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Words for The Departing Son

by Lucky Garvin

Son Ches was leaving home for college. His mom, distraught for many reasons, not the least of which was distance,  more so the inevitable changing of their relationship as he grew to maturity – he could be her ‘baby’ no more.

 She asked me to write something that would acknowledge her grief at his leaving, yet to reassure him that no matter how far he might sail, however things might go against him, his mother’s love would ever be a constancy no matter the storms or reversals he might encounter.  I wrote this for my Sabrina:

My Proud Young Sailor

First I bore you,

Then I held you,

Now, I set you free.

The first two joys were easy,

The third so hard on me.


Now’s come the time to see you off,

You have your seas to ride.

Oh my proud wanderer,

It’s time to meet the tide.


You’ll face your storms and rocky shoals,

You’ll chance the waves and wind;

Take heed: the truest compass is

The one which lies within.


Inside you there’s a beacon

That will never let you fall;

The North Star of the human heart,

The truest point of all.


You’ve fulfilled my every dreaming

My morning, evening star;

Do carry with you always

Every blessing that you are.


Travel where you must, my son,

For there I sail too,

For ne’er you’ll find a shipmate who’s

As true as me to you.


Fair winds and well-filled sails!

How can I wish you strife?

Just know that storms and flagging winds,

Dear son, are a part of life.


But if you tire of sailing and

Safe harbor’s what you need,

Remember, always waiting,

I’ve a lantern lit for thee.


I Love You Always


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