A Birthday Message
Roses are red and violets are blue,
I wanted to make up a poem for you.
I asked my good David for inspirational food,
But he said, "Don't ask me now, coz I'm not in the mood.
I only know Cub songs, and they're always rude."
So I emailed to Fraser for thoughts that were good,
But he was tired from work for his job he must keep
So his best birthday thoughts were of junk food and sleep.
To Craig I turned then saying, "What shall I do?
Please think of something to get me out of this stew."
Craig replied, "Mum, your cooking is great,
But stew's not the thing for a nice 'birthday plate.'
So I telephoned Owen as I've often found
His ideas are clever and always abound.
But although he's a person I can usually rely on
He can only write rhymes when he has his blue tie on.
If Cancy, Monique or Moana were here
There would be no problem as they think in top gear
Creatively speaking they are away and flying
But I'm stuck on my own, so it's no good me sighing.
All I can say is that in every way,
We all wish to you a Happy Birthday!
Olive Redmond Apr 2001 Revised Aug 2005
A Real Mother
People used to ask if I were your real mother,
And I always answered,
"Yes I am his real mother.
When he's happy I feel real joy,
And when he's hurting I cry real tears."
We wanted a child and waited through four lonely years of disappointment.
We asked for a baby,
And knew we would happily adopt whichever one we were offered,
Because we knew the baby was chosen for us by God.
Like a portrait that comes signed by the artist,
You came to us with God's signature.
When we very first saw you we knew we loved you.
It was a love stronger than any I had ever felt before.
I would willingly have gone through the pains of giving birth,
And the struggle of learning to breastfeed,
If I could have done so,
But God did not ask me to do that.
Instead, I was asked to endure the comments of others,
Who thought I was a second-best woman,
And not a real mother.
They were happy for us, but thought it was different from having "your own child"
And when I gave birth to your brother two years later,
They waited to be proved right.
Then I discovered what I knew all along,
That the difference was in other people's minds, not ours.
A child is tied to a family with the cords of love,
Not through the strands of D.N.A.
I loved you then.
I love you now.
I will go on loving you throughout all Eternity.
I have found that the more people you have in your life to give love to,
The more love you have.
You never run out of love.
Just like the song you learned when you first started school -
"Love will stay, if you give it away,
You will keep on having more."
Olive Redmond 2000
No matter how hard
The years try to separate us
There will always be the together days
Of times past
When you remember
We built the homemade treehouse
Just the two of us
Because we were boys
And boys did things like that,
Or the times we climbed out the window
When we were supposed to be in bed
But it was summer
And daylight saving said we should sleep
But it was still sunny
And too good to waste,
And at dinner
Mum was pleased all our food was eaten
But she never knew
A dog was a boy's best friend too
Well we're older now
But still brothers
Written by Stephen A Nowlon
Re-written by Olive Redmond for Owen and Craig Sep 1999
Candles are like people...
They can be beautiful to look at,
like the candles we do not like to spoil by lighting.
They can bring happiness and laughter,
like the candles on a birthday cake.
They can be plain but useful,
like the candles we light in a power failure.
An older candle burns brighter and better
than a new one, and gives more light.
Candles come in all shapes and sizes
No matter what a candle looks like though
it is of no use until we light it ... and it is burned.
We too must use our life to its fullest
even if it causes us pain sometimes.
When we blow out a candle,
we still have the candle ...
but where does the flame go?
When we die
our body is left behind on the earth ...
but where does our spirit go?
Our spirit is the light
that glows within each one of us.
It is who we really are.
We must nurture our own spirit
and that of others.
We must find out what it is
we are to do in this life,
and do it,
until at some appointed time
our 'candle' is blown out
and our 'flame' flies free
to join the greater light.
Olive Redmond Apr 1999
One of the aims of life
Is for us to learn, and pass on knowledge to our children.
Our children are our future.
They are a privilege, a welcome joy,
A continuing of our own education,
Not an inconvenience to be postponed, or even removed.
Bringing up children is an art, a skill, a craft to be learned from others.
Older people have learned it well -
That's why God gave children grandparents.
We can practise what we have learned on other people's children.
We learn to imagine, read, sing, play, laugh, trust, hope.
When we value children, we value ourselves.
When we value ourselves, we value others -
So the circle of life goes on.
Olive Redmond Jun 1989
I took her to the playcentre
And she skipped through the door to play with the toys.
