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A Poem in Celebration of

Updated on April 10, 2014

A Life of Experience

This is my poem in celebration of a life of experience.

This is my poem to say out loud that

I am glad for the opportunities afforded me

The family role models provided to me

The successes I have achieved

The family I have built

And the experiences I have had.

This poem is for Kristi, Corbin, and Dante

My wife and two sons

Whom provide purpose and meaning to my life

Married young, we struggled to make sense of the world

But what we created made it worthwhile

As our sons’ personalities emerge

Like butterflies escaping cocoons

I know that our legacy will continue.

This poem is for my dad James

And his father before him

Their personal and professional successes

Serve as examples to me throughout life

My grandfather’s beginnings, poor in NYC

Yet he became a judge on the NY Supreme Court.

James a professional of a different type

Climbed the ladder in engineering

To become senior vice president of his company.

This poem is for Donald

My other grandfather who’s light

Was recently extinguished

An entrepreneur and adventurer

His life was never dull

From racing cars to owning two companies

I admired him so

Hard to accept was his end

A mind so strong, had withered and collapsed

Until little was left of the man I revered.

This poem is against fear, anxiety, and regret

Wasted emotions that impede.

This poem is to say

That regardless of your choices

Embrace the experiences afforded you

Use what you have

But never feel limited by it

Life is in the moment

If you don’t enjoy the ride

You are already dead.

Enrichment I constantly sought

I traveled often, even briefly living in Germany

I took pilots lessons

Studied philosophy, politics, religion

But the most challenging of all

Were experiences I couldn’t control

At 16, my family moved over 1,000 miles

Making me feel like an alien on another world

In a new high school far from the familiar

I learned the most important skill of all:


Understand. I know exactly what I got:

Every experience

Taught me something new

Shaped me

My identity

My understanding

My appreciation

All would be drastically different

And I am grateful.

I will not accept mediocrity

I will not allow myself to regret

I have seen a great deal

Yet I am far from done

And I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

© 2014 Eric Niehoff


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