​If I Knew​​
​Author: Dawn Marie Huddleston

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If I Knew

by Dawn Marie Huddleston

If I knew it would be the last time
that I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
And we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
And you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry," "Thank you," "Please forgive me," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

The True Story Behind the Poem

I wish I could tell you that this poem was created after years of research and study, but the truth is.... It was created during one of the deepest, darkest, moments of my life.  I had an amazing father, he was the kind of Dad people dream of.  My dad, J.C. Acree was a Master Mechanic for the Operating Engineers Union.  He was exceptional at his work, and had a solid reputation for having a common sense that just doesn't seem to exist anymore.  

Daddy was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, and fought it for many years.  He passed away and went home to glory just before Easter in 2000.  Several weeks after his passing, it hit me like a ton of bricks that Daddy was gone. He has always been my protector, my provider, and my rock.  

I am also blessed to have a amazing mother who is the exact same way.  It suddenly hit me one night that I was alone!  I was alone is this world, unprotected, no provision, no more rock.  I remember the feeling of panic that set in and bound up in my chest like a huge knot.  I had been listening to a song by Reba McEntire and written by Craig Morris and Jana Stanfield.  (See lyrics to song below)  In fact, I had it on auto repeat.  I laid there crying, broken, and pleading for God's mercy, for Him to relieve the pain of loosing Daddy.

What happened next is one of those moments you just can't understand or express.  It was as if a spiritual presence was giving me the strength to get up, wipe my tears, and go to the computer.  I remember I had to keep wiping my eyes as I typed the words pouring out of my soul and pain.  At times I couldn't even see the screen through my tears. 

I opened my email, and the words just flowed out of me like a river gushing from my heart.  I wrote the poem in about 10 minutes, no corrections, no editing.  And I give full credit for that to the Lord Jesus.  I sent the email off to my friends list, printed it out, closed my computer, and I finally felt a release of relief.  I walked back to bed, and was finally able to sleep.......in peace.

A few days later I sealed my printed copy and put it away.  It never occurred to me to publish it or that the world would react to it with such passion.  I began receiving thank you notes from people I didn't even know.  Beautiful letters from people sharing their pain of loosing a loved one.  The poem has been read at children's funerals, and even at national events at the funerals of 911 victims.  

It was suggested to me by a close friend to copyright the poem, and you may see the copyright information on this page.

I was overwhelmed and humbled by the unexpected fact that my writing, something I wrote in the throws of agony would and could bless so many people.  

Unfortunately, there is also a bad side to this story.  I recently began seeing my poem on various websites credited to other authors.  I was devastated.  How could someone claim or steal what was actually written as a tribute to my Daddy, and that was the result of such private and personal agony of mourning?  

The truth is this poem has been stolen so many times I can't count.  But honestly, I am not bitter about that, because I believe with all my heart that God put those words in my heart to bless those who are suffering, who are mourning a loved one.  If the poem blesses someone and helps them make it thru a life tragedy then it has fulfilled its purpose.

I am currently working on a coordinating book that will be based on the poem, 'If I Knew'.  One thing for sure, even though it has been claimed by masses of people; no one wrote it and experienced it but me.  Therefore, I am the only one who can write a book based on it.  The pain of loosing Daddy can not be stolen, and the joy that God put back in my heart thru restoration can only be shared by me.  

I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I write this book, and I would like to publically thank the Lord for sending me this poem as a life line during one of my darkest hours.  Love you Daddy!

-Dawn Marie Huddleston

{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%20%3C%2Fhs%3Aelement65%3E%20%2D%2D%3E{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%20%3Chs%3Aelement66%3E%20%2D%2D%3E"If I Knew" Poem COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Library of Congress Registration Numbers: TXu001346836
Date: 2/22/2000
Title: If I Knew
Copyright Claimant: Dawn Marie Huddleston
The Library of Congress
United States Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

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