The poem below was written in honor of my son Hayes,
by a special friend of mine, Shelli Sewell.

If I could part the clouds to Heaven,
I'd humbly walk right through
I'd kneel before God reverently and ask
"May I please speak to you?"
"I have a friend who's hurting and
I don't know what to do,
I've come to ask for your advice,
and a favor for you, too."
"I need to borrow Hayes from you
it shouldn't take too long,
I need him to come and tell his Mom
to hold on and be strong."
"I know that Heaven's brighter
since Hayes walked through your door,
and though your taking care of him,
his Momma needs him more."
Then God would say, "My child I know
it's hard to understand,
let's walk awhile while I explain
He'd take me by the hand.
He'd say "Go tell his Momma
to keep her mind on things above
and someday soon she'll see again
her son she dearly loves."
"Tell her I know her mind is tired
her heart is broken, too,
for if you've not forgotten,
I know just what she's going through."
"I had to watch my only son
be tortured on the cross,
and then to know his mother suffered too
her greatest loss."
"You tell her to remember
to talk to me each day,
for as much as you would like to help,
I am the only way."
"You tell her Hayes is happy, for
there is no sadness here,
and someday soon I'll give her peace
and dry up every tear.
"For now she'll have to make it
on memories alone,
but one day soon she'll be with him
my love will bring her home."
I'd thank God for his message,
that I could bring back down,
and then I'd wave goodbye to Hayes
and touch his shining crown.
He'd tell you not to suffer
that you'd never understand
but when you're in your hardest times
reach out and take his hand.

By, Shelli Sewell

The poem below was inspired after a friend of ours, Deb Cordes
attend the 7th year memorial for Hayes at the cemetery on 1/27/09

Together Again

I came to visit you today
Your loss was all around
From the coldness in the air
To the dampness in the ground

It seemed a somber moment
One I could not understand
Till a stranger looked right at me
And another held my hand

The reason we had gathered there
Was miserable but clear
Our lives were going on
But you're no longer here

I never met you , Hayes
But I feel I know you well
When I see your mother smile
In the stories your dad tells

Our life on earth is a moment
We can't deny that fact
But we will be together again
For a life that lasts and lasts

And so I understand why
Bethany still can smile
She's only without her brother
For a very short while

And so I know your tragic loss
Is not a thing of vain
For you remind us all
We will be together again

By, Deb Cordes

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine,
Saralyn Smith, in honor of Hayes' 12th Angelversary

Remembering Hayes on His 12th Anniversary
January 27, 2014
And now twelve years have flown away
Since last we saw your smile;
Though the world believes that we've moved on,
You're with us all the while.
You walk with us through every day;
Your memory's sharp and clear;
We know you help when things are rough--
Our prayers and dreams you hear.
Our Guardian Angel you've become,
A Guide to steer our way
Through obstacles and problems here
That face us every day.
No, we can't see your smile or face,
But we can feel your love,
Watching over each of us
From heaven up above.
We share a love eternal,
Our family of four,
For we'll always be together,
Both now and evermore.
Written with love for Beth, Scott, and Bethany,
Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine,
Saralyn Smith, in honor of Hayes' 11th Angelversary

Remembering Hayes After Eleven Years
Again the date approaches
And my mind grows numb with grief,
Refusing to believe you're gone,
Accepting no relief.
I only have to close my eyes
To view your vanished face,
To hear the laughter in your voice,
Once more, here in this place.
And I can see again the joy
You lived with all your days,
Exuberance in every step,
My shining son, my Hayes.
But soon my eyes reopen
And I search the house around,
Alas, nowhere but photos
Can your precious face be found.
So many years have circled now
Since you were truly here,
But in my mind you never left,
My heart still holds you dear.
It still leaps up when I hear sounds
That make me think you're back---
A car door slams, some music plays---
And time and I lose track.
I hope that you can hear me
When I tell you of my love,
My endless love, my only son,
In heaven now, above.
Though some days now are sunny
And even some bring joy,
My heart still knows you're missing,
My precious only boy.
Saralyn McAfee Smith
Written with Great Love for Beth, Scott, and Bethany
January 27, 2013

