Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I'm in El Paso, Texas, helping my mother sort out all the details of my father's passing on Monday night. We knew he was ill, but did not expect things to change so quickly.

As we prepare for this transition in our life, I'm struck by how he was such a warrior, having served as a U.S. Army Officer for his entire career, but when it was time to pass the baton to the younger generation, he did.  He loved studying the Civil War, and for some reason, today this poem seems appropriate.

O Captain! My Captain! 


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: 
    But O heart! heart! heart!         5
      O the bleeding drops of red, 
        Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;  10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding; 
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; 
    Here Captain! dear father! 
      This arm beneath your head; 
        It is some dream that on the deck,  15
          You’ve fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; 
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; 
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;  20
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! 
      But I, with mournful tread, 
        Walk the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead. 

Walt Whitman.

I will say though, that he has crossed to the victory, and is in the loving arms of His Savior. What better confidence than that can his family have?


The Bug said...

I'm so sorry for your loss - but yes, he's not the one who's sad!

sara said...

Praying for you and your family as you walk through this season. So hard to say goodbye to our daddys, but what a blessing to know he is face to face with his Savior!