Poems for a Child in Heaven

These poems have been written over the past 11 and 1/2 years since
I lost my only son, Robbie, who was only 16 years old.

I wrote them from a heart filled with love for my son and
with the joy that he brought into our lives.

I wrote them with a heart broken with grief and pain and sadness.

Writing them has helped to assuage my grief and has eased my mourning.
They have helped me to realize the value of the priceless gift that God gave me when He sent Robbie.
They helped me to remember that Robbie lives on in heaven, safe with our Lord Jesus Christ.

If they speak to your heart or help you in any way, please feel free to copy them
and use them in your own child's memory.

I ask only that you list me as the author and link back to my son's site at http://robbiesmith.com

These poems already exist on separate pages of Robbie's site,
but I have gathered them here for your convenience in reviewing and copying them.

You may alter the poems to use your own child's name, if you wish.

Sending love and hugs across the miles to you,
Saralyn McAfee Smith
September 8, 2011 - Robbie's 28th Birthday

Oh, Robbie Boy

Oh, Robbie boy, our Lord, our Lord came calling
And took you home to heaven with Him to be;
Now I'm alone and all my tears are falling,
For your sweet smile on earth no more I'll see.
You'll not come back, but someday I will join you;
When Jesus calls me, I'll be glad to go,
For He will take me to you far beyond the blue---
Oh, Robbie boy, oh, Robbie boy, I love you so!

Oh, Robbie boy, your days on earth seemed far too few,
And never did I think you'd have to go
Without a chance to hold you close and bid adieu---
Oh, Robbie boy, oh, Robbie boy, I miss you so!
And yet I know that you are happy, oh, my dear,
For all your pain and troubles now are through;
And when my time for leaving this sad earth is near,
I know for sure that I'll be joining you.

Oh, Robbie boy, I don't know how long I'll be here;
I only know my Lord has work for me;
So when I'm sad, I'll try to dry up all my tears
And think, instead, how happy you must be.
And someday when my work down here on earth is done,
He'll come and take me to that golden shore,
Where we will be forever happy, precious one,
And death and pain and tears will be no more.

With love always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Whenever Precious Children Die

Whenever precious children die,
We cannot help but ask, "Lord, why?"
"Why would You take this little one
With so much of life still left undone?"
And yet we know You have a plan,
Though we may never understand,
And from the time of each child's birth,
You know when each will leave this earth.
And though our years be long or few,
We ultimately dwell with You;
And only You know when we've met
All the goals that You have set
For each of us to meet down here;
So never need there be a fear
That there has been some dread mistake,
For errors, Lord, You never make.
And, so, although we know not why,
We know it was his time to die,
And that with Jesus hand in hand,
He walked into Your Promised Land.
Of course, we cannot help but grieve--
We were not willing that he leave,
And we will mourn his loss each day
And miss his sweet and loving ways.
We'll think on days both bright and drear,
"If only Rob were with us here...."
We know our hearts will always ache,
But us, O Lord, You'll ne'er forsake;
All our sorrow You will share
And our pain You'll help us bear.
And still, O Lord, we trust Your plan--
We know one day we'll understand,
When we can meet You face to face
And You will all our tears erase.
So may it comfort us somehow
To know he lives in heaven now,
And that with Jesus, hand in hand,
He walked into Your Promised Land.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Never Ready to Say Goodbye

We're never ready to say goodbye
To someone we hold dear.
If it were up to us, sweet Rob,
We'd always keep you here.
But God has reasons of His own
And plans we do not know,
And these are always for our good,
Though it may seem not so.
Our arms are empty, and our hearts
Are filled with tears and grief,
For we who loved each day with you,
Now find those days too brief.
Yet if only we could heaven see,
We'd know you're happy there,
And we would never call you back
When such great joy you share.
And so we'll trust you to God's great care
And know some day, once more,
We'll hold you to our hearts again
When we reach heaven's shore.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

You Went Away

You went away in early spring
Just as the birds began to sing,
When snow still lay upon the ground,
And robins could nowhere be found.

And we went walking through the snow
To find the place your grave would go,
With wooden hearts and clouded thoughts
Of all the pain this day had brought.

I heard the crunching sound our feet
Made in the snow which was not deep;
My thoughts were jumbled...rambling...wild;
How could it be we'd lost our child?

How could it be when you're not grown
You have to God already flown?
No answers came to soothe my soul,
Which from that day will ne'er be whole.

The earth has circled many times
Since first I heard those mournful chimes
And seasons come and seasons go,
Though still my heart's oft filled with woe.

Looking back, I realize
Death took the sparkle from my eyes,
Bedimmed them both with pain and tears,
To suffer many lonely years.

That sense of loss is with me still
As I stand upon this ghostly hill
Where you and other children lie
In silent sleep beneath the sky.

And yet I know you lie not there;
Your soul can travel everywhere!
And someday you will come for me
And take me where I long to be.
I love you for eternity!

Saralyn McAfee Smith

A Year Later

Am I different now?
Sometimes it seems that way--
That I have only one identity:
A mother who has lost a child.
Do others think of me that way, too?
The pain has seared my very soul
And left scars on my psyche.
Do they show?
Do strangers mark me as one who mourns?
I do sometimes laugh now,
But I never truly forget.
I remember HIS laughter
And wish I could hear it once more.
I feel guilty whenever I forget for even an instant
That he is gone and will never come back.
But my heart goes on beating
And my lungs go on breathing
And the days go on passing,
One by one.
I begin to take small pleasures,
Just baby steps at first--
Sights or sounds or colors or tastes.
But soon I am running again
And sometimes I even feel joy.
Then I remember
What joy HE always found in life,
And then I don't feel guilty any more.
I can almost see him smile
As I finally learn this lesson.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Missing You

A year has come and gone now
Since you had to go away,
And I am not the same Mom
You used to see each day.

