I found this Dutch poem in the safe
written by the great grandfather of you kids.
Coenraad "Conrad" Lenger was born 10/19/1853-05/02/1931. A Dutch friend of ours, originally from the Netherlands, translated it for me. He said by translating, it loses the rhyming that it must have in the mother language. You can see you have a Christian heritage.
Dad said when his grandfather, who lived in the original Holland Home, would come for Sunday dinner, he only spoke Dutch. So the grandkids did little communicating with him.
Mother (Nellie Lenger)
I have lived a long time and toiled much,
I am old and gray and worn out;
Now with my head hanging down I am making
The last trip to the grave.
But even though my gray head is bent, it is
My heart that gives evidence of joy;
Because it is still singing as in earlier times
I cannot count on living another single day;
What would an old man like me have to say about it anyway.
I know that at any moment
My hour might come.
But without fear I depend steadfastly
On God’s promise.
I know that He also in death
Is the “Yea”
My eyesight is failing, I can hardly see
What lies in front of my feet anymore;
And when I am reading my Bible
My vision becomes a fading glimmer.
But the eye of my faith sees clearly
Past the farthest shore
The blessed paradise of rest,
I don’t make trips to faraway places anymore;
Traveling is finished.
Without leaning on my cane
I absolutely cannot go anywhere.
Soon the somber traveling clothes will fall away,
The last trip is waiting to be made!
I will at my farewell
Be brought home
by Jesus in the twinkling of an eye!
Written c. 1931. On the envelope, written
in pencil: “Dutch Poem by Grandpa Conrad Lenger”. Grandpa Coenraad
passed away 2 May 1931.
Translated 3 May 2010 by Bill Tuinstra (Holland, Michigan).