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The Balloon

On Saturday, 30 June 2001, Brendan Grant was laid to rest at St. Patrick’s cemetery in Watertown. At the end of the ceremony, the following poem was read to the crowd by Father Bouton of St. Luke’s parish, and midway through it his family released a silver balloon in the shape of a star. The poem was written several years ago by Brendan’s father, and has always been loved by Brendan and his sisters. It is reprinted here based on numerous requests to the Grant family for a copy of the poem.

A simple novelty at first sight,
Came this toy of delight.
With silver shine on mylar hide,
And long red string still tether tied.

In the eyes of a child it was unique,
A ball that searched for the ceiling peak.
This floating lobe with skyward reach,
On words not part of gravity's speech.

A balloon it was, to amuse the soul,
To fill a seven-year-old's playmate role
At first not clear just how it could,
Take joyful fun and make it good.

In the corner, upon the ceiling,
It hid alone with simple feeling,
But then a tug, and several more,
And "Oh" what fun it had in store!

Tied to a finger, and then a toy,
Throughout the day it delivered joy.
At first a whisper, but now a holler,
"Look at it now, tied on the dog's collar!"

Such fun and fun this show did bring,
To help a child's heart to sing,
And dance with glee throughout the day,
To play as one in friendship's way.

But despite the hours of pure fun,
Who can deny the calling sun.
Not the balloon, that's for sure,
As it stretched toward heaven's skyward lure.

When no one saw, it reached a door,
To answer a calling it had before,
And suddenly, with the blink of an eye,
The balloon was gone into the sky.

We watched it drift to its new home;
A special place where all things roam.
I didn't know balloons went there too,
'Till a child's tears --- told me it's true.

In its way, the balloon was a friend,
Simple and plain, but true to the end.
As it floated to heaven, finally free,
It silently waved for us all to see.

I could see the reflection in a child's eyes,
Of a balloon up high upon the skies,
Wishing a return that will never occur,
With questions that tears did solemnly blur.

Someday will come the heavenly call,
As one of life's lessons that applies to us all.
When the balloon did drift beyond our sight,
It flashed a final angelic light.

Someday too, our spirits shall rise,
To float in kind, toward sacred skies.
And though we're more than mylar and string,
We'll join the balloon --- where the angels sing!

Casey Cavanaugh Grant
6/Jul/97