|Bill and Doris Wheeler as newlyweds in 1954|
This photo was taken shortly after my parents were married, on the steps of the duplex they shared in Berkeley, California for a few months before purchasing their own house. Today, Mom is celebrating her 93rd birthday, and I would like to share this poem in her honor.
A Prayer for a Mother's Birthday
by Henry Van Dyke
Lord Jesus, Thou hast known
A mother's love and tender care:
And Thou wilt hear, while for my own
Mother most dear I make this birthday prayer.
Protect her life, I pray,
Who gave the gift of life to me;
And may she know, from day to day,
The deepening glow of Life that comes from Thee.
As once upon her breast
Fearless and well content I lay,
So let her heart, on Thee at rest,
Feel fears depart and troubles fade away.
Her every wish fulfill;
And even if Thou must refuse
In anything, let Thy wise will
A comfort bring such as kind mothers use.
Ah, hold her by the hand,
As once her hand held mine;
And though she may not understand
Life's winding way, lead her in peace divine.
I cannot pay my debt
For all the love that she has given;
But Thou, love's Lord, wilt not forget
Her due reward,--bless her in earth and heaven.