Lest You Go Astray

On Emily Wiebe's 16th Birthday
May 9, 2004

Lest You Go Astray

Although, there is nothing else
     like meeting face to face,
I still think you will understand
     that matters not the place.

However, when I write to you
     across the distant mile,
It always fails to replace
     the joy that gives your smile.

On this once-in-a-life-time day,
     when you become sixteen,
I'd like to wish you from my heart
     to always stay a teen.

As you grow up some hindrances
     may try to change your way,
But I encourage you to fight 'em,
     lest you go astray.

I hope you will just find the things
     that make you shine with glee,
And that in every murky day
     good aspects you will see.

May people all around the world
     a sunshine be to you,
May anything you dream to have
     consistently come true.

May you know nothing but success
     in everything you do,
May good luck always follow you,
     and troubles never brew.

May nothing in this ruthless world
     be able to impede
The wonderful and pure friendship
     you and I've achieved.

No words exist to really say
     how much I need this amity.
I pray that never in my life
     it ceases being a reality.

I thank you wholeheartedly
     for being such a friend to me;
I'm honoured so immeasurably
     by having gotten to know thee.

Background Story

Emily was in grade 9, while I was in grade 12. I can't remember exactly how we got to know each other, but I do remember that she sat at my table during lunch. Not sure which happened first, but we became good friends. After I left the Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Emily and I continued to keep in touch. We would write e-mails to each other. She even shared with me a few stories she had written, which I still have in my possession to this day.

Through our correspondence and even more so through her creative stories I got to know Emily better than I ever had before. I thought she was a sweet girl, and I wanted to do something special for her. So, for her 16th birthday I wrote her this poem and sent it by snail mail to brighten her day. I don't know if it worked, but I hope it did.

Unfortunately, a few years ago Emily and I lost touch over something stupid I said. What I said must have been so unimportant that now I can't even remember what it was. I can only hope that one day we will reconnect. She was a good friend, and I miss her dearly.