My face is stiff and frozen,
To try to hide the pain,
But oft my eyes betray me,
For my tears still fall like rain.

I try to go on living,
For my precious family's sake,
But no one knows I spend the nights,
Tossing, wide awake.

It seems the world has changed, too,
The colors all seem dull,
And everything seems empty,
Like a sunken liner's hull.

I try to wear a smile sometimes,
To make them think I'm fine,
But if they look into my eyes,
They see a different sign.

For emptiness pervades me
And sadness fills my life,
Though I do my best to hide it
And cover up my strife.

Somehow this anniversary
Makes your loss seem much more real,
Though I've spent the last year trying
To deny and not to feel.

I know you're happy, Robbie,
You're well and healthy, too,
But I can't help the way I feel,
For I am missing you.

I don't know how I'll stand the years
That stretch before me now,
I'll have to trust in Jesus' love
And treasure His sweet vow

That someday I will get to go
To heaven where you are,
And once again I'll hold you,
My precious, shining star.

Loving You and Missing You with All My Heart,
Mom - Saralyn McAfee Smith

Cherished Memories

Oh, happy days when you were here,
And every day was so much fun!
It never once occurred to me
That you would have to leave us, son.

Whenever I am sad or blue,
I stretch across the wall of time
To find you still within my heart,
With all our memories sublime.

No longer can I touch your hair,
No longer see you face to face,
But with the treasures in my heart,
I can your memory embrace.

And Time is not your master now,
For you can any age assume---
The lanky youth you had become,
Or baby fair, with heaven's bloom.

I see you racing down the hill,
Or fast asleep in Daddy's chair;
Whatever age or form you take,
You always seem so wondrous fair!

My precious babe with golden curls,
My stalwart son with blazing smile---
No matter what you are today
Will surely my sad heart beguile.

So, come and cheer my weary self;
Come and lift my downcast heart.
You are my own, my precious son,
And I have loved you from the start.

So, from my cherished memories,
You run and walk and smile once more,
To keep me company here below
Till we unite at Heaven's door.

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

A Soul Searching Prayer

Dear Lord, I ask Your blessing,
For I am still in pain.
I never thought I'd make it
To March 15th again.

This year has seemed much harder
Than I ever thought it would.
I thought that if I made it through
The first year, I'd be good.

But each day seems much tougher
Than the one that came before.
I truly hoped my pain would be
Lesser and not more.

The cloud of fog has lifted
But the pain seems more severe.
I don't think I can make it
Through another grief-filled year.

The months ahead, my dear Lord,
Will be especially tough,
For Robbie's classmates graduate.
Have I not cried enough?

While the other parents celebrate,
My eyes will fill with tears.
And it somehow doesn't seem right
That Rob's been gone two years.

Give me the strength to make it through
And help my soul to see
That Robbie's safe and whole with You,
For all eternity.

Help me to feel his presence near,
The brush of angel wings,
Teach me once again to smile,
Help my spirit sing.

Turn my mourning into dancing,
As You said You would,
Help my spirit look to heaven
And to see the good.

For I know that life's eternal
When we give our hearts to You,
And someday I will be in heaven
When life on earth is through.

Let me dwell on that glad hope
And not on tears and pain.
Someday I will live with You
And be with Rob again.

Robbie's Mom Forever and Ever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Will I Forget?

After three long years of missing you,
I have a newborn fear;
That as time goes by, my mind will fail,
And your memory won't be clear.

Already I have problems in
Remembering the sound
Your sweet voice made in speaking--
Oh, where can it be found?

I have photos by the hundreds,
And your face will always be
Engraved upon my very heart,
For you're the heart of me.

But how I long to hear your voice
And see your loving smile!
To gaze upon your precious face,
And talk with you a while.

I can't believe it's been three years--
It seems like yesterday;
Yet it also seems a million years
Since you went away.

Time doesn't work the way it did
When you were still on earth;
Sometimes it crawls, sometimes it flies,
It's hard to know time's worth.

But three years gone is three years less
I have to live alone,
And as the years roll slowly by,
Someday I'll be called Home.

And then I'll get to be with you,
For all eternity,
How precious, then, will be our time,
Each day a symphony!

Oh, always, I'll remember you
And all the things you are,
You are my son, my precious child,
My brightly shining star.

I will remember!

Loving you ever, forgetting you never,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Missing You

Oh, Robbie, I am missing you!
My heart can't seem to mend.
These last four years I've fooled myself,
But no more can I pretend.

You've not just gone to foreign lands,
To come home any day.
You've gone to where I can't yet go,
You've gone away to stay.

I used to feel I could hear your steps
Walking down the hall,
But when I eagerly checked it out,
You were not there at all.

I used to think I heard your voice
Calling, "Mom, it's me!"
But when I went to welcome you,
You were not there to see.

In daydreams I still see your face,
You dance around my heart.
But then reality sets in
And I know that we're apart.

