‘Twas in the midst of noonday clatter,
Surrounded by the children’s chatter I had spoken not a word,
When, deep within my heart, I heard:
“Your mission – lead your family
To true, unending love for Me.”
How could this be?
Could this be all He’d ask of me?
No great crusades to lead?
No unfed hordes to feed?
In protest, I began to speak,
“They go to Sunday School each week.
Of course they love you, Lord, most dearly.”
And then I heard His words more clearly.
“Unending,” he had said, and “True.”
That meant in everything they do.
And then…The task that seemed so small,
Seemed, suddenly, not small at all.
I’ll do my best, but, Lord, I pray,
That You will help me find the way.
Deep Within My Heart I Heard
By Jean Lamb
Jean Lamb ‘s creativity and love of words led her to write poetry, create a line of greeting cards and a business that touched the lives of thousands who grieved the loss of loved ones. Now her husband is extending her legacy by donating proceeds from the sale of a book about Jean to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Jean was Iowa born and raised. She met her husband to be, Robert, in a speech class while a student at Iowa State College. It was 1946. Robert was just out of the service and Jean was a senior majoring in Home Economics. Jean took a job with the Iowa State College library until Bob received his degree. Their union would produce what Bob refers to as “a full house” – five children, three boys and two girls.
Bob found a career with the 3M Company and the family moved to Dayton. The Golden Rule was a way of life in the Lamb home. Jean was active with the PTA and other local organizations. She supervised the church library. Jean’s Home Economics degree came in handy, as she made drapes and slip covers for the house, and dresses for the girls. One of her daughters has said she “grew up in Donna Reed’s house” and recalled that people referred to her as Saint Jean. Later she realized “As I’ve gotten older, I’m not so sure they were wrong about that.”
Jean started writing poetry for her children when they were young, encouraging their own love of words and creativity. Her lessons must have had some impact, because two of the children grew up to be journalists and one became an English teacher. It was writing a note and sending a gift to one of her daughters, who was a freshman in college and homesick, that led Jean to an unexpected path in her life.
Jean created a stuffed lamb with a pocket in its back and put a note into the pocket to send to her homesick child. Soon she was selling the stuffed animals, offering a line of greeting cards and catering to clients all over the country. Bob helped support her business, serving as a “marketer” as the business grew.
Jean and Bob retired together and moved to St. Leonard, staying busy with activities both on and off the campus. After 67 ½ years, Bob had to bid farewell to his Iowa bride, who died just two days after her 91st birthday.
The beautiful collection of Jean’s writings is available at the Heartfelt Gift Shoppe located at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.