~ Richard Lawrence Belford ~

Inspirational Author

" Life is what you celebrate. All of it, even its end."

                                                                      ~ Joanne Harris ~ 

Affairs of the Heart

                  In a world where marriages seldom last.

Our 50th Anniversary has come to pass.

It is a day to remember all that’s been.

But, for the grace of God,

it’s one, we may never have seen.

At times like this there’s no regret,

 as we celebrate an occasion, 

we’ll never forget.

If milestones are the true test of time,

this will always be yours, and mine.

For our union is tried and true

of which there are so very few.

As are all affairs of the heart.

We shall never, ever part.

© 2004 Richard Lawrence Belford


   A Mother’s Work Is Never Done

There are people, we cannot replace,

debts we can never repay,

times only we remember.

I recall your losing more than could be given,

giving more than could be repaid,

more times, than can be remembered.

My dreams are bountiful,

your misgivings fueled my desire to succeed,

your patience sustained me through adversity.

I always strived to do the same.

When that which we had seems forever lost,

I often look to the evening sky

for a glimpse of the brightest star.

It assures me,

a mother’s work is never done,

and my journey, has just begun.

©2000 Richard Lawrence Belford

 “ Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

~ Dr. Seuss ~

If Not For You

If not for you, we may never have known,

The magic in marrying ones soul mate.

The pleasure of a sister in-laws company.

Or the laughter shared with an aunt.


We would not have felt, 

The delight in a mother’s joy.

The passion of a grandmother’s pride.

Or the sorrow in her loss.


If not for you, we may never have seen,

The compassion and generosity of one

  Who could not always, afford to give.

Or the worry that came with both.


We could not have shared,

The depth of a sister’s love.

The grief in a friend’s passing.

Or the anguish of a relationship lost.

If not for you, 

We would have nothing to rejoice.

 ©2005 Richard Lawrence Belford


 If Not For You

(Alternative Version)

If not for you, we may never have known,

The magic in marrying ones soul mate

The pleasure of a brother in-laws company

Or the laughter shared with an uncle.

We would not have felt,

The delight in a father’s joy

The passion of a grandfather’s pride

Or the sorrow in his loss.    

If not for you, we may never have seen,

The compassion and generosity of one

Who could not always, afford to give

Or the worry that came with both.


We could not have shared,

The depth of a brother’s love,

The grief in a friend’s passing

Or the anguish of a relationship lost.

If not for you, 

                    We would have nothing to rejoice.


© 2005 Richard Lawrence Belford


" Everyday should be passed as if it were our last."

                                                                       ~ Publilius Syrus ~ 

                                                                                              God Only Knows

Just as miracles are, God sent,

tragedies occur for reasons

known only to God.

Whether it is the gift of birth

or the loss of a life,

one cannot exist without the other.

The gift of life is just that.

The power of reason is the knowledge

there’s no guarantee.

So, enjoy what you’re given,

mourn what you’ve lost

finding comfort in, God only knows.

 ©2000 Richard Lawrence Belford

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, 

but what is woven into the lives of others.” 

~ Pericles ~ 

                              In The Blink Of an Eye   

I had not known them

We'd never met, now we cannot.

I did not know their families,

yet aspired to feel their loss.


How had they spent the past evening

When did they last speak?


They would anguish in those moments,

always treasure their memories.

I had the sacrifice of neither.

 Mothers, Daughters, Fathers and Sons.


What were they doing a week ago today?

If only they'd known, how much lay ahead,
how little remained.


In the blink of an eye, with one senseless act,

nothing would ever be the same.
 But, the solidarity of our thoughts.

©2001 Richard Lawrence Belford 

The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again."

~ Charles Dickens ~

             Remember When

Remember when, 

We first met and the feelings we would get.  

The day that we were wed. 

And all the days that lay ahead.

Remember when,  

All we had were our dreams of what may come.  

The way they kept us young.  

And although we did not realize every one.  

How we felt, achieving some.

Remember when,  

We used to fight, especially the times that I was right.  

And when Christmas makes you sad. 

Be thankful for all the ones we had.

Remember when, 

It is said and done, with all the laughter.  

And the tears, there was never anyone. 

I loved more throughout the years.

Remember when we meet again.  

It will be, as it was then.

Remember when.

© 2004 Richard Lawrence Belford 

Until We Meet Again


When thinking of you and feeling sad

I cherish my memories

And long for the moment we never had.

