04 June, 2005

Honoring our parents

We have just returned from a quite relaxing visit with my parents, other family, and a grandmother who is recovering from cancer and treatments. As I walked through Mamaw's yard, smelling and touching her flowers, memories from childhood played over in my mind; memories of family members, both young and old, who've already passed on to Heaven.

I measure those memories beside stories I heard on this trip from those family members' lives--stories that I've heard before, and new ones which disturb some of those old memories. Among such stories is that of my grandfather saying hurtful things as he lay willing himself to die after the untimely death of my dear cousin, a senator's aide, at the young age of 28 in a private airplane crash. Evidently Grandad said things to my mother that were insensitive and very hurtful, so that cast a shadow over my memories of him. I have mixed feelings, but can give grace, knowing we all have sin, doubt, and utter ugliness in our lives.

I am amazed and moved by God's timing and leading of my husband and me to be more available for these loved ones who still remain with us, living their lives in their simple, yet ever-giving, generous ways. I am reminded again, after this trip, of some of the things we (I) can do or give to honor or help them while they are still alive and with us. One of the things on my list is to take care of special family papers and eventually more of the books. Some have already been given to me for our own home library. The big job will come when I help Dad, a lifelong preacher and prison minister for the last two decades, to deal with his library.

I guess that makes me the family librarian and conservator. I am more than okay with that!

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