I helped you pack your suitcase
For your overnight at Nanny’s.
And I helped you pack your book bag
For the day of school at Granny’s.
I helped you pack your Lillie bear,
Because you’d grown too old.
And I helped you pack away,
Tiny mittens against snow’s cold.
I helped you pack your little-girl bed
And exchange it for one bigger.
And I helped your pack your sleeping bag,
Full of pine needles and chiggers.
I helped you pack your Barbies
For a sleepover at a friend’s.
And I helped unpack them too,
When you came home again.
I helped you pack towels and bathing suits
For a swim meet far from home.
And I helped unpack your ribbons,
And the medal cold as stone.
I helped you pack your Sweet 16
Party games and food.
And I helped unpack the memories made,
For all of them were good.
I helped you pack your cap and gown
With your diploma case.
And I helped you pack your college letter
And roses from a vase.
I helped you pack your closet’s clothes,
Dishes, shoes, and books.
Stuffed to the top with college stuff,
The van held everything we took.
And now I sit and help you pack
Pretty glassware and bedding.
Picture frames and fluffy towels,
All gifts for your wedding.
I slip a photo in between,
A note, a kiss, a prayer,
And wish the packing up
Wasn’t happening here.
And as I pack the crystal,
China, sheets, and glasses,
I’d like to pack the time that flies
And how quickly childhood passes.
I’d pack a summer more of fun,
Of swim team and of races.
I’d pack another family trip,
And awkward days and braces.
I’d pack a winter full of books,
And reading on the couch.
I’d pack a springtime full of sun,
And reminders not to slouch.
I’d pack a week at Edisto,
And one more trip up North.
I’d pack away a wiggly tooth,
And first grade and the fourth.
I’d pack a push on the backyard swing,
And a boat ride on the lake,
A sandcastle at the seashore,
A lumpy cake to bake.
I’d pack in one more memory verse
To help you know what’s right.
And I’d pack a class in self-defense
To keep you safe at night.
I’d pack a hug, a hope, a dream,
a prayer whispered soft.
I’d pack my heart, my love, my life,
My trusting gaze aloft.
I’d pack it all, and myself too,
If there was a way.
To send you off into your life,
And still to help you stay.
But that’s not the plan our wise Lord
Designed for leave and cleave.
And so I trust that he knows right
And ask in faith, believe.
"Lord, keep my little girl by your side,
And keep her in your care.
Help Josiah cherish her
In dark days and in fair.
"Pack her days with health and fun,
And friends who love her dear.
Fill her home with peace and love,
And help her never fear.
"Lord, pack her heart with joy and faith,
And love enough to share,
Keep her marriage strong and true,
Despite the burdens it will bear.
"And thank you, Lord, for giving me
The chance to love her deep
And pack her life with your good gifts,
Entrusting her to you to keep."
Happy Wedding Day, Baby Girl!
Prayer for the Home by Fernando Ortega
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