Those memories of days gone by
Are jewels I'll always treasure.
They're safely locked within my heart,
I love you without measure.

And, hope, too, lives within my heart,
For this I know is true:
Someday my call from God will come
And then I'll be with you.

Loving and missing you always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

For Robbie, on His Sixth Anniversary in Heaven

It’s been six long years
Since you were summoned to heaven, Robbie,
And you’d think maybe my memories
Would be starting to grow dim,
But the opposite seems true,
For your light seems to shine
Ever more brightly as the years come and go.
You were, and are,
My Shining Star.

With love forever and ever,

Eight Years in Heaven

There's nothing new that I can say
That I haven't said before;
In the eight years since you left us, Rob,
I've missed you more and more.

I've watched your childhood friends grow up
And some have moved away;
But in my heart you're sweet sixteen,
And that is what you'll stay.

I think of all the things you've missed--
Like college, marriage, jobs.
And I wonder what you'd be like now,
If you were with us, Rob.

But surely your perspective, Rob,
Is different from ours here,
For you know all of Heaven's joy,
And you're with our Lord so dear.

It's only for ourselves we mourn
For we miss you so, my son,
But with your help, we will be brave,
As we try to carry on.

And someday when our journey's done
We'll see your smile once more,
And hold you in our arms again
When we meet at Heaven's door.

Written for Robbie with love always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Robbie's 10th Anniversary in Heaven

So many years have come and gone
Since last I saw your face;
Too many years have come and gone
Since I last felt your embrace.

Our lives have changed--of that, no doubt;
We've had to walk alone,
Without your sweet and precious self,
Without your smile that shone.

No longer can we see your smile,
Nor hear you laugh with glee;
No longer can we share your zest
For life, nor can we see

How much you loved the four of us
Who shared your life back then.
And, oh! we loved you just as much!
Or maybe ten times ten.

You are so very far from home,
Or maybe it is we
Who are so very far away
From our home so heavenly.

For this sad old earth is not our home,
Except for human years;
In heaven where you make your home,
There are no longer tears.

It's hard to be so far from home;
The way's not always clear;
But Jesus guides us all the way;
His voice we'll always hear.

And so we'll trudge along these tracks
God's set for us to pass,
Until the day He calls us home
To be with you at last.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

11 Years in Heaven

Oh, Robbie, that last summer you spent with us -
Though we didn't know it was your last, of course, -
God granted us so many special times together!

You and Dad drove to New Jersey to visit family,
And then you and I drove to Georgia one last time,
To help clear out Pop's house and get it ready to sell,
And you had such fun with your last visit to your favorite creek,
Swimming and fishing and building dams,
And getting to say goodbye to so many family members.

And then in September, you got to welcome your new baby niece!
What a joy it was to watch you with her,
As you loved babies and small children so much!

And you were making so much progress at school,
And going months at a time without seizures!
And the best part was that you were so loving and giving again,
Just as you had been before that terrible cyst turned your world upside down.

God gave you and us such a wonderful last time together,
As He knew we would be parted so shortly.
You were so close to your last step before Heaven,
And none of us ever knew it.

It's been eleven years now
Since last we saw your sweet face
Or heard your dear voice
Or felt your sweet hugs.
And I am so very lonesome for you, Rob!

I don't know how many more steps God has for me,
But I take them, one day at a time,
Knowing that God has a perfect plan for me,
Just as He had for you,
And, some day, when I have taken that last step,
I'll be with you again!
And, best of all,
I'll see my Lord,
And be with Him and you for all eternity!

With love for ever and always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Fading Prints

Oh, how upset I was with you
When I first saw those muddy handprints
Wiped on the front of our house!
I am sure I scolded you
And said you needed to clean them off.
'What a mess!' I said,
And shook my head at you and Andy,
Both of you covered in mud from your head to your toes.
It was an early winter thaw,
And the two of you just had to have a mud 'fight' to celebrate.
'Teens,' I remember grumbling,
And promised myself that I would not clean up after you,
Now that you were sixteen.

How glad I am now that you never got around to washing them off!
For you left us only a few weeks later,
So unexpectedly.
Today I would never dream of removing such tangible evidence
That you lived and laughed and loved here,
In this very house,
And my heart leaps up each time I see them.

Your handprints are on my heart, too,
But these are signs that the whole world can see,
And they speak volumes.
Sadly, time is slowly eroding them,
And they are but ghostly images now.
But still they cling!
Fearing they might someday disappear completely,
I recorded them with my camera
And posted them here for all to see - -
Ghostly remnants of a warm winter's day
More than five years ago,
But forever alive in my heart.

Written for Robbie with love,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

A Birthday in Heaven

How melancholy now this day when you were born--
A day we used to greet with balloons and streamers and song.
How I loved to see the smile on your face and in your eyes
As you saw the surprises we had hidden away.
You jumped with excitement at the thought of the party to come
With all your special friends
And games and music and prizes and fun--
And, of course, best of all, the cake made just for you,
Embellished with your name and age and all ablaze with candles.
Oh, the magic of closing your eyes and making the perfect wish
That was sure to come true!
Now, the only wish that I would ever make
Can never come to pass--
For you cannot return.
A great longing to see you and hold you and kiss you
Comes over me and brings me down.
Still, even in my grief, come flashes
Of memories that can never fade--
The sweetness of your smile and voice,
The goodness of your soul.
And deep within me rises again
The hope that we will meet once more,
In God's own time and place.
Happy birthday, my precious son!