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine,
Saralyn Smith, in honor of Hayes' 10th Angelversary

For Hayes on His 10th Anniversary in Heaven
January 27, 2012
How can it be ten years you're gone
When in our hearts you're always here,
When we can picture you, sweet Hayes,
Your face and smile we hold so dear?
How did the world keep spinning round
And other children--how'd they grow,
When you will always be sixteen?
Tell us, Hayes, how will we know?
And yet in sorrow, life goes on
For we cannot prevent its flight,
Even though our hearts may be
Often stuck in that sad night
When words we never thought could be
Pierced through our hearts and left us torn,
Making all our future years
Often feel bereft, forlorn.
At other times, it seems a dream
That once you lived and were a part
Of all we held so very dear,
A dream still living in our hearts.
Though you are gone, your spirit lives
And thrives in heaven up above,
And all our lives are better, Hayes,
Because you lived and shared your love.
We cannot see or hold you now,
But we can feel your presence still,
Your spirit shines within us, son;
We love you, Hayes, and always will.
Written with great love for Beth, Scott, and Bethany
Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine,
Saralyn Smith, in honor of Hayes' 9th Angelversary

Missing Hayes
This month the years will total nine
Since last we saw you, Hayes,
And though we seem to be all right,
We're missing you each day.
We miss your smile, which lit the room,
The minute you came in;
We miss your voice so filled with joy,
We miss your special grin.
We miss the sweetness of your hug,
The freshness of your scent,
The way you always looked, my son;
And we wonder why you went.
But most of all, we miss our boy,
The person you were, Hayes;
And everything about you, son--
Your love that always stays.
And though we cannot see you now,
Nor feel your loving touch,
You're always in our hearts, dear Hayes;
We love you--oh, so much!
Written with great love for Beth, Scott, and Bethany
January 27, 2011
Hayes' 9th Anniversary in Heaven
by Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine,
Saralyn Smith, in honor of Hayes' 8th Angelversary

Remembering Hayes on His 8th Angelversary
Can it really be eight years have passed?
Can it really be that long?
We think about you every day,
Your face, your voice, your song.
I sense your fragrance in the house,
Hear music that you loved,
And yet I know you can't be here;
You've gone to heaven above.
But maybe God allows you, Hayes,
To visit us some times,
To keep alive your memory,
To let us know you're fine.
I know I hear you enter, Hayes,
Hear footsteps in the hall,
But when I rise and go to check,
You aren't there, after all.
And yet I know you're always here,
Deep within our hearts,
As long as we remember you,
We didn't really part.
Your spirit visits us, I know,
When we are fast asleep,
You check to see that we are well,
Leave kisses on our cheeks.
And when we wake, we have a sense
That you were with us, Hayes;
The only drawback to our dreams
Is that you couldn't stay.
But some day we will leave this earth
And rise to heaven above,
And we will be united, Hayes,
Forever in God's love.
Written with great love for Beth, Scott, and Bethany by
Saralyn McAfee Smith
January 27, 2010

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes' 6th Angelversary

Six long years have come and gone
Since last we saw you, Hayes.
Six long years without your smile,
Six years of tear-streaked days.

We see your friends occasionally;
They all seem to be fine,
Moving on with school or jobs,
While we're just marking time.

We watch the other parents glow
With pride on special days,
And see the gifts they give their kids;
They celebrate always.

But all that we can give you now
Are flowers for your grave;
We have to wipe away our tears
And try to seem so brave.

When other parents tell of things
Their children now have done,
We have to smile, congratulate,
When we really want to run

And scream out that it's just not fair
That you were gone so young
So many things you didn't do,
So many songs unsung.

And yet we know you're special, Hayes,
We know God thinks so, too,
That's why He took you Home with Him,
So He could be with you.

You had finished all the things that He
Had set for you to do,
And it only took those sixteen years
For your work to be all through.

And so, we're rightly proud of you;
And how we love you, Hayes!
You'll forever be our shining star,
Our precious son always.

