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The Jim Lucas Checotah Public Library congratulates Freda Utley for winning 1st Prize in the poetry division of the recent "Pay It Forward" poetry and essay constest, sponsored by the Muskogee Public Library. Easch entry included a phrase selected from a list of quotes. The winning poem is titled "Finding Happiness". It includes a phrase from author/poet Maya Angelou: "If you can find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Ms. Utley is a participant in the writing class taught by Wilmatine Griffin, which meets at the library from 6 to 7:30pm on the third Monday of each month.
I searched for happiness as I daily grew
In hope for lasting joy to attain,
But bitter hardships knocked on my door
My heart ached with deep tormenting pain.
Life with tender moemtns would appear
My Life seemed satisfied and full,
Suddenly the clouds of storms arrived
Causing flood so harsh and cruel.
Is there not peace to be found
My heart beat with sudden fear.
When upon the horizon of Life
My answer was about to appear.
What is this my eyes can see
Three small children, all in need
Of a Mother's love and tender care
Fulfillment found in planted seed
*If you find it in your heart to car for somebody else,
You will have succeeded.
In finding lasting happiness and joy
From others; hurt that had proceeded.
A Mother's Love was torn away
Little ones who need my care
God placed them close to my heart's door
Replacing fear with love to share.
This poem is written about a true story tht has happened to me. I was recovering from breast cancer when I had a wonderful friend that lost her life due to cancer at a young age and the huband was left with three small children to raise by himself. My husband and I have been blessed to get to help him in small ways with the children and they have filled our life with an abundance of love and brought happiness to us in our retirement years. Nothing cheers the heart like a big hug, kiss, or even a smile from a child who knows you care.