Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8,2009

This month I have decided to share with you a beautiful poem John wrote. We found it after he died and have framed it because it was titled "for Mom and Dad"

To say that John was a handful when he was young is an understatement. There were times when he was two that I would lay in bed at night and tell my husband that I didn't say one kind thing to him all day.

Oh, the stories are endless...he told my 90 year old great aunt to "drop the pwesants and weave" at his second birthday..then when she tried to steady herself by holding on to the back of his high chair while we were singing happy birthday to him, he noticed she had invaded his space and proceeded to physically remove her hands! And the face on him while it was happening..we have it on tape!

He was caught more than once relieving himself in the bushes of the Carmelite Nursery and single-handedly caused the retirement of one nun...who told me once that the problem with him was that you couldn't make him cry! (to which I replied that I didn't realize that was a goal of nursery school)

It goes on and on...and I probably will mention more of them as this blog proceeds... However, I often think I wish that I could go back and tell him how much I always loved him, how proud I was of the man he had become..and to ask if I was forgiven for any time I had done anything that was hurtful toward him. In short, I wish I could ask him if I was a good enough mother...
and then we found this...

Blessed are the ones who sow
for they alone bring crops to grow.
And in the case of sickly stems
that others would soon stamp out
those who sow shall blanket in cold,
and water in times of drought.
Ironically, the tallest, proudest plant in the field
was scheduled to be stomped out long ago
and quietly it would have been
were it not for those who sow.

My point in all of this is that you just never know the lasting effect your actions have...and you may not get to fix a mistake or a slight...and you don't really know who the tallest, proudest plant will this month, try to make sure you remember that...and treat every little plant as though it will become something beautiful...cause they do sometimes in spite of us..but just think of how much more good can be done if we try! (I do realize I somehow lucked out in life with John..he turned out great all by himself...but I hope that I can make up for the mean things I said or did to him...and all his friends know what I mean by that!)


daisie981 said...

Lovely poem and message Mrs. Pike. Thank-you for sharing!
-Nina Martin

hunta said...

Paula - How very interesting. My middle child (age 16) wrote his best poem last night. I was stunned by his introspection. I love John's analogy to plants and their caretakers. I often think of parenting in those terms. I take exception with your comment "he turned out great all by himself" though. It is quite certain that the parenting and fine example you set had much to do with John's maturity and humanity.


hilary said...

Mrs. Pike,
I currently work with at-risk youth who often have had little/no parental support in their lives, and their lack of dreams/ambition/development certainly reflects it. It's caused me to appreciate how much I received from my parents, and from a community of supportive parents that Hamilton-Wenham afforded. Never believe that the constancy of your love for John wasn't enough. Everyone makes mistakes, but the fact that you were there is everything. I have one of John's poems on my wall (from the funeral - the "Do you believe...") poem, and am inspired to him to live by faith.
-Hilary Davis (HW '04)

Elizabeth said...

Sometimes it's hard for me to believe my own memories sometimes. John was so embarrassed by his behavior when we were little; I mean, I can't see how he could have turned out any more different. I am sure Sisters Joan and Christine alike figured Johnny was destined for the State Pen or worse! John became so focused on his interests and hobbies (not literally, of course, he didn't have it in him) and such a dedicated student that anyone who only knew him as a toddler or small child would be floored to find out what an amazing adult he was able to become. I know he appreciated the patience that his family and friends showed him as he grew out of his wild ways . I think his poem demonstrates his gratitude in its simplest form and you guys are lucky to have found it! John counting his blessings, he knew what he had to be grateful for and was always willing to say "Thank You" and "Your Welcome," which sometimes can go a lot farther than one would, or could, imagine.
And on another note, the moon was pretty breath-taking last night, which just always puts me in a better mood. It does remind me to be a better person. And it does make me smile thinking of the personal evolution John went through, from the untamed terror of his early youth to the thoughtful tenderness of his early adulthood. Who would have guessed?

jodi said...

I love this months post

Peter Miller said...

Dear Mrs. Pike,

Reading John's poem reminded me of a poem my Grandfather wrote to his Mother AFTER her death. For John to have such tremendous perspective in life at such a young age is remarkable. Slowly, I'm finding out what a gifted young man the young boy I knew became. Thanks so much for sharing.

Matt Lazarony said...

Hi - This doesn't really belong here as a comment, but I'm not really sure where else I could put it and I wanted to get it out there. This happened just shy of a year ago it seems. I just happened to think of it recently, and it does have to do with John so just bare with me (I was friends with him in college, back when he played for the one and only Sweaty Pants, by the way).

So I had fallen asleep on my couch, and was having a nightmare in the middle of the night. It was one of those where you know it's a dream, but you can't wake up (and I wanted to because it was bad). The next thing I know my dog is barking, which kinda snapped me out of the nightmare, but I still wasn't fully awake. At that point I remember looking through my apartment at my front door, and watching it being opened. I was freaking out, because my dog is liable to kill an intruder, but I don't think I was really awake, and I couldn't get up off the couch. I couldn't really see what was beyond the door, my vision was blurred. I finally woke up as the door was closed. I looked out my peep hole, no one was there, and the dead bolt was bolted. I went to my kitchen to get some water and noticed my computer screen was on (it normally shuts off after 20 minutes) and found John's Facebook page up. That made me think.

Okay, so... Did my door ever really open? Probably not. Could a neighbor passing through have distrubed my dog even though he's usually quiet? Yea. Could my dog have bumped my computer to turn the monitor on? Yea. Could I have left John's page up before I fell asleep, even though I have no memory of doing so, and I usually close my browser? Yea, it's possible.

Regardless of what happened in reality, what I'm describing was quite vivid in my head. And even considering how bizarre the experience was, it still makes sense... I mean John would wake someone up from a nightmare, that's the type of guy he was, he was the man.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Pike:

I am an early 1990s HW grad -- I just discovered Ra Ra Riot recently and was surprised to see that their original drummer came from my little hometown of Hamilton...then so sad to read of what happened to John. It makes me proud to see what he made of himself and the beautiful music he helped create. Thank you so much for keeping his memory alive with this beautiful blog.

Sue said...

Paula that is just beautiful. So inspiring. Love to you all.

sue xxxxx