During his time back at school he came across this poem, "Don't Quit." He had it hanging on the wall just above the wall phone in the dining room. I remember him reading this poem when things seemed the hardest and the lesson that he taught me with this poem is ... never ever quit.
For the last week this poem has been echoing through my mind as I helped my mom through her dementia episodes. It's definitely easier to quit, but I didn't... I couldn't. I remember more of my dad's words of wisdom, "Susie, wait a minute, things will change... nothing ever stays the same." Little did I know that these words would stay with me throughout my life and help me to achieve things that I never thought possible.
This morning I was checking out my camera and a folded piece of paper with the words, "Don't Quit" fell out of my camera bag. I unfolded the paper to find my dad's favorite poem. I am including it here.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you're trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out';
Don't give up though the pace seems slow --
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out --
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're the hardest hit --
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!
* Author - not really sure. There's conflicting claims of authorship, so I will acknowledge them all and you can decide. Jeff Lief reports that the poem was written by his father Ben Lief in 1929 when he was 19 years old and says his mother still has the original typed copy of the poem. Robert Ellis says the poem was written by his grandmother Betty Naimo Rich of Wakefield, MA. He says she gave her only handwritten copy to a parish priest for his sermon (circa 1971) Joe David Harrison says Don't Quit was written in 1994, and it was actually an early draft of his published, copyrighted poem, The Blackness. He says it was submitted to a publisher on the West Coast of the U.S. and got to another company, which released it without his consent. He says in spite of claims to the contrary, it was not around before 1994.
********* well, I don't believe Joe David Harrison wrote the poem because this poem was prominently displayed in our home in the late 60's, early 70's.