"June, You've Gone First and I Remain"
- Published on Thursday, 22 December 2011 02:03
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
(Stan's Goodbye Message to June)
"June, You've Gone First!"
"June, you've gone first and I remain,
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, June,
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early fall, when bright leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.
June, you've gone first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile,
though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.
June, you've gone first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
Your memory is one gift of God
That death can not destroy.
June, you've gone first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you to do:
Walk slowly down that long, long path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take,
That I may walk the same.
For on that glorious someday June,
Is the Day You'll hear me call your name!"
Stan's Notes: Original "Should You Go First" was written by Albert Kennedy "Rosey" Rowswell in ca.1935.
The "June, You've Gone First" edition and revision by Stan Berg was done in 2011...(8 lines were altered, the last two (2) lines were totally replaced, the signature added and the title was altered.)
*There are other pirated versions used without any credit by Hank Williams, "Should You Go First" and "Beyood the Sunset" in the early 1940's.
The Gaither's (George Younce) Circa 2000...there are at least two others who also have a version they call "Beyond the Sunset" and again without any credit to Rowswell the original author...
Rowswell wrote it as an emotional Ode dedicatet his wife. Rowswell (1884-1955) was both a American Radio Sportscaster for the Pittsburg Pirates and known affectionately as "Rosey" but also an author who published several volumes of verse and was a respected after dinner speaker who enhanced his talks with poems...His best know work was "Should You Go First".
The top photo was taken in May of 2002 during the 6th year of June's journey into Alzheimer's. June was still doing well and was still in the early stages of the disease. This was also the year of our 50th anniversary.
The bottom picture was taken at the Benedictine Health Care Center's Alzheimer's Villa in October of 2007 by Jim Gehrz a photographer from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The "Star" was doing a feature article in a regular series called "The Duet". Our story was featured with the title: "Stan and June: To Have and to Hold for 55 years." (Minneapolis Star - Tribune, November 24th, 2007.) June at that time was into her 11th year of Alzheimer's and was in the late stages of the disease. June was non responsive most of the time and sat with her eye's closed. Those were dark and hopeless days in which the end of June's life was in sight. June passed away on 23 October 2008 near the end of her 12th year of Alzheimer's. The beautiful symphony that had played during the times of our life together, now fell silent!
Stan’s Introductory Comments: By publishing these “Reader’s Comments,” it is not my intention to in any way suggest that the marriage relationship and the love that June and I had/have for each other and experienced during our lifetime together is in any way superior to similar relationships of other’s. It is merely a collection of the reactions of readers to this page in June’s website. Some are simple appreciative comments; some are generous and kind comments reflecting the care and concern of others. Some comments are a sharing of the reader’s own experiences. Many reflect the love of God. These comments often reflect the human and the caring side of the readers. It is my hope that if June is able to look in on us, that she can see and understand how much I appreciate the love and the life that she gave to me and that I miss her very much…there will never be another to take her place! If anyone is searching for evidence of a caring and loving God, need they look further then these comments?
Lisa Mendez: - Sugar Land, Texas - (15 March 2012): “Beautiful, I know June is looking down smiling. …you have really inspired me to do more. I need to wipe away the tears and make a difference.”
Terry Ferlas: - Cottage Grove, Minnesota - (15 March 2012): "You are a painter of words....your love for June is your palette......you have great talent. I truly hope that all you have written will be published in a book. I have no doubt a best-seller. You have an uncanny way of describing June, the horror of the disease, what you are going through presently.....it is like a really good book that one can't put down. Not that I enjoy the sadness but you make the reader feel as if they were there experiencing it all with you. I hope that is your plan....there is enough for a book already! What a legacy that would be!”
Stella Sheldon - Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom - (4 August 2012): "A beautiful poem and tribute to a loved one-very moving!"
Dianne Cogar - Springfield, Ohio - (4 August 2012): "Should You go First," absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. You have a poetic voice indeed. How could you not, your heart is in everything you stand for."
Karen Barbier - Houston, Texas - (12 July 2013): "Friday nights ARE lonely nights. Sending positive thoughts your way. The poem was beautiful."
Amy Stiel Almas - Waterford, Michigan - (13 July 2013): "That is so heartwarming."
Nancy Senechal (12 July 2013): "Very heart touching......and I love that pic of you and June.....so lovely..."
Catt Stichter - Le Claire, Iowa- (12 July 2013): "So beautifully written. May God give you peace until you see your June again."
Mary B. Walsh - Montclair, New Jersey - (12 July 2013): "Your poem is so beautiful, Mr.Berg. Yes, it is Friday night and reading your poem was the nicest part of my night!"
Sara Watson (12 July 2013): "Lost my daddy on october 23, 1992. That anniversary never passes without a little prayer. Now i'll have to also remember you and your June on that day. Your poem and obvious devotion moved me to comment. You were obviously very happy and so lucky to have had 55 years. I can only hold on the hope that I may someday find love so true. God bless you Stan."
Alzheimer Society of B. C. - Vancouver, British Columbia - (12 July 2013): "Thank you for sharing this poem, Stanton."
Merideth Sindel - Sydney, Australia - (12 July 2013): "That is a very good line. 'You have gone first and I remain.' Whether you are a spouse or child or whatever, it is the cry that goes throughout the world...Wish you peace and happiness Stan, and if you have a bit to spare ..."
