Between holding a hand and sharing a life
And you learn that love doesn't mean possession
And company doesn't mean security
And loneliness is universal.
And you learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your hope on today
As the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight
Because tomorrow's ground can be too uncertain for plans
Yet, each step taken in a new direction creates a path
Toward the promise of a brighter dawn.
And you learn that even sunshine burns
If you get too much
So you plant your own garden and nourish your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that love,
Always has joys and sorrows
Seems ever present, yet is never quite the same
Becoming more than love and less than love
So difficult to define.
And you learn that through it all
You really can endure
That you really are strong
That you do have value
And you learn and grow
With every goodbye
You learn. -- Virginia Shoffstall
I found a yellowed clipping in some papers with this clipping from an 'Ann Landers' column. She said it was one of the most requested poems of all time.