At the age of 92, Wanda B. Goines became internet famous. Her caregiver, Kathryn Clausnitzer Wilson, filmed her reciting her own original poem titled “The Gift Wrap & The Jewel.”
This seemingly tiny little lady sits in an oversized beige armchair. She’s dressed in a stately long black skirt, embroidered top and pearl necklaces. Yet, her powerful words about aging remind us that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
The video has been shared more than 5 million times. It’s from 2015, but continues to rack up more views.
Ms. Goines wisdom is rooted not only in age, but rich life experience. She’s a great grandmother with eight children of her own, including the internationally-known artist David Lance Goines. She is an artist and calligrapher in her own right.
She was living in Cave Junction, Oregon when this was filmed. Her entire family took delight in watching her go viral with this recitation.
I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair,
and I asked my reflection, “How did you get there?”
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique
My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied,
“You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth
The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel,
Should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free,
To radiate God’s glory throughout eternity”