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Shirley R. Belton

October 4, 1934 - January 31, 2000

My Mother was a very important part of my life. With the help of her brothers and sisters she made sure that I was brought up with good family values. She taught me right from wrong, the need for a good education and how important family is. She always encouraged me to be the best at whatever I did. She was always there when I needed her. She was the foundation for the man that I am today. Mom, I love you and will miss you....

  •     Mother
  • I can close my eyes and see
  • My mother as she calls to me.
  • She calls me from my world of play,
  • as she does almost every day.
  • I run inside, I slam the door
  • as I've done many times before.
  • I plead with her to let me keep
  • a slimy frog, a bug that creeps.
  • I bring her toys all broken down,
  • A three-wheel car, a dying clown,
  • A choo-choo train that makes no sound,-
  • A merry-go-round that won't go round.
  • The questions I can ask. Oh my
  • who makes the rain, who paints the sky.
  • who tells the rivers where to run,
  • when nighttime comes, where is the sun.
  • You cared if things were going right.
  • You worried about me in the night.
  • I must have caused you heartache too,
  • your faith and prayers helped get me thru.
  • You always worked from sun to sun,
  • your work was never, never done.
  • The sick or well or in-between.
  • You'd wash and iron and mend and clean.
  • I know you tried with all your might
  • to raise me good and raise me right.
  • You struggled hard to pull me through,
  • Mom, I took so much from you.
  • Both grew close while in your care.
  • I learned my greatest lessons there.
  • Forgiveness, patience. courage too.
  • Yes, I learned all of this from you.
  • The hills we climbed were rough and tall,
  • trial and error, we took them all.
  • I grew tired and could not cope,
  • you prompted me and gave me hope.
  • We struggled hard to make a man,
  • but not alone, God loaned a hand.
  • We shared some joys, we shared some tears.
  • to get me through those tender years.
  • I grew a man before our eyes.
  • And yes, it caught us by surprise.
  • I grew so fast, so tall, so lean.
  • I grew just overnight it seemed.
  • The boy is gone, he'll be no more.
  • I'm now a man who stands before
  • your eyes, that's wet and full of tears.
  • Oh God! what happened to the years.
  • The time is here that we're apart.
  • It hurts my soul, it tugs my heart.
  • Yes. I can close my eyes and see,
  • My mother as she calls to me.

Crystal F. Belton

June 29, 1959 - March 15, 2000

My sister was not only my sister but my best friend. There was nothing that she wouldn't do for me. She drove me crazy sometimes, but that's what sisters do. She always made me laugh and always kept me grounded. Sis, I love you and miss you too...

Alice Deas Cunningham

(Aunt Doll)

May 11, 1922    January 15, 2001

There Is No Death

There is no death! The stars go down, to rise upon some other shore.

And bright in heavens jeweled crown, they shine forevermore.

There is no death! The forest leaves convert to life the viewless air. The rocks disorganize to feed the hungry moss they bear.

There is no death! The dust we tread shall change beneath the summer showers, to golden grain, or mellowed fruit, or rainbow tinted flowers.

There is no death! The leaves may fall, and flowers may fade and pass away—

They only wait through wintry hours for the warm, sweet breath of May.

There is no death! The choicest gifts that heaven has kindly lent to earth are ever first to seek again the country of their birth.

And all things that for growth or joy are worthy of our love or care.

Whose loss has left us desolate, are safely garnered there.

Though life becomes a desert waste, we know that its fairest, sweetest flowers, transplant into paradise, adorn immortal bowers.

The voice of birdlike melody that we have missed and mourned so long now mingles with the angel choir in everlasting song.

There is no death! Although we grieve when beautiful, familiar forms that we have learned to love are torn from our embracing arms.

Although with bowed and breaking heart, with sable garb and silent tread,

We bear their senseless dust to rest, and say that they are "dead."

They are not dead! They have but passed beyond the mists that blind us here.

Into a new and larger life of that serener sphere.

They have but dropped their robe of clay to put their shining raiment on.

They have not wandered far away; they are not lost nor gone.

Though disenthralled and glorified, they still are here and love us yet.

The dear ones they have left behind, they never can forget.

And sometimes, when our hearts grow faint amid temptations fierce and deep,

Or when the wildly raging waves of grief or passion sweep.

We feel upon our fevered brow their gentle touch, their breath of balm.

Their arms enfold us, and our hearts grow comforted and calm.

And ever near us, though unseen, the dear immortal spirits tread.

For all the boundless universe is Life, There are no dead.

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