Saralyn McAfee Smith

For Robbie on His 21st Birthday,
September 8, 2004

So many years now that you’ve been gone,
Yet always you’re in my heart.
I wish that I could understand
Why it was you had to depart.

I often wonder how you’d be now--
This year you’d turn twenty-one--
And I wonder if you’ve continued to age
In heaven, my precious son.

I miss the sweetness of your smile,
And I wish that I could touch
The softness of your hair and cheek.
Oh, my son, I miss you so much!

How I miss the talks we used to have
And the games we used to play!
Life’s not been the same, my precious son,
Since you left that terrible day.

I went out to your grave today
And left flowers, balloons and such,
I sat on your bench and prayed a while—
It doesn’t seem like much.

But it’s all that I can give you now,
When you’re in heaven so far away,
I don’t even know if you can hear
The words I’ve tried to say.

I’ll never know the special joy
Of seeing you full-grown,
But I’m thankful for the years we had
And all the joy we’ve known.

And I look forward to the day
I’ll see you at heaven’s door—
The day I’ll get to hug you again
And be with you evermore!

So, happy birthday, my precious son,
Whom I love eternally.
Though today you’re turning twenty-one,
My baby you’ll always be.

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Birthdays Through the Years (Now That You're Gone)

Oh, how we looked forward to that first birthday!
We couldn't wait to see your face
When you spotted that special cake
With the one lit birthday candle,
And we couldn't wait to see how you ate it,
And if you'd get it smeared all over your sweet little face.
Of course, you DID smear it, and it was SO CUTE!
We took lots and lots of photos,
And we put them in a special photo album.

The 2nd birthday was almost just as much fun,
With a real party....
Balloons, streamers, decorations, and party hats....
And, of course, your special little friends from the neighborhood.
Again we took lots of photos
And put them in that special album.

We always made a "big fuss" over birthdays,
With a party and cake and friends and presents,
And we always had a special family birthday dinner,
With the menu always picked out by YOU,
No matter what it was.
Later, when you were older, you preferred to go out for dinner,
And the restaurant was always your choice.
And the day was always, always special.

Now that you're gone......
The day is still "special,"
But it's so different now.
There are no parties or presents or special dinners any more.
It wasn't anyone's choice.
No one ever wanted it to be this way.
But it's the way we have to do it now.

Of course, we always go to visit and stop to talk for a while,
And we take you some fresh decorations and some new flowers,
But it's so melancholy now
Without your sweet face and warm smile
And the wonderful hugs you always gave us.

We have to be content to hope that
You are having a good time
Up there in heaven
With all the other angels,
And that you're having a big, wonderful party,
More glorious than anything we could ever give you.

That thought always makes us smile....for a second....
And then we go back to missing you
And wishing you were somehow here again
So that we could give you hugs
And kisses
And presents.

Happy birthday, Robbie!
You're always in our hearts and thoughts....
Until we see you again in heaven.

Love always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

A 24th Birthday - In Heaven

This year you'd be turning twenty-four;
I wonder who you would be?
Would you still be coming in our door
And living with Dad and me?

Or would you have a house of your own?
And maybe be married, too?
Would I have to talk to you on the phone,
In your busy life so new?

But, of course, these are only wishful dreams
And the way I wish it could be,
For God has chosen a different scheme
And you live far away from me.

And yet, my son, you're always near
And you're always in our hearts;
Forever we will love you, dear,
And some day we'll never more part.

Love always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

A 25th Birthday - In Heaven

A railroad track will take me back
To days when you were here;
Days of splendor, colors bright
What e'er the time of year.

Your smile would light the darkest day
And cause my heart to shine;
How little then I realized
What a priceless gift was mine!

Your birthday brings the Autumn months,
A season painted bright,
The fiery flame of brilliant leaves
The ever growing night.

But now I seem to feel the chill
Of Autumn's frosty breeze,
Your smile's not here to warm my heart,
Pain brings me to my knees.

Oh, shine again in Autumn's light
And bring the spark I lack!
If you will shine in every leaf,
You'll bring my sunshine back.

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Happy 26th Birthday, Robbie

This year you will turn 26.
It has been 10 years since your last birthday,
When you turned sweet 16.

Almost ten long years without seeing your face
Or hearing your voice,
Or feeling your hug.

I find that I am slowly losing the sound of your voice,
And that saddens me
And makes me cry.

I long to see that wonderful smile you always wore,
And to be enveloped in your great big bear hug
And to see you playing and having a good time.

Oh, I know you are happy in heaven
And probably wouldn’t want to come back
To this world of care and grief and problems.

I wouldn’t want you to have to keep on having seizures
Or facing a troubled world
Or trying to cope with your handicaps.

I just wish you had never had any health problems
And that you had lived the life we imagined for you
When you were born.

You were so bright and happy then,
With a future of such promise and hope
That we were dazzled by it…and by you.

The brain cyst came---God only knows how---
And changed that hope and promise
To daily coping with seizures and losses.

But still you smiled,
And never complained,
For you were always filled with such love and hope.

It was we who suffered the losses
And grieved for your struggles,
And cried for your changed life.

I can only imagine what heaven holds,
My precious son,
But I do know one thing it holds,
And that is YOU.

So, I look forward to seeing you again some day,
And holding your precious face in my hands,
And gazing at those amazing eyes and bright smile.

