"Would You Recognize a Queen?"

Nephew Ronald Ginther's Tribute to Aunt Bernice Schaefer, Reunion Memorial 2002

Bernice Stadem as a Young Woman, Drawn by Nephew

Would you recognize a queen without a long gown?

Must she sit enthroned and wear a crown?

And when she commands--does she hold a scepter?

And you'll lose your head if you dare to cross her?


I know a queen who reigned with love;

She drew her source from Christ above.

Her commands were few, she preferred to serve,

And blessed us far beyond we deserve.


Baked umpteen loaves, year after year,

Decorated reunions with banners of cheer.

She pulled the Stadem tie snug and tight,

And kept it strong with all her might.


There are few her equal to be seen,

Her height, it fit her for a king.

Russell Schaefer made her his bride;

She bore their son, and loved grandsons beside.


It's hard to number Schaefer guests;

A multitude--like Pharaoh's locusts.

O'er the years their door swung wide,

The weary, hungry flocked inside.


On their car no moss, or rust,

Hearst's Castle was a tourist "must."

Their bread maker turned on high,

Served up taste that brought a sigh.


Hospitality, you see,

Is a gift that's most godly.

Abraham fed angel guests--

And God Himself, the Word attests.


Champagne and chocolate

Bernice was not,

But fragrant and nourishing

Like bread buttered hot.

Her letters too were just as good,

She kept in touch as long as she could.


Her writing grew small, and then she typed!

You didn't see any tears she had wiped!

Her words were full of love and cheer,

Despite the distance, she made herself near.


Have you heard of the Doves of Capistrano?

She was the Dove of Plain View Farm-ero.

No talk of the cost, she flew to the Farm;

Nothing could stop her, no fear and no harm.


How she loved their warm West Coast,

But seeing smiles on Mama pleased her the most.

Sharing those times of her parents' old age

Meant more to Bernice than Bill Gates' yearly wage!


It may be you don't understand this quite well.

But if you find time I can try to tell.

Bernice cherished Mama--Bergit, her name.

Her worth exceeded all wealth and all fame.


A soul so true, and kind--pure gold!

Yet humble in spirit as the Lord Jesus we hold.

She was always the same, year after year.

Like Jesus, unchanging, and without peer.


Mama's love for others held strong to the end.

And quilting, praying, mending a hem!

Sharing her Savior with "old folks" she met,

Feeling their hurt, her cheeks would get wet.


You would see her hug some old one forelorn:

Mama's gift, love, for which she was born.

Bernice knew it well, and couldn't stay home.

Back to Plain View, with its rainbow-arched dome!


If there's something better, I doubt it, my friend.

Why dwell in Kedar in tents so heathen?

Come to the heart of what life really means,

Find paradise where Christ's love gleams.


Play all you like, or build up careers.

Nothing will last, IRAs end in arrears.

Bernice knew in Christ the Rock that will stand.

All else, dear one, is deceiving quicksand.


Do you hear those long and joyful cheers?

It's gone on now for two full years!

It must be Heaven welcoming

Bernice Schaefer like a queen!

*************


Biographical: Bernice Augusta Stadem Schaefer was born March 18, 1911, and passed to glory October 1, 2000, preceded by her beloved husband, Russell, September 26, 1999.

Note: Regarding true royalty, these scriptures portray the outward manifestations of King Solomon's glory: II Chron. 9:1-9, 12; and the Throne of Solomon, which had no peer: II Chron. 9: 17-19. Too bad he didn't have a whole heart devoted to God! How much better was the royalty of heart, the undivided love of Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that Bernice cherished and honored in her heart all her life, since the day she and sister Myrtle committed while teenagers their lives to Christ! That abiding, faithful love made her the true queen that she was.--With love, Nephew Ronald Ginther.

Russell Shaefer's Rainbow Poem:

RAINBOWS

*********************

THERE IS A RAINBOW AROUND MY SHOULDERS

IT FITS ME LIKE A GLOVE;

RAIN OR SHINE, THE WORLD'S ALL MINE,

FOR I'M IN LOVE.--AL JOLSON

***********************************

THERE IS A RAINBOW AROUND MY SHOULDERS

IT LIFTS ME UP ABOVE

ITS COLORS REFLECT THE GLORY OF GOD'S ENDURING LOVE.

THERE IS A RAINBOW AROUND MY SHOULDERS...

THE SUN REFLECTS ON YONDER SKY

RAIN DROPLETS SIMMER

TO FORM A RAINBOW IN THE SKY.

SO TOO, THE SUNSHINE OF GOD'S LOVE AND GRACE

THROUGH MY TEARS A RADIANCE CASTS,

THE PROMISE OF HIS COMMITMENT TO ME

WILL FOREVER LAST.

THERE IS A RAINBOW OF HIS GLORY AROUND MY SHOULDERS

IN MY HEART, A RAY OF THAT OTHER LAND

A LONGING FOR ANOTHER DAY

WITH CHRIST, TO FOREVER STAY.

--RUSS

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