His first day of school
And he smiled as he waved goodbye at the door.
I wanted to say, "Let me come with you.
How will you manage without me?"
So many doors were encountered through the years.
She entered happily, keen to live life to the full.
He strode ahead with a confidence born of encouragement.
I was the one left behind,
Wanting to say, "Don't go without me."
I took her to the M.T.C.
And she hurried through the door, eager to learn.
He bounded up the steps of the plane
And smiled as he waved goodbye at the door.
I wanted to say, "Are you really grown up now?
Have I taught you well enough?"
With newly-opened eyes I saw her as a missionary,
Ready for the world.
His quiet strength
Came from challenges faced and overcome.
No longer did I feel left behind,
But knew we would walk together, as friends.
She carries within her
The hopes of marriage and motherhood.
His dreams and ambitions are yet to be realised.
Doors stand widely open for them,
While mine are gently closing.
The Final Door is closer now.
I see more clearly
It is not a door, but a door-way.
There is no shutting out on one side or the other.
When I walk through that Door-way
I will still watch her with gratitude.
I will still admire his achievements, and feel for his sadness.
Thinking of those who have gone before, I see,
The past and the present are completed in Eternity.
Olive Redmond Feb 2000
Easter Bunny Story
The animals wanted everyone
To know the Easter story,
That Jesus died and rose again
And lives in Heaven in glory.
So all the animals voted
The rabbit was their choice
As children thought him cuddly
And liked his little voice.
A rabbit can remember
Everything he's told
Because his ears are very large,
Just think how much they hold.
The Easter Bunny runs so fast
Before the day is dawning
To tell the world that Jesus lives
This Happy Easter morning.
Olive Redmond 2 April 2003
Is This Love
If you love a girl
Enough to want to give her the whole world,
Give her a life where she does not have to live with regret or guilt.
How can you tell is she is the one
You want to spend your life with?
You must see her in all kinds of conditions and emotions -
Happy, sad, angry, frustrated, working, playing, dreaming.
Go tramping, fishing, reading, building, swimming, painting, running.
Play football, netball, Monopoly, tennis, chess, squash, Scrabble.
You can be alone together even in a crowd.
When you are in private - act as if you are in public.
If she is not the one for you,
Let her go, knowing you have treated her well.
Olive Redmond Jun 1989
May life shower flowers of happiness
Around the path you tread,
As you walk together, hand in hand,
Throughout your life ahead.
When the light on your pathway grows dim
Through days of trial and strife,
May you turn your focus on Him
Who gives all meaning to life.
And though storm clouds gather around you
As they assuredly will,
Look after each other with kindness,
And show that your love is there still.
Then as life sweeps you on in its stream
Approaching the final door,
You'll discover the value of being a T.E.A.M.
Together Everyone Achieves More.
Olive Redmond Apr 2000
Now that you have reached
The age to be discerning
You'll add to your experience
More wisdom and great learning
Your view will be extensive
And your toys be more expensive
But be prudent with the parties
Or your waist will be expansive.
Olive Redmond May 2004
My Mum is different from other mums Several years ago she nearly died She knows what it is like.
When you die The worst words you can say are If only ...
If only I had tried harder If only I had learned more If only I had loved more.
My Mum had travelled across the world She has seen people living in palaces and hovels And some with nowhere at all.
My Mum is a nurse She has seen people bleeding, stabbed, beaten, broken. She has seen gang fights in city streets, She has nursed hobos and drug addicts, Abandoned babies and unwanted old people So much loneliness and unhappiness She has seen it all ... In real life.
My Mum does not like the killing on TV She does not like my brothers and me fighting When we watch violence on TV she is upset She says, "Don't bring it into our living room on the TV screen.
My Mum does not want us hardened by what we see on TV She wants us to have a childhood - While there is still some childhood left to have.
My Mum says I am special I am a child of God.
Olive Redmond 1985
No-One Listened To The Donkey
Far away, and long ago, a baby was born in a stable. The animals gathered around to look at him.
The horse said, "He's just like any other child."
The camel said, "He won't amount to much."
The cow said, "He can't be very important or he wouldn't be born in a stable."
The sheep said, "He's just an ordinary baby. There's nothing special about him."
The donkey opened his mouth to speak, but just then they heard some amazing news,
So no-one listened to the donkey."
The animals heard that a new king had just been born. They were all very excited.