The thing I should have said and never would

And the second chance I wish; I could.


I loved you more than you may ever know

And don’t know why, I never told you so.


I truly think you always knew

And to relieve my guilt, I pray it’s true.


I will live with this regret

As thoughts of you make it hard to forget.

It was you who said it goes by so fast 

And we can never change the past.

 Only faith can change what’s been

By the simple belief in what can’t be seen.


When, I find comfort and sustain

It may never ease my refrain.

Not until, we meet again. 


© 2012 Richard Lawrence Belford

 " Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

                                                                        ~ Maya Angelou ~


A moment is a memory we never forget,

like the moment I first saw you

and the moment we met.

 Moments of hope, laughter and glee,

moments we argued and couldn’t agree.

A moment of adversity, a moment that was nice,

other moments we wouldn’t want to live twice.

Moments of joy and moments of grief,

moments that challenged our very beliefs.

A moment of regret, one of despair,

never a moment we didn’t care.

Moments we shared and the places we’ve been,

  all the wonders we have seen.

If there’s a moment, we may have missed,

we’ll never forget a moment like this.

© 2007 Richard Lawrence Belford 

 The Best Is Yet To Come


 They reluctantly gathered by the shoreline,

watching as she plunged into the stormy sea.

The waves swirling, as her frail bow dipped beneath their surface.

When suddenly, with one last gasp she turned toward the horizon,

becoming nothing more than a spec on the face of a setting sun.

Then someone with a catch in their voice, 

choking back tears whispered;

“There she goes.”

On a distant shore, another group anxiously gathered.

The sun was just rising, casting its reflection over the still waters.

When what first appeared as a dot on a faint skyline

turned out to be the arrival of a beloved friend.

Those on shore began to jump and cheer, 

as she was just as they remembered.

Then someone with joy in their voice exclaimed;

“Here she comes.”

©2000 Richard Lawrence Belford


“ The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot seen or even touched." 

" They must be felt with the heart."

                                                                        ~ Helen Keller ~ 

  The Ties That Bind

 I have known you all my life, as you have me.

I recall times, we’ve laughed with one another,

moments, I envied you and times I did not.

Instances, when I could have been there for you,

others when I was.

Still, I cannot forget the time,

I worried for your very being, for it reminded me.

There was never a time, I didn’t care.

God willing, there will also come a time,

when few will have known us, as long.

We will then be, nearly all that remains of each other’s past.

As a new century dawns precious little will stay the same, 

bringing new challenges and many changes. 

Our bond will endure.

©2000 Richard Lawrence Belford


Like Father, Like Son


I have followed in your footsteps,

you have taught me many things,

shown me many more.

Like, what it was to be a caring son,

takes to be a devoted father,

means to be a loving grandfather.

I will never forget all you taught me,

always treasure what you have shown me.

In life, it is less important what you are,

than what you become.

If I can become, as caring a son,

devoted a father, loving a grandfather.

It will be your legacy I keep.

                   ©2000 Richard Lawrence Belford 

" Making the decision to have a child is momentous."

" It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

                                                                       ~ Elizabeth Stone ~ 

 I Was There

The very moment you were born.

 And also when my heart was torn, not from my chest,

but by your unrest from the first fall you took for which, 

I felt, I was to blame, and my life was never quite the same.

I was there when you were learning to walk.

And even, as you began to talk.

I was there when you started school.

And felt so cruel on your first day.

When you tried to run away.

I was there on the nights you were afraid and remember, 

when we both prayed, to the lord our souls to keep.

Just, until you fell asleep.

I was there when you rode your first bike.

And simply hoped you’d be all right.

It was when you began to drive, that 

I prayed to God you’d arrive alive.

I was there as you left on your first date.

And lay awake until you came home late.

But, still lived to see you graduate.

I was there when you first left home.

And even when you felt alone,

thanks to a little thing called the phone.

A time will come when I won’t be there.

But, you will forever know I still care,

when you’re reminded, by the things we share.

It could be the way your hopes and dreams inspire you to compete.

Or when you catch yourself saying something, I use to repeat.

And perhaps when you realize, you’re just as neat.

So, when your laughter reminds you of me.

Always remember wherever you may be.

Just, like a whisper in the wind that can’t be seen,

I’ll still be there, as I‘ve always been.

©2014 Richard Lawrence Belford