Deborah Anne Shepard (12 July 2013): "So very beautiful her life, your life and the journey to help others thank you. I am with friends family who are going through such a journey."
Terry Shepherd - Warsaw, Indiana- (12 July 2013): "This is beautiful. I take care of my brother who is now on Hospice. some day I will be doing the same as you."
Annemarie Weers - Olin, Ohio- (12 July 2013): "June .... what a wonderful name to go with a wonderful lady ... God Bless!"
Laurie Rodosta Dupuy - New Orleans, Louisiana - (12 July 2013): "That's lovely."
Annette Lefevre Ekelman - Los Angeles, California - (12 July 2013): "So very sorry for your loss. My Mama passed not to long ago from Alzheimer’s also. I was her soul caregiver during her years of battle. We are still here though because God still has things for us to do! Remember the good times and smile! Big Hugs and Love to You!"
Marsha McKneely Ault - Nacogdoches, Texas - (12 July 2013): "What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful June! Most people only dream of such an eternal love."
Huzaafa Yousuf (12 July 2013):"So beautifully written!"
Nancy Rudquist - Arden Hills, Minnesota - (13 July 2013): "I understand lonely nights. I am learning to keep myself busy. I have a tough sleeping time too. So I pray a lot and finally fall a sleep around 5 or 6 o'clock. Then I sleep the morning away."
Dianne Creel - Concord, North Carolina - (13 July 2013): "The one part that truly touched me Stan, was whenever you asked your bride to walk down that very long path~~slowly. I know June will be waiting on the very long path, especially for you, Stan~~her loving and devoted groom."
Lillie Franklin - Sequim, Washington - (13 July 2013): "Hi Stan, I don't even know how I found your site. I was in Facebook searching the people I know and then suddenly your page about your wife June came up and I started reading some of the poetry and learning about your beautiful life together. I understand grief and live it everyday too. I lost my beloved parents seven years ago. I was closest to my mom and there isn't a day that goes by that they ...don't figure into my thoughts. I write poetry too and I journal about my grief and try to find ways to heal and live my changed life. The deep love you have for your wife echos on every page and I can feel a loss that goes just as deep. I hope there is a reunion with our passed loved ones. I endeavor to keep the faith that it is so. God Bless you and if you feel the occasion to write back you are welcome to do so. Regards, Lillie."
Elaine Wharmby - Tamworth, United Kingdom - (13 July 2013): "What a beautiful poem. No one as love...as you should ever feel lonely."
Lisa Hirsch - New York, New York - (14 July 2013): "Wonderful photograph of the two of you showing such deep love and affection. One to cherish."
Beverley Alfred - London, United Kingdom- (15 July 2013): "Tears came to my eyes when I read the words of love and sorrow, made me think of my mum and dad and how they loved each other for over 50 years, thank you Stanton so much!"
Sharon Collins Watters Addison(16 July 2013): "Beautiful...I took the journey with my Dad...he's with my Mom now. Boy, did I learn a lot from him during those years. What an honour that he trusted me to travel with him."
Ben Mcbrien - Dublin, Ireland - (16 July 2013): "Truly beautiful poem!"
Tracey Bressler Muldowney - Pensacola, Florida - (29 January 2015):"I love this Mr Berg- will share with my mom."
Debra Brown Leen - Bangor, Maine - (29 January 2015): "You really have an amazing love.....it brings a tear to my eyes.....I have been married almost 37 years.....my hubby is pretty special, too..."
Susu Ibie - London, United Kingdom - (29 January 2015): "Very sweet indeed! What a lovely couple you and June must have been. You are not doing too badly, even though you are now on your own. You manage quite well to keep her memory alive."
Anthea Young - East Lonndon, Eastern Cape, South Africa - (19 February 2015): "A BEAUTIFUL LOVE like yours & June's is rare to find... You are blessed beyond measure Stan."
Cher Riley-Hart - Bristol, United Kingdom - (20 February 2015): "How lovely Stan, a fitting tribute to you both."
Janet Evelyn DuBois - Nashua, New Hampshire - (20 February 2015):"So beautiful! I have tears...! Some people go their whole lives and never find the love you and June had together. Wonderful Stan!"
Helen Russin - Martins Ferry, Ohio - (25 March 2015): "Thank you Stan...beautiful song and so special for your beloved June. It seems the perfect poem the way you revised it. God Bless you."
Pam Joyce Walz - East Moline, Illinois - (26 March 2015): "Such beautiful & heart touching words...made my heart smile and eyes tear!!! Thank you for sharing!"
Jackie Irving - Liverpool, United Kingdom - (1 July 2015): "Wonderful poem Stan....I especially like the last verse".
Toots Scudder - London, United Kingdom - (1 July 2015): "Wow that is beautiful, you had such a wonderful love for each other, you were blessed in life to have that not a lot of people do, take care."
Helen Webster - Barnsley, United Kingdom - (1 July 2015): "You certainly have world of the wondrous with June and what amazing happy smiling pictures."
Diane Peake - Waterhouses, Stoke-On-Trent, United Kingdom - (1 July 2015): "That is really nice, it brought a tear to my eye."
After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom and into Jesus presence to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on: