How did he live?
Not ‘How did he die?’ but ‘How did he live?’
Not ‘What did he gain?’ but ‘What did he give?’
These are the units that measure the worth
Of a man, as a man, no matter his birth.
Not ‘What was his Church?’
Nor ‘What was his creed?’
But his work and his care
For those people in need:
His strength for his children,
His love for his wife.
These are the units
That measure a life.
Not what the sketch
In the newspapers say,
But how many will miss him
Now he’s passed a away.
Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the words in the newspapers say
But how many were sad when he passed away.
This was a man, a father a friend
A man who loved life and is loved without end.
(JV remembered 24th July 1938 – 11th December 2013)