And I lift my hands and my heart to the skies today,
Wishing you a very happy birthday in heaven,
And sending all my love.

Forever loving and missing you,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Happy 27th Birthday, Robbie!

So many years since you've been here,
So many days of pain!
And yet I'd do it over, my son,
Just to see your smile again!

Despite the troubles you went through,
The seizures and hospital stays,
You always made the most of life,
And shared your smile always.

Your birthday was a special time,
A day to celebrate YOU,
And that is why, even now,
The day's not completely blue.

For I recall when you were born,
The joy you brought my heart,
And all the fun we had, my son,
Before we had to part.

Of course, the day is bittersweet,
For I can't see your smile,
Or hold you in my arms once more,
Or talk with you a while.

But I try to keep your memory bright,
Remembering your life,
And all the joy you brought to us,
Even in your strife.

So, happy birthday, precious Rob!
I love you with all my heart.
Someday my Lord will call for me,
And never more we'll part.

Love and hugs forever and always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

At Close of Day

Remembering Robbie on His 28th Birthday

At close of day, I think of you,
Just as I think of you each morn,
Just as I've thought of you, sweet Rob,
Every day since you were born.

And even though you're gone from me,
Taken far beyond my sight,
I never cease to think of you,
Whether it be day or night.

From your birth, you were my star,
Guiding me through every day.
When first you left me, I was lost,
For I could not find my way.

But soon I learned to trust my faith,
For Christ walks with me every day,
And I know that you're with Him;
Together, you will show the way.

And, so, at close of every day,
I offer up my songs of praise,
That someday I will join you both,
And on your faces I will gaze.

Happy Birthday, my precious Robbie!

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Looking Back, Looking Forward - Poem for a New Year

Nine years ago you sat with me,
And Laura and Sierra, too,
As we watched the awesome fireworks display
To herald the Milennium new.

It seemed to be an auspicious time
When anything could be,
When all our troubles would be past,
From your seizures you'd be free.

We looked for mighty things to come
In this new Milennium bright;
It never once occurred to us
That our days would turn to night.

We little knew what March would bring,
That you would have to leave;
It never once occurred to us
That this year we would grieve.

Our lives have been much darker since
You left us that March day,
Nine years ago when angels came
And took you far away.

The years have seemed so long since then,
We miss your bright, sweet smile;
We miss the courage that you showed
While suffering all the while.

But now, at least, you suffer not;
You live in God's sweet light,
And you are strong and healthy now
And everything is right.

Looking back we see that you were meant
To only stay a while,
To share with us your spirit sweet,
Your courage, and your smile.

But, oh! we miss you, Robbie boy!
And wish you were still here,
Especially on this special night,
The turning of the year.

We'll lift a toast to you, sweet boy,
To memories of days gone by,
Soft tears may fall upon our cheeks,
And softly we will sigh.

And then we'll lift another toast
To welcome this new year;
We pray it brings a future bright,
No sorrow and no tear.

You live forever in our hearts,
The boy we love so dear,
And always you'll be with us, Rob,
Throughout the coming year.

Happy New Year, my precious son!

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Robbie, My Forever Valentine

For sixteen happy, love-filled years,
You were my Valentine;
I was so blessed to have you here—
Could scarce believe you mine!

For I had waited sixteen years
Until you came to earth—
Carried you for nine full months
And then I gave you birth.

And, oh! The first time I held you
And looked into your eyes;
You had me hooked right from the start;
You had me mesmerized!

I loved the years you were with us,
I loved your dazzling smile;
I just didn’t know, when you first came,
You could only stay a while.

And now you’ve gone back to the sky
Where you first had your start,
But always you’ll be with me, son,
You live within my heart.

For sixteen, loving, fun-filled years,
You were my Valentine;
And always I will have your heart,
As I know you have mine.

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Valentine's Day - To a Child in Heaven

How sweet you were, my Robbie,
Right from the very start;
The first time I laid eyes on you,
You truly stole my heart.

So small and helpless you were then,
But, oh! your eyes were bright!
And I loved the way you held my thumb
In your fingers held so tight.

You grew to be so very tall,
Taller than Dad or me,
And though you were so very strong,
You still could gentle be.

I miss you so, my baby,
I wish you still were here;
For ever and for always,
You'll be my son so dear.

Written for my Robbie with great love
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Valentine's Day - For a Son in Heaven

Valentines come and valentines go,
But love goes on forever;
Rob, you're always in my heart,
And there's nothing my love can sever!

Come to me, Rob, and soothe my heart,
Come into my dreams each night;
Sing to my soul that's joined to yours,
Come, bring your smile of delight!

It's only for now we have to be parted,
Some day we'll be joined for ever;
Wait for that day, my darling son Rob,
For nothing our love can sever!

Some day our family will be whole again,
With all of us joined there in love,
For now the rest of us stay here below,
While you watch o'er us above.

Valentines come and valentines go,
But love goes on forever;
Rob, you're always in my heart,
And there's nothing my love can sever!

Written for My Beloved Son, Robbie
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Robbie - My Forever Love

It isn't just at Valentine's
I think of you, my son,
It's every day in every way
Since your new life was begun.

You're with me when I rise each morn,
You're there throughout each day,
You're with me as I make my prayers,
In every word I say.

I know you come into my dreams,
Even when I don't recall,
For you've become a part of me,
The Heart of me, that's all!

You're with me more now than before,
Since now you live inside,
And you will live forever;
'Twas just a shell that died.