The horse said, "I shall carry him through the streets and everyone will see what a mighty warrior he is."
The camel said, "I shall carry him through the desert. He will need someone who can travel long distances through the heat and sand."
The cow said, "I shall be proud to give him my best milk to grow sturdy and strong."
The sheep said, "He will need my wool to give him warm clothes and be dressed fit for a king."
The donkey remembered the mother he carried on the long journey to Bethlehem.
He started to tell the other animals about it, but they went rushing off to look for the new king.
So no-one listened to the donkey.
Olive Redmond 2001
No More Searching
No More Searching
I am grateful
Yes, very grateful
For the opportunity
To raise this son -
Us and Heavenly Father.
When he was a newborn baby
He had such questions in his eyes
Seeming to ask,
"What on earth am I doing here -
As he grew to boyhood
The questions never stopped
He was perceptive, imaginative, energetic.
He wanted to know everything
And wanted to try it for himself.
As a teenager
He was in too much of a hurry
To wait for the answers
And jumped into life in a whirlwind
Desperate to experience -
Dark clouds rolled over the years
As he turned
From the teachings of his youth,
Seeped into his soul.
Beneath the sweet life
He discovered bitterness and regret.
So called friends disappeared
Only family remained -
Us and Heavenly Father.
As a tug turning an ocean liner
He changed his life around
Discouragement nearly overcame him
As he realised that
A ship in a harbour is safe
But that's not what ships are built for.
Endurance became stronger
Gratitude returned as a way of life
And new friendships were formed
But the scars of the past
Took years to heal.
When he was a little boy
It was my arms he ran to
For comfort when he was hurt.
Now there is another woman
He takes in his arms,
And I am grateful,
Grateful they have found each other.
No longer will there be
The loneliness of the search.
No longer will I see
The question in his eyes,
"When will I ever find her?
The one I will walk with
Through all eternity?"
Now I see the tension
Slipping away from him.
He had the faith to wait
Now he has the hope
And at last he will find
Olive Redmond 21 June 2003
Written a month after Owen first introduced us to Moana.
My name is Flo and here's the plan
I'll help you in your nurse exam.
Just hold me in your writing hand
And I will help you as we planned.
Then when exam time's running tight
Just think it through and you'll be right.
When you're not sure of what to say
Then that's the time to quickly pray.
Although exams seem hard to do
Remember, others did it, so can you.
This rhyme must now come to an end
But know you're thought of by your friend.
So when your nurse exams are here
Just pack me in your nursing gear
And I'll stay with you when you go
'Cos I'm a nurse, and my name's Flo!
Olive Redmond 12 Nov 2003
When you were born you were a dream come true.
We used to call you our little treasure.
You've brought such happiness and joy
And memories to think on with great pleasure.
Your accomplishments have always been
A source to us of pride and great gratitude.
We admired the confidence you gave to others,
And the encouragement that you could exude.
You will always be loved and appreciated
For the special things that you have done.
We count it a tremendous blessing
That you were sent to us to be our son.
As you look back over the years that have passed,
With remembrances of many a yesterday,
May the memories of family and friends you have known
Be warm and happy as you enjoy today.
May the coming years bring you happiness
And your hopes come nearer to being fulfilled.
Dream high and reach for any star you wish
For eternity has dreams to yield.
Olive Redmond 24 Nov 2000
When he was a little boy
He was scared
Of diving in to the water
So his mother
Sat at the edge of the pool
And smiled encouragement.
He said he took a picture
Of her loving face
In his mind
To help him
Do something difficult.
Our children are our future
They will walk farther
Into the unknown
Than we have ever been
They must take with them
Their own pictures
Of our love.
Olive Redmond Nov 2002
Recipe For A Lifetime
How do you raise a successful adult? How do you do it?
Well, the recipe is an old one. It started about 20 years ago ...
Staggering out of bed for night feeds and colic, earache and the "There's a monster in my bedroom" cry.
Washing bucket-loads of nappies and being grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing.
Exulting over the first smile, the first tooth, the first steps - to independence.
Hearing those immortal words at 2am, "I've just been sick all over my bed."
Hanging kindy paintings around the kitchen, and knowing you would not exchange them for a fortune.
Wiping away the tears on the first day at school - your tears, not your child's!
Running as fast as you can alongside a 2-wheeler bike with a rider-out-of-control.
Forcing yourself to stay calm as your precious child goes under the anaesthetic for an operation.
