I guess I’m getting old. Actually, there’s not much “guessing” about it. I think about death a lot more than I did when I was younger.
Besides, it’s kind of been brought to my attention lately. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about an elderly neighbor who was found dead in his home. My next-door neighbor was the one who told me what had happened. Two weeks later, he died. He was my age. [added a day later: Now there’s a “sale” at his house. Cars parked up and down the street. People going through the house; strangers dissecting a life now gone. Got me to thinking about such things.]
Our daughter who lives in Florida was here last week to visit us. While she was here, she went through a container of things which had belonged to my grandmother and had been in her china cabinet – which we still have, with some of her things, with some of ours, on display. The daughter has a china cabinet now herself.
While we were up in the attic, I came across a box of old letters, etc. Report cards, all kinds of stuff. One problem with all that. Several years ago, my other daughter came across one of my report cards from elementary school. Said she knew where her kids got their problems from. 🙂
I have a little box of things from my grandfather – razor, cuff links, things like that. That’s all, plus a memory of him lying in his casket. I was six. Never really got to know him. I regret that. He was handy with tools and building. Grandma told me that, in today’s terms, he flipped houses. Maybe I’d have learned something from him.
Grandma and Grandpa were Mom’s folks. Never got to know my Dad’s folks. Dad, either, for that matter. They divorced when I was too young really to remember. I have two memories of my dad. That’s all. We have Grandma’s dining room table, a nice desk that stood in her living room for as far back as I can remember, a couple of other desks…. Nothing from Mom, just a couple of pictures. And some potholders she used to crochet.
I stood by Mom’s grave in 1970 and thought about all the arguments we’d had while I was a teenager. All the heartaches and sleepless nights I must have caused her. I was not a model son. If I’d’ve lived in OT times, I might even have been a candidate for stoning to death. I regretted it all. But it was too late to tell her that.
Grandma gave me something more valuable than “stuff.” I spent most summers with her. During that time, she saw to it that I listened to Christian radio. Nothing like we have today, but still there were good, godly men teaching on the radio. M. R. DeHaan, founder of the Radio Bible Class, Theodore H. Epp, First Mate Bob and the crew of the good ship Grace, and others whose names I’ve forgotten. *sigh* (good, happy memories) It didn’t matter if I was outside playing or what, when time came for these programs, I was called in and had to listen. She saw to it that I went to SS and church. Gave me as much of a start in the Christian life as anyone, till the guy I worked with who kept inviting me to church and I finally went, just to shut him up! Strange, that’s where the Lord met me and called me to Himself.
Grandma was a SS teacher herself. The church was fairly liberal, even though she was conservative herself and taught that way. Now, she didn’t have the radio on all the time. To this day, I dislike having the TV or radio on in the background. I have nothing against peace and quiet.
Mom never minded if I went to church, or not. She was happy when I went to Bible College. Came to my graduation. I’m sorry she never got to meet her future daughter-in-law or be a grandma to our kids. She’d’ve been a good one. But she died, too. Two months before I got married. But she had had trouble with church. I don’t know the story, but she was told she wasn’t welcome at the church Grandma went to. Kind of soured her on the whole “church” thing.
The point is, we all leave this life. And we leave stuff behind. Things and memories.
What are we leaving behind for our kids, and their kids? And their kids? God grant that it’s good stuff, good memories, good upbringing, most of all, the “good things” of God.