An Echo From the Past

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Tonight I’ve heard
A memory
An echo from the past
It’s now but just
A tiny glow
The flame no longer lasts

I’ve heard it once
Some years ago
The time I do not know
And now it’s echoed
Back at me
After I have grown so old

A memory
Of happy times
Comes out from inner space
I’m sure that all
‘Twas in this room
Could see it in my face

My heart was filled
With such a joy
But then so quickly gone
That though this room
Was overfilled
Its occupants where but one

For just a moment
I was there
Just I from wall to wall
And though these people
Are my friends
I know them not at all

My story is somewhat
Of a simple one
Of it I’m sure you know
I was born here
In this small town
And slowly I did grow

And now my mind
Begins to recall
Memories from throughout the years
And I fight myself
So very hard
To try to hold back the tears

I recall the days
Of summer youth
And of running in the sun
Of chasing girls
Pulling ponytails
And staying up ‘til One

The swimming hole
And climbing trees
Of playing Kick the Can
Of playing House
And tire swings
And my best friend named Stan

I recall a shanty
Old run down home
Sitting by a dusty road
It’s where I lived
A lifetime ago
When I was just a boy

The house we had built
Painted a rustic picture
Set deep in a pine wood glade
My mind recalls
The years spent there
And the memories that were made

But summer games
Can be played no more
There is no yelling and no cheers
No Fourth of July
No fireworks
Just an old man with eyes of tears

For that little boy
He is no more
He’s died and gone away
For time brings age
And a man is born
From the boy of yesterday

And when the man is born
The boy must die
Oh, in his heart it still remains
But he can not run
And jump and shout
And pitch rocks against window pains

And now a memory
Of a Christmas Day
Comes out from within my brain
‘Twas the only Christmas
I can recall
Upon which…it rained

I recall the look
On my Mother’s face
And look of hope and yet despair
For looking under-
Neath the tree
You could not see much there

It was a hard year
For my Parents
A year of hard work and of tries
I recall my Mother
Looking for a sign
In each of her little eyes

Well, my Mother looked
As if she had died
And in spirit she had indeed
She wanted to make this
A happy day
For her children so in need

And she wanted to tell us
That it was not the gifts
But the love we shared that day
She wanted to hold us
In her arms and cry
But my Mother knew not the way

So she held it back
She painted on a smile
But her eyes just could not hide
The wonderful love
The terrible fear
And how hard she cried inside

She was so afraid
The gifts we had
Would not be loved by each of us
Afraid that we’d feel sad
That we’d feel as if
She had violated our trust

But the little presents
That we had
One another for to give
We loved them so
I’ll not forget
In as long as I might live

And looking back now
On that Christmas day
One thing is clear to me
The greatest gift
I’ve yet received
Was love, beneath the tree

Well, I go back home now
When I can
And I see the empty place
Then I hear the voice
Of everyone
Coming out from inner space

I stand there in
The empty rooms
And I stare at faded walls
I see the ghosts
Of years gone by
And I hear the hallowed calls

They call me back
To a time gone by
And generations that are gone
They ran a race
That most call “time”
In the end the clock had won

Then I see the faces
Of yesteryears
Of family members that are no more
They’ve left this Earth
And they’ve sailed away
To a far and distant shore

And it hurts me so
That they’re all gone
With them I can no longer be
Now I’m all alone
Here in the room
With strangers surrounding me

And now a memory
Of a woman’s laugh
So heartfelt and so gay
My mind tells me
I heard that laugh
Upon…my wedding day

After times of laugh
And times of love
Times of hard work and of tears
I wonder why
I most recall
Her laugh after all these years

We shared a life
Of good and bad
We lived it side by side
And we loved each other
All the more
As we began our downhill slide

To my sweet wife
Whom I have known
And have loved so many years
I lay my head back
And I rest
On a pillow filled with tears

It’s filled with tears
Which I have cried
On many a lonely night
And as I lie there
In the dark
I hold my pillow tight

Your sparkling eyes
Your flowing hair
I never saw it turn to snow
I lie awake each night
And I ask the Lord
Why did she have to go?

You left me
Many years ago
The choice was not your own
The Lord he called
Upon you, my Dear
But I’ve seen Grandchildren grown

In this cruel world
I now feel
So old and so alone
And perhaps that’s why
I have been placed
Here, in this nursing home

Well, some say birthdays
Are not for joy
Perhaps this is true I see
And that is why
They were all here today
For this was such a day for me

And I looked down and saw
Those tiny faces
All gathered around me
And I know what the future
Will hold for them
For it is my history

They’ll live and love
They’ll laugh and cry
They will live it day by day
And they’ll seldom feel it
As it slowly
Begins to slip away

Is this to be the woe
Of this old man’s life
To have such a perfect blend
Then to have his past
Catch up with him
To die lonely in…the end

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