Sunrise, Sunset



Everyday, the sun rises on beautiful, bright possibilities.  

On one such day, March 11, 1984, before even the sun rose

and greeted the morning, contractions woke me from a fitful sleep.

It’s too early.  Three and a half weeks.  Just false labor. Don’t worry.  

John was worried, “We have to go to the hospital!”

It’s too early.   It’s too early.

But our daughter thought it was just the right time to come!


Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little boy at play?


I held my beautiful baby in my arms, so perfect, so pink.

Little miniature fingers grasped mine.  Tiny toes-ten in all-

wiggled as I tickled them.  Blue eyes, blue like John’s,

Blue like a July sky, looked up at mine, so seriously.  

How can I love someone so deeply that I just met?   

Is this the little girl I carried all these months?


I don’t remember growing older

When did they?


My little “squirt” toddled over to me, a happy grin lighting

her face.  One arm outstretched toward mine, the other

carrying Strawberry Shortcake  by her red hair.  

Then, her little hand in mine.  My mother-heart so full

of love for this little life I thought it would burst.


When did she get to be a beauty?

When did he grow to be so tall?


Is that my darling daughter,

cheerily singing,  singing, singing,


twirling, twirling, twirling around the room?

Is that my darling daughter in her Jasmine pajamas?

Is that my sweet girl giggling her little girl-dreams?


Wasn’t it yesterday

When they were small?


Joyous strains drift out the open window,

float on the summer breeze and

fill the neighborhood with song.  Even the

birds turn to listen.

My heart dances in time to the rhythm of the

refrain of the daughter so dear to my heart.

Who is this girl, this daughter-mine, with

the voice of a nightingale?


Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset


Laughter, love, dreams mingling, swirling,

intertwining each day, each moment as my days

are blessed with this daughter-friend.


Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as they gaze

My laughing lassie, sunlight on her chestnut tresses

and stars in her eyes, waves to me.  

Then, with casual  backward glance, turns toward the dorm,

turns toward her life,

the beautiful path unfolding before her.

She joyful, me conflicted: Gladness, sadness, dreams.


Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset


A girl with sparkling eyes swiftly crosses the stage,

Her hand reaching out to take her diploma.  

The future a door opening widely before her.


Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears

Tears stream down my face as I hug my dear, dear

girl at O’Hare Airport.  

Am I really telling her that she will be a

wonderful teacher in China?  

Tears in my eyes as I wave good-bye.  

She turning at the security check,

turning with casual backward glance,

with one brief wave and a wobbly smile,

walks into her future.

With a prayer in my heart and tears in my eyes,

I turn toward home.


One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears


Tears stream down my face as I hug my dear, dear

girl at O’Hare Airport.  Am I really hearing that she is

back to stay?  An I really hearing that she is

going to live in Wisconsin?  Am I telling her how proud

I am of all she did teaching in China?

With a prayer in my heart and a tear in my eyes,

we turn to go home-together.


Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset


How swiftly the years have flown! 

How did she become the talented, gifted young

woman of whom I am so proud?

The road is still unfolding into the distant unknown, but

the horizon is bright with the woman dreams in her heart.

How blessed I am!


Happy birthday, dear daughter, dear Emily.


Lyrics from “Sunrise, Sunset”



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Read more: Perry Como – Sunrise, Sunset Lyrics | MetroLyrics

About bjdonaldson

I'm an average woman who enjoys reflecting on life, writing poetry and ponderings, and having a good laugh. DIY, baking, and cycling are fun, too. If you visited me, I'd invite you in for a cup of coffee and a little chat. I am a Literacy Coach, Reading Specialist, and former classroom and Reading Recovery teacher at an elementary school. Getting up in the morning is not hard; I still love making a difference in the lives of children and teachers.

8 responses »

  1. What a lovely walk through your daughter’s life! Your pride in this young woman comes through loud and clear. So glad she is back closer to home. That makes life so much sweeter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. What a beautiful tribute. My grandfather used to sing this song at every wedding and multiple times at mine. He said it was the greatest song ever written about being a parent. Happy birthday to your daughter. She’s lucky to have a mother that writes so eloquently about her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your grandfather and I agree. I often think about this song as I watch the years fly by. My husband laughed at me when I put my daughter on the bus to kindergarten, but it was because it seemed only yesterday that I held her for the first time!


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