes of parents who have lost their children or babies to violence. The thought that some children are abducted or killed within walking distance of their homes and sometimes even in the presence and company of their parents is torturous. But we must be more vigilant and watch our corners carefully. We must make sure they are safe. We cannot conform to the violence. We must act and act now. These past few days I have heard of several killings that simply do not make sense.

We must look forward to what’s just around the corner for all of us. Some of us live on safe corners and we cannot wait there while others are not safe. Albert Camus once said, ” At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike anyone in the face.” Thus, we have the obligation to work collectively to take back our street corners in all neighborhoods and make them safe for our children. We must not allow thugs and violence to corner us. All children need all of us in their corner. We cannot paint ourselves into corners and let fear take over. Neighborhoods must organize in coordination with schools, churches, libraries and any other safe havens that might be out there for children and young people.

We must believe that great things will be found just around the corner. Al Sharpton says,  “I’ve seen enough things to know that if you just keep on going, if you turn the corner, the sun will be shining.” I believe this to be true. We must turn the corners together. No corner of our being should abandon the idea that we can carry out anything when we unite for a just cause. This is the American way. Our country is the corner of the world where people from all around the globe want to be.  Let us take a stand and turn the corner together. Let us once again as a nation corner the market on humanity and selfless giving of ourselves.

Angels in a classroom


It saddens me and breaks my heart to learn that we have to deal with this type of horrific event once again. I was physically ill by the news. Like everyone else I could only think about my loved ones and family who have children in those grade levels. My children are grown but all I wanted to do was to see them and hug them tight.

I wrote this poem as I listened to news reports on CNN. Someone said that there were probably some angels in that school because no other explanation would suffice about how many of the children did manage to escape with only the emotional wounds. May God help them to heal. My sincere condolences to all the families and the larger community of Newtown.

 

Melba Christie

 

 

Angels in a classroom

 

There were not enough angels to go around

For the children left helpless in a school in Newtown

 

The sky was bright and forever blue

But no one knew

 

The calm would be shattered

By a soul so troubled and battered

 

The children were all babies by any definition

No parent would argue with this distinction

 

For no matter what the age of a child may be

The loss of a son or daughter, we all can agree

is something too difficult to believe

 

There were not enough angels that day to go around

The reasons for all the horror may never be found

 

What we know is that 20 more angels have been recruited

To watch from the heavens

And mingle with the stars

And their brightness will outshine all the others by far

 

Let us pray for all our children

and make sure that they know

how much we love them

and how we will do all we can

to make sure that no one ever does this again.

 

Let us not forget the teachers

who protected the children

and made the ultimate sacrifice

to put their lives first

We all need to recognize

Those teachers were real life angels in disguise.

 

 

Melba Christie

 

 

 

Journey


I just learned through the media that the missing child I alluded to in last post (poem) was found dead. I cannot imagine the pain the family must be going through. I can only express my deepest condolences in another poem. I do not know that this poem will even reach the girl’s family but my heart aches. Every time I read or hear about another child missing my heart skips a beat. I remember the one time my daughter roamed away from us at the mall. It was the longest and most agonizing 15 minutes of my life. My throat became so dry I could barely speak. My husband became so pale it was as if someone had drained the blood from his body. She had been sitting in the book store the entire time not realizing that we were worried sick looking for her. When we saw her walking back towards us along side the Mall’s security guard I thought I would collapse from the sigh of relief. So I know that desperate feeling one gets when you know your child is missing. All it takes is a minute and your life can change forever.

I do not know all the details of this horrendous crime. The investigation is still fresh. But if indeed someone took this child’s life to steal her bicycle then my heart breaks even more. What a senseless, cruel, inhuman, barbaric act. Only heartless, brainless fools are capable of such a thing. What is happening to some of our youth? How does a bicycle become more valuable than a human life? What can we do to stop the craziness? How do we protect our children?

Here is my poem dedicated to the parents of the victim of this recent tragedy. God be with this family to help them cope with the pain.

A garden full of sweet smelling flowers has begun to grow

getting ready to greet you and invite you to the show

Your parents are aware

and know you must be there

among the angels

but of course they will miss you very much

and long to touch

your face as when they’d tiptoe into your room at night,

to kiss you on the forehead and say goodnight.

Now you are out of sight

to them and to your friends

but none will forget your plight

and we all will continue to flight

to stop what was your fatal destiny

from happening again

We promise to not forget

We promise to remember

the splendor of your short life

on this earth

And when we look up

to see the sky at night

you will be the most beautiful star

shining bright upon us.