A Collection of Poems and Words of Encouragement and Inspiration

Christmas 2006, before there was A Collection of Poems and Words of Encouragement and Inspiration, I gave my mother a gift from my heart: “A Daughter’s Poem.”

Eight years later, my father passed away. The morning of his funeral, I woke up at 3:30, grabbed pen and paper, and wrote the poem “A Tribute to My Dad.”

My parents lived on top of a mountain in the Wichita Mountain Range and Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, five hundred miles from my front door.

Back in the day, my family and I, mom, and dad had great adventures climbing mountains, hiking trails, and watching the buffalo roam.

Most days, in the still of the early morning light, dad would take their dog, Darla, for a walk down the hill and back. On occasion, I walked with them. On one such occasion, dad said he wanted to show me something interesting. So I followed him to the front line of the property where stood an old, snarled, twisted tree. In the middle of the tree trunk was a big hole. When you looked inside the hole, you could see the trunk was hollow. Whenever you discover a hole in the trunk of a tree, the first rule is to put a secret message in a glass jar and drop it down into the hole. And that’s just what we did.

When those beautiful days surrendered to evening shadows, my mom and I would sit on the swing in her garden, eat ice cream, talk about days gone by, and watch the sun slide behind the mountaintops.

Years passed and seasons changed, and I understood that my parent’s unconditional love and unselfish acts of kindness were unspoken words of encouragement, which inspired this writer to collect and share her own words of encouragement and inspiration.

--Adele McMillan