Some day I'll join you once again
In heaven up above,
You'll always be with me, sweet Rob,
You're my Forever Love!

Written for Robbie with all my love,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Sandcastles and Seashells

Sandcastles and seashells
Bring memories sweet
Of summers and beaches
Where families meet.

Young babies wear sunhats
And dig in the sand,
While Mommies bare midriffs
And try for a tan.

The children build castles,
With turrets and moats,
And everyone goes for a ride
On the floats.

Young teenagers stroll by
To see and be seen,
And every boy searches
For his beauty queen.

We jump in the waves and
We play volleyball,
But a rainstorm will send us
Off to the mall.

In the evening we play games,
Especially Hearts,
Or Trivial Pursuit, to show
Who is smart.

Some greet the sunrise and
Go for a walk,
While others sleep late, have
Coffee, and talk.

After supper each evening,
We all like to rove,
When the sand and the sea are all
Silver and mauve.

We wade in the waves as they
Break on the shore,
And know that our memories
Will last evermore.

For my Robbie, who loved the beach!

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Song for Robbie

Had we only know, Robbie, dear,
That when the month of March came round this year
We'd no longer see your loving face
Or your happy smile and your sunny grace,
We'd no doubt have gazed at you hard and long,
And listened as well to the lovely song
Which always surrounded your every word
And which from now till forever will be unheard,
Except, of course, in the hearts and minds
Of the friends and family you've left behind;
But we'll carry forever that song--and a prayer--
And whenever we think of you, you will be there
To gladden our hearts you lived with us a while,
And shared your sweet song and your face and your smile.

Saralyn McAfee Smith


(To the Tune of "Shenandoah")

Oh, Robbie, dear, I miss your sweet smile!
Away, you've flown away!
Seems like it's been a long, long while.
Away, you've flown away 'cross the River Jordan.

For sixteen years, I loved you dearly.
Away, you've flown away!
For all my life, I'll miss you fiercely.
Away, you've flown away 'cross the River Jordan.

And, Robbie, dear, I miss your laughter!
Away, you've flown away!
But someday soon I'll follow after.
Away, I'll fly away cross the River Jordan.

And when I reach that golden shore
Away, across that river,
I'll be with you forevermore
Away, we'll be away 'cross the River Jordan.

And then once more I'll hear your laughter,
Away across that river;
And we'll be happy ever after,
Away, when we're away 'cross the River Jordan.

Saralyn McAfee Smith


Precious son, brother, friend----
Who ever thought your life would end
So suddenly one dreadful morn?
Your soul has flown to heaven above
Where you dwell in endless love,
But we are left down here, forlorn.

For we who loved you are now left
With arms and hearts so sore bereft
Of all the love you had to give.
We miss you every single day---
Your smile and all your loving ways---
We wanted you to always live.

Although your life was much too brief
And our hearts are filled with grief,
We're glad we had those precious years.
So we give thanks to God above
For sending you to us with love
And know someday He'll dry our tears.

For you still live, in heaven above,
And watch o'er us in constant love---
A love that never more will end.
And someday we will join you there
When heaven's joys we, too, will share
Forevermore with you, dear friend!

Saralyn McAfee Smith


When I have left this earthly shore,
I pray you happy be,
For I shall be in pain no more
When I'm beyond the sea.
For death is but a passageway
And Christ waits at the door,
And I've been longing for the day
When I shall see my Lord.

I do not wish my life to end,
For I have much to do,
Good times to spend with family and friends,
And work to finish, too.
But when it's time to pass that door,
I know I'll have no fear,
I'll be accompanied by my Lord,
Who'll wipe away each tear.

We Christians know we need not fear
How death may come or when,
Our Christ walks with us each step here
And will our souls attend.
So walk with joy through every day;
To death, give not a thought;
Our Christ walks with us each day here,
And our salvation is bought.

If you have come to say goodbye
To this, my earthly shell,
Be glad for me and do not cry
I now in heaven dwell.
And I am safe with Christ my Lord
And in His arms I rest.
My earthly time and life are o'er,
But now my soul is blessed.

For death is but a passageway,
And Christ waits at the door,
And I've been longing for the day
When I shall see my Lord.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Missing You

I surround myself with pictures
Some you made,
And some made of you
And I stretch across the wall of time
To touch you.
If I could speak some magic words,
Would you return?
My ears play tricks--
Is that your laughter that I hear?
Your smile, so bravely shining on my walls--
Could it not warm my countenance once more?
Your eyes, so bright,
Which always glowed with pleasure--
Could they not gaze upon my own again?
But no, your lovely eyes are forfeit;
They shine in others' faces now
And view a world
That is no longer yours.
And parts of you are scattered
Far and wide
And bring new life to other mothers' sons.
And though I grieve,
I cherish, too, the thought
That part of you lives on,
Though hidden far from me.

With love always from Mom,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

(This poem, though it speaks of my grief for Robbie, expresses my happiness that others are
able to see and be well because of the donations we made from Robbie's body.)

For Robbie

Though your loving voice is silent now,
And Death's cold hand has touched your brow,
We know your spirit has but flown
To kneel in love at Jesus' throne;
And, there, surrounded by a throng
Of friends and family, you join the song
Of joy that you have been set free,
From pain and illness---liberty!
And though we'll miss you every day
And all your kind and loving ways,
We would not call you back from there
Where such great happiness you share;
And so we'll trust God's promise sweet
That someday in heaven again we'll meet.

