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from Time Passes By

(Kathy Mattea, written by Jon Vezner and Susan Longaker. From "Time Passes By", © 1990, Polygram. © Famous Music Corporation / Universal Sheddhouse Music / WB Music Corp.)

Dreams drift away like leaves on the water.
They roll down the river and slip out of sight.
Too many times we do what we ought.
Put off 'til tomorrow what we'd really rather do tonight,
And later realize:

Time passes by, people pass on.
At the drop of a tear, they're gone.
Let's do what we dare, do what we like,
And love while we're here before time passes by.

Thoughts are like pennies we keep in our pockets.
They're never worth nothing 'til we give them away.
But love's like a promise in an un-opened letter,
Where nights full of pleasure seldom see the light of day,
When life gets in the way.

Time passes by, people pass on.
At the drop of a tear, they're gone.
Let's do what we dare, do what we like,
And love while we're here before time passes by.

Letting Go

God saw you getting tired. When a cure was not to be,
He closed his arms around you and whispered, "Come to Me".
In tears we saw you sinking. We watched you fade away.
Our hearts were almost broken, you fought so hard to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping so peacefully free from pain,
We could not wish you back to suffer so again.
So keep your arms around him Lord, and give him special care.
Make up for all he suffered and all that seemed unfair.

Miss Me - But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free.

Miss me a little, but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go.

For this journey that we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
a step on the road to home.

When we are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.

If I Knew

Dawn Marie Huddleston)

If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

There is a lot of confusion about the author of the above poem. Two different women claimed to have written most of this poem back in the '30s and '40s. Parts of it have definitely been around for many years. Several people have adapted the poem and claimed it as their own. It is also listed with the titles No Regretsand If Tomorrow Never Comes and sometimes there are variation in some of the verses or verses left out.
Some sources say it was written by Norma Cornett Marek in 1989.

I got this email in 2010 (I copied and pasted - the misspellings are not mine.)
"I wasn't aware that one of my Poems was circulating over the internet all these year, and, it wasn't until a dear friend of mine spotted it and brought it to my attention.
I want to thank you for sharing it with the world because it meant so much to me. The title is, "If Tomorrow Never Comes". I wrote this when I was in the 7th grade and my teach entered it into a contest without me knowing about it under an annonymus name and there it continues to be titles written as...I have been told of a few other poems as well to be on the internet and one even in one of those "chicken Soup" books.
All I ask is that you please give me the recongnition for this poem that I deserve as I try to track them all down, Thank you, Jennifer Salomone

Broken Chain

(Ron Tranmer)

We little knew that morning,
God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn't go alone.
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for awhile,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same day
There's no longing for the past.

But you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Thought there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

Love Lives On

(Amanda Bradley)

Those we love
are never really lost to us--
we feel them
in so many special ways-
through friends
they always cared about
and dreams they left behind,
in beauty that they added to our days . . .
in words of wisdom we still carry with us
and memories that never will be gone . . .
Those we love are never really lost to us--
For everywhere their special love lives on.

Still With Us

(Makah Indian Poem, see note below)

Do not stand by my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am a diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there . . . I DID NOT DIE.


(Mary Elizabeth Frye, see note below)

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

When I'm Gone!

(Henry Alfred Dixon, see note below)

When I'm gone from your side,
and all your tears have been dried
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft star that shines at night

And when you stroll in the evening hours
and catch the aroma of beautiful flowers
There'll be no need to sob and cry;
I am not there, I did not die!

Note: For info about authorship of the above poems see the article on Wikipedia which concludes that the original poem (titled Immortality) was most likely written by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932. Henry Alfred Dixon is not mentioned in the Wikipedia article. I am not sure of the legalities but maybe they all took a poem in the public domain and tweaked it.

If Roses Grow in Heaven

If roses grow in Heaven Lord
Please pick a bunch for me.
Place them in my Mother's arms
and tell her they're from me.
Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
Place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for a while.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it everyday,
But there is an ache within my heart
That will never go away.

Requiem For a Fisherman

(© Jeff Wright, used with permission)

A quiet troll across the lake
Its surface still and mirrored
The moisture in the air so thick
As morning sun appears

The line is whipped with deft finesse
It sails with graceful ease
Near reeds exposed, and tangled roots
Just missing willow trees

The first bite starts the tingled thrill
All time is stopped in place
No sound or movement, not a breath
This single-focused face

A stronger tug, the pole is flicked
The hook so cleanly set
The game goes on with line kept tight
The prize steered toward the net

The feeling of accomplishment
It saturates your soul
Where skill and silent patience
Are the answer to the goal

You may not get another bite
For hours through the day
But Nature's sweet serenity
Is often why you stay

There comes that day for all the best
The fishing's done at last
The final time you tie a hook
The final spinning cast

But Lord, we hope a lake exists
In Heaven's grand design
Where once again you'll feel the thrill
Of tugging on your line

Letter from Heaven

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say
But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's not more tears of sadness; Here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I am with you every morning, noon, and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through.
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you.

