The Winding Road
There was a road filled with glory
A road that only I could see
It was my road of Happiness, Joy and Love
There was a road straight and narrow
The road that I chose to walk, It was my road.
There was a road with no mountains or hills to climb
It was just as smooth as could be – it was my road
There was a road with flowers lined, that
Bloomed all year round, It was my road.
There was a road clearly marked, that lead my life to joy
It was my road
There was a road that reared its ugly shoulders,
Things in my life began to tumble, It was not my road.
The road was no longer straight and narrow
Not the road I chose to walk, It was not my road.
There was a road with many mountains and hills,
Rugged and rough as it were, It was not my road.
There was a road with wilted flowers
That bloomed just once a year, It was not my road.
The road became blurry, that lead my life to sorrow
It was not my road.
The road of life has to be two roads, each different to
Travel on. I guess that is now my road.
Oh God, Have I forsaken Thee?
Where is my road? Where has my road gone?
I need to know before it’s to late. Where is my road?
You know I need the love of another.
But does my road need to be so rough?
Can I not walk in the pathway straight?
Can I not have my flowers too?
Do the mountains have to be there?
You answer me with silence. Why my Lord? Are you there?
Then with a roar of a lions breath, In clouds of thunder you come.
You look at me and not speak, I don’t really understand Lord.
You look at me with those comforting eyes.
Your arms spread wide. I died for you. What more do you want?
I can give you comfort and peace.
But earth’s comfort and peace you make yourself.
That is your road to walk.
My arms are still yours. My peace and comfort I give.
But your road is yours to choose.
Rev. Clifford E. Turpin
I am writing this slow because I know that you can't read fast.
We don't live where we did when you left home.
Your dad read in the paper that most accidents happen within 20 miles from your home so we moved.
I won't be able to send you the address, as the last family that lived here took the house numbers when they left so that they wouldn't have to change their address.
This place is real nice. It even has a washing machine. I'm not sure if it works too well though. Last week I put a load in, pulled the chain, and haven't seen them since.
The weather isn't too bad here., it only rained twice last week, The first time it rained for three days and the second time for four days.
The coat you wanted me to send you, your Uncle Steve said it would be a little too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets.
We got another bill from the funeral home. They said if we don't make the last payment on Grandma's grave, up she comes.
John locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were worried because it took him two hours to get me and Shelby out.
Your sister had a baby this morning but I haven't found out what it is yet, so I don't know if you're an aunt or an uncle. If the baby is a girl, your sister is going to name it after me, she's going to call it Mom.
Uncle Pete fell in a whiskey vat last week. Some man tried to pull him out but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated and he burned for three days.
Three of your friends went off a bridge in a pick-up truck. Ralph was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your two friends were in the back. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate down.
There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much has happened.
PS, I was going to send you some money but the envelope was already sealed.
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or pre pare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq