A Mother and Friend (for Joseph and Alain her sons)
In all life on our earth there burns this fervent flame,
This love and joyfulness that beings all reclaim;
This source of goodness shown in sacrifice
That makes this world below into a paradise.
So in the home all grace and charm abound,
And kindness, love and care abundantly are found.
She is found leaning over us from our tenderest age
Devoted with whole heart and the wisdom of a sage.
She’s the Virgin, she’s Athena and she’s Isis full of grace,
Motherhood in person, giving life unto our race.
Any praise we give a mother is a poem we compose
For the love and light and air, and existence each one owes.
Now speak I of good Mila who enriched a Christian home,
After love had gently touched her, with children strongly grown.
A home with joyous couple, who loved their Savior and their Lord,
And loved the Holy Mother, whose mercy they implored.
A union blessed by God from two to four became
Two sons were born together to take the family name.
Like John and Jesus, cousins dear, as paintings often show,
The joy of all their family together they did grow.
Agreement, comprehension, these were the daily share,
When father was at work, home was under angels’ care.
At school the days were spent or at home around the meal.
In evenings with their father whose calm they all could feel.
Benediction and all graces that heaven can bestow
For Our Father offered up for all received below.
Around Mila all united and together they did pray
As evening brought its customs to close the Christian day.
The parents loved each other and loved their children too
So in this Christian ethos the family all grew.
But this haven home of virtue, which was heaven’s pride,
Provoked those evil forces who love could not abide.
They gathered all their power, a battle they would win,
And crush this little fortress where there was no place for sin.
But here there were good Christians all ready for the fight,
To stand against the evil wrought by legions of the night.
Ghassan was called by God to make in heaven a home,
One radiating glory for eternity to come.
He went to his Creator and could leave with humble pride
His spouse and his children and others at their side,
A cell of Christ’s own Church united by their love
Their heritage he left below was faith in God above.
Mila now was widow left but with children strong,
A chemist and a magistrate who knew the right from wrong.
And so life passes down where sea and mountain meet
On the westward slope of Lebanon at the Virgin Mary’s feet.
Mila I remember for I spoke to her a while,
She was open, she was charming, and welcomed with a smile.
As mother she was faithful to her duty and her call,
With Our Lord upon the Cross she suffered in her soul.
She gave of her own person for her children young
Like the pelican that bled, as was in legend sung.
With Eva she plied her needle with her children in her mind,
She gave them love and sustenance and gave them guidance kind.
As she worked with patience, hand and needle were as one,
Thus for herself and family God’s heaven could be won.
She knelt before the altar that in her home she made
When church bell called the evening and then she fervent prayed.
To beautify his heaven God chooses here and there
Good souls fair and holy who give a perfume rare;
Ghassan up there made ready a final resting place
That Mila would adorn and there see the Holy Face.
Down here it is a testing place where God we must obey
So he will bless our home so in heaven we then stay.
Sickness gnawed her vitals but always she did pray
Though illness and exhaustion did steal her health away;
But her pain and suffering gave her Purgatory on earth
Accepted by her humbly so she gave it sacred worth.
Hospitals and doctors and treatment hard to bear
We must accept as destiny when submitting to their care.
We take from God’s own hand whatever he ordained,
We bow our heads devoutly so virtue is obtained.
So Mila showed her trust and love both day and night,
In her sons she placed her hope and carried on the fight.
On that last Advent morn, with Christmas Day awaited,
And the Holy Child new-born, as Saint Luke has related,
On eastern soil he blessed in a cave in Bethlehem
Where wise men came adoring for the light he gave to them,
Mother Mila suffered silently in vigil on her own,
Offering as penance the pain that she had known.
But though ‘twas cold December roses there had grown
On a road that stretched to heaven with fairest flowers sown.
As she laid down her burden and offered her last sigh
Her soul was clothed with glory and the angels bore her high.
The music of her triumph was heard on trumpet clear
With Resurrection promised for one who was so dear
And called by her Creator celestial joy to share
Reward for her devotion and the hours she spent in prayer.
On earth the air was gentle and breezes softly blew
In this late December like Mary’s May anew;
Nature would not die but held back in its joy
At Mila’s flight to heaven on wings of pure alloy.
The sun seemed held aback as if desire it showed
To soar beside dear Mila upon her upward road.
As autumn turned to winter on this holy day
To receive on earth their Savior the people came to pray,
Mila was in heaven already with her Lord,
And joined with Mother Mary in glory now bestowed.
So now we call on him who has Mila by his side
To let her virtue shine on us and be for us a guide.