Saralyn McAfee Smith


Glad Easter’s here---so lift your voice!
For all mankind, a joyous day!
For Jesus conquered sin and death
That we might live with Him always.

We celebrate with signs of spring,
Of birth and change and life renewed.
We wear new clothes and sing glad songs,
So happy that the winter’s through.

But most of all we owe our thanks
To Christ our Lord for His great love.
To reconcile us to our God,
He left His heavenly home above.

Because of Christ, my Robbie’s safe
Forever in His loving care.
Because of Christ, someday we, too,
Will live with Him in heaven so fair.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

In the Arms of Angels
(to the tune of "Greensleeves")
Our children were cradled in angels' arms
And carried by them to heaven above;
They dwell evermore with Christ our Lord
In perfect peace and endless love.
But we who loved them so
Must stay down here in grief and woe
Till the angels come once more
And carry us up to Christ our Lord.
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Remembering Robbie at Easter

How sweet and precious my memories
Of the days when you were small,
And especially of the holidays - - -
You truly loved them all!

You dearly loved the Eastertide
With bunnies and baskets of treats,
Coloring eggs and hunting them, too,
And oh! how much you could eat!

We always took you to church, of course,
Though, when little, you didn't know why;
But through the years you learned to love
The Savior Who came to die.

Best of all, He didn't just die,
For He rose again from the dead;
And He will take us all to heaven some day,
Just as He always said.

We think of you always, sweet Robbie, my son,
And especially on Easter Day,
Knowing that Jesus rose from the dead
So that with Him you always could stay.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Mother's Day

So many thoughts come into mind
When Mother's Day comes around,
Remembering my own sweet Mama,
No more on earth to be found.

Remembering my own first Mother's Day
With sweet baby Laura in arms,
Thinking ahead to the babe that would come,
And wondering of his charms.

And the second Day was surely my best,
With two sweet babes of my own,
Never guessing that at some future date
One darling to heaven had flown.

And now my daughter is also a Mom--
She has two sweet girls we all love,
And we are all watched with such loving care
By my Angel Mother above.

A mother's love is boundless and pure,
And lasts eternity through,
On earth or in heaven she loves us still,
No matter what we do.

To mothers everywhere, a toast,
To celebrate their love,
It makes a heaven on earth for us,
And continues in heaven above.

Saralyn McAfee Smith
Dedicated to my beloved Mama,
Frances Babb McAfee

Halloween Night

On Halloween night you always had fun;
You loved to scare us all.
You’d dress as a devil or maybe a ghost;
You really had a ball!

Of course, when you were a little lad,
Your costumes were much more cute;
My favorite was the time you wore
A big round pumpkin suit!

We’d hit every house on our block and then
We’d head for the next block, too.
You rarely stopped till your bag was full;
You had trick or treating to do!

Remember the year when the snowstorm came
And they had to cancel the night?
But we went out the next night and made our way
Through the snow so packed and white.

For nothing should ever stand in the way
Of kids on Halloween night,
For that’s the time to dress up and play
And give everybody a fright!

And when you thought you’d gotten too old
To dress up and head out for treats,
You loved to help me answer the door;
You loved every goblin you’d greet!

Though you’ve been gone for many years now,
I see you at each Halloween,
For the joy that you always experienced then
Lives on in each gremlin or queen.

Written with love for my Robbie
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Missing You at Halloween

Missing you is a constant in my life now
But “special” days seem even harder to bear.
I’m remembering all the fun you had at Halloween
In picking out just the right costume to wear.

And then the anticipation of going out
To all the houses here on our street
To see if neighbors would recognize you
As you gleefully shouted, “Trick or Treat!”

What fun it was to walk on the darkened streets,
Encountering other goblins and witches along the way,
Feeling the mystery and wonder of this special night
When magic, enchantment, and costumes hold sway.

And, then the fun of coming home with your loot
And dumping the contents out on the floor
To see all the treasures and candies you’d got
And almost always, wishing for more.

And wishing for more is something I do now,
Every minute, each day of the year,
But the treasure I seek is your sweet, smiling face
And the pleasure of having you here.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Halloween Memories

It's Halloween again---
A day that Robbie loved!
I wonder if they celebrate
This holiday above?

It's so much fun to dress up,
To wear a cute disguise;
Halloween was sure to bring
A twinkle to Rob's eyes.

Of course, he loved the candy
And roaming in the dark,
But it was the joy of dressing up
That always brought the spark.

When Robbie thought he had grown up,
Too old to trick or treat,
He loved to welcome all the spooks
And give them something sweet.

So, Robbie, if you're watching
From heaven up above,
I'm sending you some Halloween fun,
Sent with all my love.

Written for My Robbie with Love,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Giving Thanks

I thank you, Father, for all the things
That you have given me;
Especially for Jesus that all of us
Might live eternally.

I thank you for my children, Lord,
A daughter and a son,
The sweetest babes I ever saw,
Two precious lives begun.

Though Robbie had to leave so soon,
We thank you, Lord, that he
Got to live with us and be our son
For it was Heavenly!

Written for My Precious Son Robbie
With Great Thanksgiving
Saralyn McAfee Smith

You'll Be Home For Christmas

I'm dreaming tonight of the boy I lost
And feeling so very blue,
And although I know you can't really come back,
I promise you

You'll be home for Christmas,
Just you wait and see.
We'll have snow and mistletoe
And trains around the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the tree lights gleam,
You'll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams.

