Friday, November 11, 2011

Ma's salute to the Veteran

My Uncle Kenneth (mother's brother) sent this poem to me this morning. I was touched and thought I would share. On every scrap piece of paper she could find, "Ma" wrote poems all her life, even as a young girl. No one knew until her death the hidden talents of this God fearing, humble home maker and mother. I remember her only as being old, with a loud heavy voice, hard of hearing and picnics on the front room floor...I had just turned nine years old when she died.

"This poem was written by Ethel Mai George Floyd on Armistice [now Veterans] Day, evidently in 1918, since she mentions her son, Elroy, as being 16 years old. Thanks Mama."

1 May 1880 - 22 July 1956


I for two reasons celebrate
The lovely great Armistice date
We heard the news - a peaceful sign
Sixteenth birthday of that boy of mine
Each year the glad Armistice Day
Comes first - And then we lay the tray
We think of all the boys that gave
Their lives - and did their country save
And then we think of those that's here
Who also served without a fear
We fall right back then at our own
We must not leave our boy alone.
For on each grand Armistice Day
Our boy he has a glad birthday
We raise our eyes to God in prayer
For Mothers of the war graves there
And always think of what may come
An awful war may claim our own.

Thank you Uncle for sharing and caring about our family history...


juju said...

I am so glad I remember her and that she left us with so many of her thoughts because of her her poems. Another great blog. Thanks Uncle for always reminding us of our heritage!

family said...

ADDENDUM >>> For those who are interested...

Uncle said he thought his grandmother started writing poems very early in her life because he knew: 1.) She wrote of school and school friends. 2.) About things her family did. 3.) Her experiences with little angels and/or fairies. 4.) She also wrote of her mother’s death, signing these writings, EMG (Ethel Mai George). Later her poems were signed EMF (Ethel Mai Floyd) after she married.
Ma’s mother died when she was 18 years old, leaving her and her father to care for a 3 year old brother and a 6 year old sister… Her father died three years later. Kenneth thinks he may have died of a broken heart. From pictures Kenneth saw of them together, they looked so happy. True or not it is nice to think there might have been something good in all that tragedy. Needless to say, Ethel Mai didn’t have time for higher education, travel or having a young girl’s carefree life
My grandfather (her son) took care of her in her old age. I remember her staying is a big old house back behind the Feed Store that Granddaddy owned and worked in every day until he died.
For Christmas, I want some lazy time to just sit and read Ma’s poems. Mother had them bound in books and gave them to her children for Christmas last year…priceless!

P.S. Aunt Lillie (Ma’s daughter) once told me the tragic story of the day there was a horse and buggy accident and Ma lost her baby girl… There are heart breaking poems about that event too. I think Ma must have written these poems because she somehow had to get them out of her and put those life experiences on paper so she could have room to absorb the days ahead. I am like that sometimes, I have feelings so intense it’s hard to know what to do with them.

Oh, and she was a devout Christian and was sometime persecuted for it…but she did not waiver.