Blessed be the innocent

A reader thinking about the child victims in Newtown, Conn. remembers her grandmother's poem.

To the Editor,

I was thinking of the children of Newtown while going through old papers when a small piece of paper slipped from between cards and special keepsakes my Mother had carefully folded away. On it is a poem by Annie Johnson Flint entitled Spirit of Christmas.

And, in my maternal grandmother’s handwriting is the notation “How true”.

The poem reads:

“I question if Christmas can ever be “merry”

Except to the heart of an innocent child.

For when time has taught us the meaning of sorrow

When all the green graves that lie scattered behind us

And echoes of voices that no more shall greet us

Have saddened the chimes of the bright Christmas day,

We may not be merry, the long years forbid it,

But we may be happy, if only we carry

The Spirit of Christmas deep down in our hearts.

Hence I shall not wish you the old “Merry Christmas,”

Since that is of shadowless childhood a part,

But one that is holy and happy and peaceful,

The Spirit of Christmas deep down in your heart.”

Both Nana and Mum have gone now, but Nana used to say that “the Lord works in mysterious ways —His wonders to unfold”. Surely it’s not so mysterious this poem should suddenly reveal itself now in light of Newtown’s grief. Along with a comforting reminder that there were surely angels assigned to guide all the souls crossing over that day, especially the children.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

High-profile Port Alberni murders are the centre of new true crime book

Retired journalist Shayne Morrow pairs historic murders with the science that solved them

Alberni’s Omega Pacific Hatchery releases third batch of chinook salmon

The independent facility is located near Great Central Lake

Alberni Valley schools celebrate First Nations culture

First Nations Spring Festival hosted by SD70 and NTC

Celebrate with Cycle Alberni for Bike to Work and School Week

Celebration stations kick off at Jumping Slug Community Cyclery

Two Alberni Valley hockey players win bronze at NAHC finals

Team BC male awarded a bronze medal after controversial decision

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Most Read