It’s been five years since I held your hand as you slipped off into eternity. Five years without seeing the twinkle in your eye. Five years without hearing your mischievous giggle. Five years without seeing your smile.
I miss the days when I sat at the card table in your kitchen, eating chipped beef gravy or the french toast you made while Marty Bass updated the weather. We would chat about anything and everything while I inhaled my food. Then I would drop a kiss on your cheek as I headed out the door, carrying the scent of your face lotion with me as I left for the day.
You would have been 92 today. In the time leading up to your birthday, I’ve quietly contemplated your influence in my life, swatting away the tears that inevitably spill from my eyes whenever I think about you being gone.
I am reminded today of the virtues that you lived by and taught me by example for 41 years: honesty, hard work, love, grace, service, and forgiveness. You excelled at them all. I, however, am still a work in progress. Whether it’s my flesh that fails me or my inability to make a pie crust from scratch, every day is a reminder that I need Jesus to help me look more like Him, and be more like you.
I’m not sure when, if ever, I’ll achieve that same level of love, sacrifice, and accomplishment for my family. The older I get, the more I understand how and why you did it, especially as our family grows in number and I experience the joys of grand-parenting.
I still pass the corner store at Carsin’s Run and find myself wishing I could make the turn toward your little stone house on Stepney Road and find you there. Once in a while I’ll make the journey and slow as I pass the place that holds my childhood’s most sacred and beautiful memories. The home you once filled so easily with warmth is someone else’s to steward now, but your legacy is still alive and breathing because it lives in me.
Ann Voskamp once said:
When you have lived life to the fullest, when you’ve carpe diemed the heck out of who and what God has created you to be, you leave an indelible mark on the people around you and on those who will come long after you’re gone.
Somewhere in your journey you decided what was most important to you. Although you were certainly capable of becoming an accomplished career woman outside the home, you chose the less than glamorous job of serving Pop-Pop and others as a homemaker. This choice made you rich in ways that far exceeded the worldly wealth any job title or career may have yielded. But you weren’t concerned with leaving us with worldly things that world prove meaningless. You wanted to leave your mark and you nailed it.
I can’t decide what I miss most about you – I miss all of you. The only consolation I have is that you are in heaven enjoying God and all His glory, and one day, I’ll be there with you, too. Until then, I’ll do my best to honor you, to pass on your legacy to my children’s children, and try to get that pie crust right.