What do you give someone who is 94 years old, has lived a very full life, downsized her home of 51 years and moved to a small, assisted-living apartment? And since that someone, as in my mother's case, is an individual who has spent much of her life giving to others, the gift of a goat from Heifer International would be perfectly appropriate! I am well known in my family for coming up with poems for special occasions, so of course it was expected that I would write one to accompany this gift.
My husband, three grown kids (pun intended) and their kids, our four grandchildren, encouraged me to share this poem with Heifer at the time. Somehow, I never got around to it. This holiday season will be a somewhat difficult one for all of my family as my mother, Kitty (Katherine Ahern Habing), is no longer with us. She passed away this past March, just six weeks prior to her 102nd birthday!
In her honor and in memory of all her charitable work (only a tiny bit of which is referenced in my poem) I now wish to share this poem as a tribute to my mother's long life of giving and to the wonderful work that Heifer does! No words can do justice to Heifer's mission across the globe to better the lives of so many, but I hope my modest, little poem will serve as a small tribute both to this wonderful organization and to the memory of my mother's generous life.
Wishing all of you who might be reading this a happy holiday season!
Gratefully, Trish Cancilla
The Gift of a Goat:
We give you the gift that will go on giving,
To honor your life of generous living
You scored high marks on the "Giving Meter"
When you served as my top-notch Brownie Leader
Your points in giving continued to build
As you volunteered for the hospital guild
And those custards you baked for your sick friends,
Did your generosity never end?????
Driving the "seniors" to here and to there,
Giving your time with unselfish care
Now, for those years of generous giving
Here is our gift that will go on living
For many years after we all have passed
The effects of this gift will last and last
A symbol of what Christmas truly should be,
When we give of ourselves most generously
Opening our hearts to goodness and grace,
Helping others in some far-away place
This gift of a goat is our gift to you,
Hoping the benefits that will ensue
Will affect someone in a positive way
And remain in their heart beyond This Christmas Day!
- Trish Cancilla
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
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