You'll be home for Christmas-
How I'll welcome you
With lots of trains and aeroplanes
And then I won't be blue.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the tree lights gleam.
You'll be home for Christmas,
If only in my dreams.

Traditional Song Slightly Rewritten,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Angel of Christmas

Dear Angel of Christmas, who once brought Good News
To the shepherds with songs of love,
Can you bring me a message this Christmas, I pray,
From my son in God's Heaven above?

I miss him so much since he left this old earth,
And my life's not the same it was then;
I would give anything for a moment alone,
Just to hug him and ask how he's been.

If he can't come in person, will you bring me his words
That this heart of mine's longing to hear?
That he's happy and watches his family with love,
That he always is hovering near.

Dear Angel, I'll give you some words to take back,
As well as some hugs and a kiss,
For the message I want him to know is he's loved,
And each day he is so dearly missed.

I know that he's happy with Jesus above,
I'm glad there's no pain and no tears;
But, Angel, please tell him we'll join him some day,
Even though it may be many years.

Whatever the time till we join him again,
He's always enshrined in our hearts,
And we hold dear the promise Christ made to us all,
That in Heaven we never will part.

For Robbie with love from Mom,
Saralyn M. Smith

Christmas Memories

So many Christmas memories, Rob,
Of precious years gone by;
Sights and sounds tug at my heart,
And bring teardrops to my eye.

How merry were our Christmases
When you and Laura were small!
Joy and laughter filled our hearts,
With happiness for all.

Though now you're taken from our sight,
Our minds remember still,
And we can feast on memories bright
Within our hearts' sweet fill.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

Missing You
Especially at Christmas

It isn't just at Christmas that I miss you so much, Rob,
It's just that everyone else seems so busy and happy,
And I am so down and blue, missing you.

Other parents worry about what gifts to give their children,
While the only thing I can give you are flowers for your grave,
And that doesn't make for a very "merry" Christmas.

Other parents worry that their children can't come home this Christmas,
And they fret because they won't see them until next year;
But I won't ever see you again on this earth.

I do have the blessed assurance that you are in Christ's loving care
And that you get to celebrate His birthday in His very presence,
And that thought always makes me smile.

But I won't get to see you in person or hug you or see your bright, sweet smile,
And I know I will go on, year after year, still missing you so much,
Till God Himself calls me home, and we are together again.

Merry Christmas in Heaven, my precious son!

Love and hugs always,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

A Christmas Candle

I'll put a candle in the window;
My love for you will always burn.
My soul is there beside you,
Let this candle guide you,
To my heart which for you yearns.

A cold and friendless world surrounds me,
I can't let the stormy darkness pull me down.
Please paint a ray of hope around me,
Circling in the air,
Lighted by a prayer.

I'll put a candle in the window,
This flame inside of me will grow.
I'll keep holding on, I'll make it;
Here's my hand, so take it,
Look for me, reaching out to show,
As sure as rivers flow,
I'll never let you go.
I'll never let you go.

Original song by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn in 1976;
slightly rewritten by Saralyn Smith for Christmas 2008

Christmas Trains

Today I am remembering a special Christmas,
Twenty years ago,
When you and Laura were both only 6 years old,
Just as you are pictured in your special train above.
It was a magical time of the year for all of us,
When you could hardly wait for the days to pass
Until Christmas and Santa would be here!

Of course, there were ALWAYS trains involved--
Trains running around the base of the tree,
Train ornaments hanging from the tree,
Trains on the table and
Trains on the mantel.
How could it be Christmas at our house
If there were no trains?

Now, Laura is grown and the mother of two,
And you have been in heaven for almost 10 years
And things will never be quite the same for Dad and me.
We are grateful, though,
For those precious sixteen years you spent with us,
And we are thankful for our two beautiful granddaughters
Whose eyes sparkle with the same wonder and excitement
That we saw all those years ago in you and Laura.

And, of course, there are still trains--
Trains running around the base of the tree,
And train ornaments hanging from the tree,
Trains on the table,
And trains on the mantel.

And we know you are here in spirit,
With eyes still sparkling with wonder and excitement,
Precious eyes that have now beheld Christ,
Whose birth it is we celebrate.
And we know that you wait patiently for the day
When we will join you in heaven,
Where our eyes, too, will sparkle with wonder and excitement
When we behold the Baby Born at Christmas.

Merry Christmas in Heaven, my precious Robbie!

With all my love, Mom
Saralyn McAfee Smith

Another Christmas Without You

Ten Christmas Days have come and gone,
Since last you were still here;
And now it's Christmas time again,
That makes eleven this year.

We still have trees and sometimes snow,
And sometimes even joy,
But things just aren't the same these days
Without my precious boy.

We have two darling, little girls
To warm our days and hearts,
But somehow things aren't quite the same
Since Robbie had to part.

I know you live in heaven, Rob,
And walk on streets of gold,
But what I'd give for just one minute
To have you here to hold!

Or to see again those precious days
When you and Laura were small,
Your faces all aglow with joy--
Oh, how those memories call!

And yet, whene'er I close my eyes,
I'm taken back in space
And remember how it used to be
When all was still in place.

Please come tonight into my dreams
And bring once more the joy
Of having you within my life,
My precious only boy.

Love always and forever,
Saralyn McAfee Smith