Written for Beth, Scott, and Bethany with much love,
Saralyn McAfee Smith
January 27, 2007

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes' 5th Angelversary

Hayes’ Fifth Anniversary in Heaven

Our lives were changed forever, Hayes,
The day you left us here.
You took the sunshine with your smile;
You left us filled with tears.

Our days have been so different since,
There’s pain within each heart.
Each one of us still questions God,
"Why did we have to part?"

And yet each day we’ve plodded on,
Somehow we’ve found the power
To keep on going, step by step,
Throughout each earthly hour.

For five long years, your shining face,
Your brightly glowing wings,
Have been our beacons here below,
Inspiring many things.

For in your precious name, my son,
And for your memory,
Our lives are filled with purpose now,
We hope that you can see

The tournaments and things we do
To honor you, dear Hayes.
We want to keep your love alive
For all our earthly days.

So please be with us each day, son,
And warm us with your smile.
We’ll join you there in heaven, Hayes,
In just a little while.

Written for Beth, Scott, and Bethany with love,
Saralyn McAfee Smith
Hayes’ 5th Anniversary in Heaven,
January 27, 2007

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes' 4th Angelversary


"Home is where your heart is,"
That's what they always say;
But my heart is divided
Since you went away.

For part of me went with you
To heaven high above
And part is still down here
With others whom I love.

And I am truly homesick
For my family to be whole
And all together once again --
That truly is my goal.

You can't come back to earth,
And so we'll come to you,
But only God knows when
Our heavenly date is due.

So I'll keep on being homesick
Each day my whole life through,
Until I get to heaven
And I can be with you.

Written for Beth and Hayes with love
On Hayes' Fourth Anniversary in Heaven,
January 27, 2006,
by Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes' 3rd Angelversary

Beth Speaking To Hayes on His Third Anniversary in Heaven

Three long years have come and gone
Since last we saw you, Hayes,
Three long years, so often filled
With sad and empty days.

Sometimes at night I lie awake
And think I hear a beat
Of music playing loud and clear,
Coming down the street,

And then I’ll hear a car door slam,
And my heart starts to jump—
I imagine footsteps on the stairs,
I think I hear a thump!

I almost rise up from my bed
To run into your room
To see your smiling face once more
Instead of all this gloom.

But always there is no one there,
No loving arms to touch,
No way to hear your voice cry out,
“I love you, Mom, so much.”

No way to hug you once more, Hayes,
No way to see your smile--
Just empty days and endless nights
Without my precious child.

Sometimes I’ll hear a certain song
And know it’s one you’d love.
I wonder if you know all this,
In heaven up above.

Do you know how much I ache
To see you just once more?
To see you climbing up the stairs
And walking through your door?

I feel so lost without you, Hayes,
But I know I must wait
To see your smiling face again
Till I reach heaven’s gate.

I know that you are happy there,
And I must be content
With memories and photographs
Until my life is spent.

For God has purposes for me,
And things to finish, too,
Before my life’s completed here
And I can rejoin you.

And so I’ll try to smile for you
And try to carry on,
But, oh! My life is not the same
Since you have been gone.

Written with love for Beth and Hayes
January 27, 2005
Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes' 2nd Angelversary

Hayes’ Second Anniversary in Heaven


Two years have come and gone now---
Can that be really true?
It seems that it was yesterday,
The last time we saw you.

 And yet sometimes it seems as if
It’s been forever more
The last time you called out our names
As you sauntered through the door.

 Oh, Hayes, we really miss you
And the good times that we shared!
We wish you hadn’t gone away;
We wish your life were spared.

 We know you live in heaven, and
We know you’re happy now,
And yet we wish you could come back…..
Some day, some time, some how……

 If only for a moment,
So we could hold you tight
And tell you how we’ve missed you so
Since you left us that sad night.

 We know your spirit’s with us,
But, of course, it’s not the same
As seeing you and touching you
And hear you say our names.

 Be watching for us, Hayes, dear;
We’ll join you some fine day.
And then you’ll never leave again,
But be with us always.

Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes' 1st Angelversary

A year ago today, son,
We didn't know you'd leave.
Our lives were changed forever;
It's still hard to believe.

Your passing left an emptiness
That no one else can fill.
We think of you each moment,
Our hearts are grieving still.

Sometimes it seems forever
That you've been gone away;
Sometimes it seems we saw you
Only yesterday.

Our thoughts will always be with you,
Our love will never end;
Until God comes and takes us home,
Our hearts will never mend.

Poet: Ms. Saralyn Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes for Christmas 2004

A Christmas Tree This Year

Ever since you died, dear Hayes
I could not bear to see
Christmas decorations,
Especially a Christmas tree.

It just hasn’t been the same
Ever since you went away,
I didn’t even want to think of trees
Especially on Christmas Day.

Sweet Bethany put up with me
And kept a tree in her room,
She didn’t know how to coax me out
Of all my holiday gloom.

But this year she and your Daddy, too,
Want a special Christmas tree,
Not one hidden away in just her room,
But out for all to see.

I was quite upset, I don’t know why,
I guess it has to do
With how much I still am lost
And grieving, without you.

But then one night I had a dream
Of you, my dear sweet son,
And in the dream you said to me
You thought the time had come

For me to give up solitary grief,
And to wipe away all tears,
And, yes, to put up a Christmas tree
Just like we did all those years.

For even in heaven you can see
What we do here on earth,
And it makes you happy to see us smile
And welcome Jesus’ birth.

And so, dear Hayes, you’ll be glad to know
I helped with the Christmas tree,
And it is shining with lights and love,
For all the world to see.

Written with love for Hayes' family by Saralyn Smith

The poem below was writtien by a dear friend of mine in honor
of Hayes Christmas 2005

~Christmas Without You~

When Christmas comes around each year,
So many memories crowd my mind
Of other years, when you were small,
Of other years we’ve left behind.

For sixteen Christmases you were
So vital to our holiday plans,
Both you and also Bethany,
Ever since your lives began.

But now we’ve had to learn new ways
To celebrate—no, just to cope—
This once glad holiday each year
Which used to give us so much hope.

The joy that once was present, Hayes,
Vanished when you left this earth,
And we’re in tears when we should be
Celebrating Jesus’ birth.

But if I keep my focus on
The Christ Child in the manger bed,
I know He came to bring us hope,
He came to perish in our stead.

Because Christ died and lives again,
His Spirit lives within our hearts,
And brings the promise—oh, so glad!
That in heaven we’ll never part.

And that is what I think of now
When Christmas season comes each year—
Not of the tinsel, gifts, or lights,
But of the promise, now so dear,

That we will see you once again
When Jesus calls us home some day,
And we will be together, Hayes,
Together we will always stay.

Thank you, Father, for Christmas Day
And for the blessed hope it brings
Of eternal happiness above
When we’ve all gained our angel wings.

With love for Beth, Scott, Hayes, and Bethany
Christmas 2005
Saralyn McAfee Smith

The poem below was writtien in honor
of Hayes Christmas 2006

~ Embraced Within God's Light ~

The shadows of our memories
Are beaming through your light
We see you in the morning
We sweetly say good night

You are always with us
In every waking day
We carry you in spirit
Our love is here to stay

We see you Christmas morning
Throughout the "glory" years
Sharing all your goodness
With smiles that persevere

Each year a celebration
That quickly comes and goes
But in our hearts forever
Our Christmas memories flow

We light the lights and trim the tree
While carefully we place
All your life's mementos
That fill our life with grace

We turn around and see you
In hours of the past
We smile and know you're with us
These treasures always last

Each one will tell a story
That fills our life with glory
Of moments to remember
In every sweet December

We seek you out and find you
In all familiar places
Sparkling with a special glow
That every heart embraces

We whisper how we love you
We look up to the sky
Knowing that your with us
In every day's sweet sigh

You'll always be our Christmas
The time that shines so bright
We turn around and there you are
Embraced within God's Light.

~ Francine Pucillo ~
Copyright November 28, 2007
written exclusively for Hayes With Love