Just Suppose

Compassionate Concern
Checks and Balances
Community Collective
Just Suppose
Reiteration and Repentance

The Letter

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore."

No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute."

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, or say, "I love you."

So while we have it; it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken, and heal it when it's sick.  

This is true for marriage... and old cars, and children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, family, and aging parents and grandparents, and the great nation in which we live.

We only have one mom, one dad, one unique brother or sister or friend, and one unique husband or wife. We only have one country “...under God with Liberty and Justice for All.”

We keep them, and tend to them, because they are worth it... because, we are worth it.

Unrestrained loving commitment makes us happy, no matter what.

Life is important. We only have one – everyone only has one.

I was thinking… I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling, bonds that needed to be rebuilt, or three words needing to be said…

And I wondered about cooperation.

Suppose one morning, as happens to all of us at some time or another, you never wake up.

Suppose we are living in different but the same sheltered, self-protective, angry and resentful dreams… fearing success and fearing failure?

And suppose our prayers and efforts are for others while theirs are for us…


Beautiful Snow

   In the early part of the American war, one dark Saturday morning, in the dead of winter, there died at the Commercial Hospital, Cincinnati, a young woman, over whose head only two and twenty summers had passed. She had once been possessed of an enviable share of beauty; had been as she herself said, “flattered and sought for the charms of her face,” but alas! upon her fair brow had long been written that pitiable word – unfortunate! Once the pride of respected parentage, her first wrong step was the small beginning of the “same old story over again,” which has been the life-history of thousands. Highly educated and accomplished in manner, she might have shone in the best society. But the evil hour that proved her ruin was but the door from childhood; and having spent a young life in disgrace and shame, the poor friendless one died the melancholy death of a broken hearted outcast.

   Among her personal effects was found, in manuscript, the “Beautiful Snow,” which was immediately carried to Enos B. Reed, a gentleman of culture and literary tastes, who was at the time editor of the National Union. In the columns of that paper, on the morning following the girl’s death, the poem appeared for the first time. When the paper containing the poem came out on Sunday morning, the body of the victim had not yet received burial. The attention of Thomas Buchanan Read, one of the first American poets, was soon directed to the newly published lines, who was so taken with their stirring pathos, that he immediately followed the corpse to its final resting place.

   Such are the plain facts concerning her whose “Beautiful Snow” will be long regarded as one of the brightest gems in American literature:-


Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,

Filling the sky and earth below,

Over the housetops, over the street

Over the heads of people you meet.


Dancing - Flirting - Skimming along

Beautiful snow! It can do no wrong;

Flying to kiss a fair lady’s cheek,

Clinging to lips in frolicksome freak;

Beautiful snow from heaven above,

Pure as an angel, gentle as love!

Oh, the snow, the beautiful snow,

How the flakes gather and laugh as they go

Whirling about in maddening fun;


Chasing - laughing - hurrying by,

It lights on the face and it sparkles the eye;

And the dogs with a bark and a bound

Snap at the crystals as the eddy around;

The town is alive, and its heart is aglow,

To welcome the coming of beautiful snow!

How wild the crowd goes swaying along,

Hailing each other with humor and song,

How the gay sleighs like meteors flash by,

Bright for a moment, then lost to the eye;


Ringing - Swinging - Dashing they go,

Over the crest of the beautiful snow;

Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,

As to make one regret to see it lie,

To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet

Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street.

Once I was pure as the snow, but I fell,

Fell to be trampled as filth in the street,

Fell to be scoffed, to be spit on and beat;


Pleading - Cursing - Dreading to die,

Selling my soul to whoever would buy;

Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread

Hating the living and fearing the dead,

Merciful Saviour! Have I fallen so low;

And yet I was once like the beautiful snow.

Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,

With an eye like a crystal, a heart like its glow;

Once I was loved for my innocent grace-

Flattered and sought for the charms of my face!


Fathers - Mothers - Sisters all,

Most High, and myself I have lost by my fall;

The veriest wretch that goes shivering by,

Will make a wide sweep lest I wander too nigh,

For all that is on or above me I know,

There is nothing so pure as the beautiful snow,

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow

Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!

How strange it should be when the night comes again

If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain!


Fainting - Freezing - Dying - alone,

Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan;

To be heard in the streets of the crazy town,

Gone mad in the joy of snow coming down;

To be and to die in my terrible woe,

With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow,

Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,

Sinner, despair not! our Saviour stoopeth low

To rescue the soul that is lost in sin,

And raise it to life and enjoyment again.


Groaning - Bleeding - Dying - for then,

The Crucified hung on the cursed tree!

His accents of mercy fall soft on thine ear,

“Is there mercy for me? Will He heed my weak prayer?”

O Saviour in the stream that for sinners did flow

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


"Better one hundred guilty men be set free than one innocent man be prosecuted."

~ Benjamin Franklin

The Rewriting of America's History