A Prayer

by cindy

My father was often called upon to speak at events–dinners and meetings and such. I was aware of this mostly because after he finished writing he would wander around the house muttering words until they were committed to his memory. Also, unless she was also attending the event, and if Dad’s commitment included dinner, Mom would delightedly cook up ‘breakfast’ for our dinner, including piles of bacon and warm cinnamon rolls.

When we moved Dad to the nursing home, age and dementia having robbed him of all independence, some of us gathered to help sort the few remaining papers of interest or import. A lot of it was nothing more than random phone numbers or left-over newspapers. Tucked into those piles, however, was a treasure: a bit of information none of us had ever seen before. And, as always, I held onto it. There’s a reason why I’m the “Keeper of the Stuff” in our family: I keep “The Stuff”.

The typewritten note appeared to be saved from some sort of program. The other pages, particularly the front one which might have given us clues as to the organization and date involved, were no where to be found. According to the article, however, Dad had been asked to write this blessing for “Jim Pulice (WI ’62).” The intro also said that “It was the Blessing he [Dad] gave at a Shrine Club Dinner in 1987.”

We were stunned. And overwhelmed. When he passed many months later, I remembered that scrap of paper and dug it out of “The Stuff”. His favorite pastor shared it at our small family graveside service when Dad died in 2018. Hearing his words spoken as we laid him to rest was the perfect end to a life fully lived.


“I  have planted a seed and gathered its fruit,

so I know what Faith is.

I have sat by a waterfall and listened to the murmur of trees,

so I know what Peace is.

I have watched a child run into her mother’s outstretched arms,

so I know what Love is.

I have witnessed the miracle of birth and the mystery of death.

I have seen the beauty of Spring, the fruition of Summer, the bountiful harvest of Autumn,

and the quiet repose of Winter, 

so I know what Life is.

And because I have perceived all these things,

I know what God is.


Our Heavenly Father, walk with us through life’s journey.

Guide our footsteps along the paths thou would have us trod.

Grant peace to our nation and to this world.

But if that peace must come through sacrifice,

Help us to make those sacrifices that will further thy Kingdom.

Grant us vision to see,

Wisdom to know,

And Courage to do thy will on earth, as it is in Heaven.

These things we ask.



Written by E. Burl Randolph, Clarksburg WV, date unknown