Containing the excitement on baptismal day, and being grateful for the supporting team of Primary teachers and Youth leaders.
Getting sore knees from praying so often to know how to deal with squabbles and other family 'interactions'.
Smiling encouragement through swimming lessons and piano practice, self-defence classes and school talks.
Coping with illness and unemployment, and wondering what effects they will have on your family.
Shouting yourself hoarse at school sports days and swimming events, running races and basket-ball matches.
Paying for weeding and floor washing that you could do better yourself in half the time, just to give the experience of paying tithing.
Juggling temple sessions with visits to swimming pools, museums, parks and the zoo, to make memorable holidays near the temple.
Making roomfuls of pizzas and cream cakes, and selling them in the hot sun at gala days for school funds.
Risking the walk across a cluttered bedroom floor that should only be attempted by a junk-shop owner with life insurance.
Dragging yourself away from your child's exhibit at the craft show, when all you want to do is shout, "Look at what my child has done!"
Racing against the clock to get away from work and rush to school interviews, after-class sports, and the Christmas concert.
Using those teaching moments while walking home, or in the car, to discuss food storage and family history, nuclear warfare and the difference between inspiration and imagination.
Worrying into the mid-night darkness about the empty bed in the next room, and the choices your child is making - and are those friends really as nice as they seem?
Remembering, with sadness, all the mistakes you and your child have made along the way, but knowing there is not only great love, but also forgiveness - for each other.
Feeling humility as a friend, looking at this fine young person, says, "I'd give 10 years of my life to have a child like that," and you smile and say, "It actually took twice that long!"
Brimming over with happiness in the temple as your grown-up child walks towards you, covered in celestial sunshine.
Managing to smile as you say goodbye at the airport, knowing that the tears will fall later, but leaving a lasting memory of laughter that can be re-called in times of discouragement.
Grateful for a young person able to study, work, play, have good friends and meet the one who will share a life throughout eternity, knowing that we are all threads in the tapestry of time and must weave our life to achieve our highest potential.
Being happy for the life of a successful adult, and covering the sadness and miss-you times with gratitude that the baton of life has been handed in the right way to the next generation, ready to be passed on again in its turn.
This is the recipe. There are as many variations as there are cooks, and the ingredients often vary, but when we follow the guidelines of the Master Chef, the recipe cannot fail.
Olive Redmond May 1999 updated for 28 Sep 2002
Here is a way to stop trouble and strife,
Always be kind to your husband or wife.
And while we are thinking here is another,
Listen to Dad, and be good to your Mother!
Olive Redmond 17 Nov 2001
We all want to be successful in life.
One of the areas of success is in our work.
We may want to be our own boss, but we must first learn to be employable.
This does not necessarily mean we must have a paid job,
But that we are the kind of person
People recognise instantly they want to employ.
We must be reliable, responsible, resourceful, respectful.
We must have integrity.
We need to educate ourselves.
The local library is our gateway to learning.
We succeed when we learn to recognise opportunities.
A crisis is sometimes a chance for progress in a different direction.
Failure is often success stopped too soon.
When we learn to tell the difference between our needs and our wants,
Then we develop an attitude of gratitude,
And we come, full circle, back to love -
The only currency valued the whole world over.
Olive Redmond Jun 1989
The Celestial Pig
In Conference we learned then and now
To love and honour the celestial cow.
The guinea pig is not so fine,
When life get tough it starts to whine.
The terestrial sheep is a silly thing
Who laughs and jokes at everything.
The humble hen lays eggs for us
Without a lot of stress and fuss,
But then it's simply just an egg
And does not cost an arm or leg.
But if great honour is to be given
The pig should have a place in heaven.
If for your breakfast you want bacon
He must run, though his legs are achin'.
So as you ponder, it must appal,
That for your pleasure he gives his all.
So for the cow I care not a fig.
My vote goes to the Celestial Pig!
Olive Redmond Oct 2001
The Fruit Season
Hours of preparation,
As the early morning sun
Shines on fruit-filled bowls.
Preparing, washing, simmering,
Fruit lies hotly shimmering,
As the saucepans yield their harvest
In the fruit-filled kitchen.
Fingers purple staining,
Hungry tempers straining,
As the sun shines warm
On the fruit-filled day.
Children's tired distraction,
As the rosy evening sun
Sets on fruit-filled jars.
Olive Redmond January 1990