Outstretched Hands
Helen Dowd

I present this poem in memory of Dad, J.A. Splane, who died October, 1989. He was a man with a Great Big Heart. His life was spent for others.

Dad was rarely ill, and apart from about two days in his entire life, until his dying days, he had never been in the hospital. It broke our hearts to see our dad lying there then, his white, mittened hands flailing the air in a desperate attempt to free himself of the restraints they had on him to keep him in bed. It was this scene that inspired this poem.

Oh Daddy, dear Daddy. Is that you lying there?
Your hands are lifted heavenward; you breathe a silent prayer:
"Death I don't fear; my God is near." So why are we all crying?
With outstretched hands we stand around, so sad that Dad is dying.

Oh Daddy, dear Daddy. They've put restraints on you.
They've tied you tightly to your bed. Your hands they've mittened, too.
This is so wrong; you were so strong. We hate to see you weeping.
But now, you lift white hands to God. We know you're in His keeping.

Oh Daddy, dear Daddy, your earthly life is done.
You battled many stormy gales; the prize you sought is won.
Now heaven's near; the angels cheer; your loved-ones are a-waiting.
With outstretched hands they welcome you—All heaven's celebrating.

Oh Daddy, dear Daddy. To bid farewell we've come.
Near ninety years you served the Lord; so now your work is done.
We'll feel you near; your voice we'll hear, if ever we are straying.
We'll see your hands outstretched to God. We'll know that you are praying.

Oh Daddy, dear Daddy. Our hearts are filled with love.
You taught your children from our birth to worship God above.
When we were small, on you we'd call, whenever we were troubled.
In prayer you'd stretch your hands to God. May your reward be doubled.

© Helen Dowd

"The Day of The Rain"
"The Old Fashioned Preacher"

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