RoseAnn V. Shawiak

Gold Star - 22,558 Points (October 6,1950 / New Jersey)

Daniel - Poem by RoseAnn V. Shawiak

One so small, so sweet, so happy,
embracing life with joyful laughter.
Running, jumping, suddenly stopping to investigate
something that has aroused his curiosity.
Teasing, pleasing - kind and gentle - little Daniel
slowly, painfully, started weakening.
Slipping, sliding, silently being absorbed before our
eyes with adrenal-leukodystrophy.
Daniel's tiny body wracked with pain instead of laughter,
trying to hold onto his childhood.
Riding around the yard on a battery-operated motorcycle with
his Mom, trying to get every drop of fun from life - the fun
he so richly deserved.
Such a beautiful child - little Daniel - silently falling
beneath life's covers.
Volunteers were found through kindhearted friends and all
pitched in, trying desperately to delay or postpone his death.
Many hours of being held by a Mom who loved with all her
heart, the son dying slowly in her arms.
Feeling totally helpless, crying out to God in mortal pain,
wanting to somehow save her little one.
Feeling alone and empty, not wanting to let go of his
laughter and sweet disposition.
Daniel crying out, 'Mom! Mom! ' and she would come
running to console her son as pain filled his mind and body.
Going downhill, the Make A Wish Foundation stepped in,
sending the family to Disneyland.
A week before they leave for California, Santa Claus hears
about the good little boy named Daniel and his ten year old
sister, Crystal.
Visiting their home early with packages and gifts, Santa
sits holding Daniel on his lap.
A mischievous little glimmer appears in Daniel's eyes, as he
reaches up and gets a good grip on Santa's beard and tugs
real hard, until a cry escapes Santa's startled lips.
Satisfied that he's sitting on the real Santa's lap, Daniel
rubs his cheek gently back and forth on Santa's red velvet suit.
Such beauty cannot be found in the greatest works of art - it
is found only in hearts of the good.
Hugging Daniel close, Santa feels blessed as the knowledge
of what is just ahead tugs at his heart.
Spending more time than he'd planned - Santa just couldn't
seem to pull himself away.
Finally, lateness of the hour dictated that he leave.
Outside, beside his modern sleigh, Santa turned his head,
tears spilling wildly about, his heart heavy with a sorrow
that just would not depart.
'It's hard to see a little one dying', said Santa as he
quietly stepped inside his vehicle and said good-by,
tears still clinging to his cheeks.
And yet - Santa has left behind a little boy who was made
happy for a little while by his visit.
A few moments of happiness unclouded by dying.
There is a Santa, but even he could not cure little Daniel.
Clinging to words of love mixed with pain, Daniel breathed
his last, as he was held tenderly, gently, in his Mother's
aching arms.
In heaven, pain all gone, tears sliding down his Mom's
face, showing the pain his loss has claimed on earth.


Comments about Daniel by RoseAnn V. Shawiak

  • Gold Star - 10,766 Points Daniel Brick (6/22/2015 8:35:00 AM)

    This poem is a genuine homage to childhood and innocence, this little boy was forced to carry a weight of pain no child should have to bear. And this mother who deserved the fullness of her son's life, what courage and devotion she displays. But it's the Santa section which gave me the biggest surprise - and satisfaction. You delicately balance this section so that we almost believe it's a real Santa but at the same time are aware of the man inside the Santa suit who has been so moved by the boy's plight he does what he can through make-believe. Make-believe is the adult's view: for Daniel this was the real thing, what a blessing that he gets both Disneyland and Santa to ease his pain. Your poem is so truthful, you do not try to hide the boy's suffering from our awareness. But it's also a beautiful poem, because you reveal the devotion of the mother, the generosity of the Santa, and the innocence of the boy. (Report) Reply

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  • Gold Star - 9,633 Points Bri Edwards (10/15/2013 7:31:00 PM)

    i want to call this something other than a poem. but i'm no expert on what is and what is not a poem. it is a nice report of a sad episode in a family's time together. some of it can be heart-wrenching and some of it heart-warming. for whoever the mom was, i give my sympathy. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 3, 2013


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