“The Open Door” by Grace Coolidge


Written on the fifth anniversary of her youngest son’s death (16-year old Calvin Jr.), Mrs. Coolidge’s poem was published in the fall of 1929 (appearing in Good Housekeeping magazine) just before the wedding of her oldest son, John to Miss Florence Trumbull of Connecticut. Paid for the use of this timeless tribute to her dear little boy, Mrs. Coolidge looked to the future in deed as in word. She would send the $250 check to John and his new bride “to use it for something in the new home, in some way that his brother might have chosen were he here.” We have no doubt that John and Florence put the money to just the right use, in exactly the spirit his brother would have applied it.

You, my son,

Have shown me God.

Your kiss upon my cheek

Has made me feel the gentle touch

Of Him who leads us on.

The memory of your smile, when young,

Reveals His face,

As mellowing years come on apace.

And when you went before,

You left the gates of Heaven ajar

That I might glimpse,

Approaching from afar,

The glories of His grace.

Hold, son, my hand,

Guide me along the path,

That, coming,

I may stumble not,

Nor roam,

Nor fail to show the way,

Which lead us home.

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