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly, you're part of my plan.
There's so much that I have to do, to help our mortal man"

God gave me a list of things that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you . . . in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years.
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry: it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over,
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain;
Then you can say to God at night . . . "My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented . . . that my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.

So, if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go . . . from that body to be free.
Remember you're not going . . . you're coming here to me.

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me now, for now I'm free.
I'm following the God laid for me.
I took God's hand when I heard the call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that place at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah, yes, these things, I too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me--
God wanted me now, God set me free.

Nothing is Lost

Nothing is lost--not a hair, not a breath!
The lilac that blooms today is made of
last year's crumbled leaves and this morning's dew.
It has in it perhaps the breath of a tiger and
minerals that were part of an ancient dinosaur.
The raw materials of that lilac have perhaps spent time in
a seashell, a wagon wheel, a butterfly and a hawk.

How old is this morning's lilac?--And how old are you?
You are as young as the morning, as old as the world,
You are as new as a raindrop, as old as the mountains.
You are forever a part of the world.


If I come back--and well I may, my dear--
You will not find me in a summer rose,
Nor in a twisting, withered copper leaf
That spirals from a naked tree and goes;

You will not find me in a swallow dipping
Through chiffon April curtains of the rain;
You will not find me in the rippling wind
That stirs a sea of golden August grain;

I shall not be a cheery hearthside cricket,
Nor sing from plaintive throat of whippoorwill;
But when the hunter's moon rides to the west,
If you should hear a fox bark on the hill--

Then turn you in your soft, smooth bed a bit,
Knowing, with shuttered eyes, the moon is bright--
Knowing a vixen runs, alone with stars,
Down all the frosty ridges of the night.

Forever in our Hearts

A million times we needed you,
A million times we cried,
If love alone would have saved you,
You would of never died.

In life we loved you dearly,
In death we love you still,
In our hearts you hold a place,
No one can ever fill.

A light from our household is gone,
A voice from our love is stilled,
A place in our vacant home,
Which never can be filled.

Some may think you are forgotten,
Though on earth you are no more,
But in our memory you are with us,
As you always were before.

Your precious memories are for keepsakes,
with which we never part,
God has you safely in his keeping,
But we have you forever in our hearts

Note: When this was sent to me it included a verse that is from The Broken Chain by Ron Tranmer (see above) so I removed it.

Spring Thaw

(Lee Avery Reed)

Not that winter seemed so long, --
We were content together, --
Our home was warm with love, it could
Withstand the fiercest weather.

Yet sometimes we would speak of spring,
Anticipate the greening
On all the views we loved so well,
Now touched with greater meaning.

Today I walk in early spring
As memories come welling . . .
And oh, to see a crocus bloom
And you not here for telling!


(© Sal Geeves, used with permission. As with everything on this site it is for use only in not-for-profit ways and with author listed.)

Our hold on you slipped and you faded,
Light stolen from your gaze,
You vanished beneath the silence,
And drifted beyond that winter's day.

Free from mortal coil,
Do you trek rugged mountains high?
With hound at heel and hat in hand,
And old friends by your side?

Is your frail prison open now?
Or do you ache for youth and sprite?
Or is it true that Sprits rise,
To subtly guide our lives?

When a-mort you receded,
We cried, why couldn't you just fight?
And the wind's eternal gale blows,
Your vanishing will never be right!

But I humbly know our feeble bane,
None of us is a giant,
Each grows and wanes and fades away,
Falling from the light.

Were you as proud, as we of you?
Did you live your private song?
I pray that stories still unfold,
In that place you now belong.

Remember Me This Way

(Mrs. Lyman Hancock)

When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.

Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I've had loads of fun.

Forget that I've stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day.

Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,

And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.

In Our Hearts

(author unknown)

We thought of you with love today.
But that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday.
And days before that too.
We think of you in silence.
We often speak your name.
Now all we have is memories.
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake.
With which we'll never part.
God has you in his keeping.
We have you in our heart..

In Our Hearts

(adapted by Jean Gifford)

We thought of you with love today.
But that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday.
And days before that too.
We think of you in silence.
We remember how you look.
Now all we have is memories.
And your pictures in our book.
Your memory is out keepsake.
With which we'll never part.
God has you in his keeping.
We have you in our heart..

Memories Build a Special Bridge

(Emily Matthews)

Our memories build a special bridge
when loved ones have to part
to help us feel we're with them still
and sooth a grieving heart.
Our memories span the years we shared,
preserving ties that bind,
They build a special bridge of love
and bring us peace of mind.

To Remember Me

(Robert N. Test)

The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.

When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial like into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.

Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man.

If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.
If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.

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