Family Stories: Lucy de Forcade Cannon


When my grandfather died in February 2002, my grandmother wrote the following poem. At the time I was 18 and knew little about love. As naive as I was, I realized how devastating it would be to lose the love of your life after 56 years of marriage.

In August of that year, shortly before she left Mississippi to move back to Naples, Italy, she wrote this poem commemorating their life together:

Bill and I

He came from the clouds
On the Isle of Capri
And his blue eyes
Matched our beautiful sea.
We played tennis, swam, danced
Looked at the stars and the moon above
And to our own surprise
We soon were in love.

 It was 1945 when I walked down the aisle
And to the amazement of friends
I became a war bride.
We spent our honeymoon on the Isle of Capri
And that was a real treat to me.
Then there was Foggia in south Italy
Where Bill was stationed
And where we lived.

Six month flew by fast
Bill was first to return to the U.S.
I followed shortly
And in 1946 it was
Corinth, Mississippi also for me
Later Meridian was our home
For almost nine years
And there we rejoiced
For the birth of our son, Fred
Blonde curls and blue eyed
And of course the joy of our life.
The years went by fast
And when he was five
We went back to Italy
And without knowing it
To start a new life.

 There in Naples
Our little girl was born
To join our darling son.
Tina Jennie was so pretty
Sweet and blonde
A real bundle of joy
And our dreams were filled
With a girl and a boy.
In Naples we stayed
For 36 years
Spending our summers on Capri
The children were loving it
And so did we.

Time was flying by
With incredible speed
The children were growing so fast
And soon were to leave
The family’s nest
With a husband and a wife
Each couple starting a new life.

Our hair was now graying
But we hoped for the best
And with Bill’s retirement
It was back to the U.S.
Our 12 years in Booneville
Were nice and quiet
Some trips, much golf
And good friends were our pastimes.
My life is now changed
There is a great void
For my loved one is gone
After 56 years.

It is hard to be alone
But my children are near me
With much love and affection
For this I am so grateful
But I am aware still
That a chapter is closed
And another begins
So I pray the good Lord
That wherever we go
He will bless us from above
And keep us all three always united
With our strong bond of love.

When she wrote this, she had no idea that she would ever see her adopted Mississippi home again, but she was able to return for our wedding in December 2007. She turned 90 earlier this year and is still in excellent health. I believe much of that is due to the wonderful Capri air and delicious Italian food. Both are exceptionally good for the soul.


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