Last night I ignored the dust in the corners of my home. I overlooked the messy bathroom. I left the laundry behind and went to visit my Uncle Vernon and cousin Karen. Even though the practical side of me said I should stay home and clean, my heart said to go and enjoy the evening walking down memory lane.
Uncle Vernon seemed alert as we ate a delicious meal of chicken, butternut squash, and salad. But both our eyes lit up when Karen brought out fresh strawberries, shortcake, and real whipped cream. Aunt Dorothy had a special recipe for shortcake which is sweeter than what my mom and grandma made. It was delicious and I asked for the recipe!
For over a month I’ve wanted to play some of the old ’78 records that my mom recorded in the late 1940s – of her singing with her sister, her mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The needle scratched out voices singing hymns and even yodeling – voices we hadn’t heard in a very long time. Uncle Vernon doesn’t say much, but he laughed and smiled as he heard the sweet voices of his sisters.
And we talked about our memories: of eating grilled cheese sandwiches, oatmeal (which Karen hates), playing school, favorite books, and life back in the simpler times. Karen and I went upstairs to see some old books when I looked down and saw a gray swirled carpet. I gasped and said, “This was Gramma and Grampa’s carpet!” She confirmed my memory. So many memories washed over me – playing on that carpet with my paper dolls, stretched out reading a book with Gramma Kitty curled up on my back, dusting the hardwood floor around the edge of the carpet, softly lit Saturday evenings of playing checkers, carrum, Muggins, and Flinch with Grampa. Hearing stories about his childhood before going to bed.
All those memories bubbling to the surface of my mind from looking at a piece of carpet. Warm, cozy memories of a wonderful life growing up with family close by.
Sadly, there were some stories we weren’t sure about any more. Karen had heard some stories which I didn’t know, but she was unsure of the details. There is no one left to ask. Uncle Vernon tried to tell us, but he just couldn’t form the words.
I encourage each of you to keep a journal. Write down your memories. Record the story of how your parents met. Where your grandparents went to school. All the little details that you think you will remember, but will fade in time.
Don’t let time steal away the blessings of family. And don’t let the need to clean your house, or mow your lawn, or any other mundane thing steal away the time of being with your family.
Give praise to the Lord, who has given you a family. Make new memories with your children and grandchildren. Remind them of all the things that God has done for you. For your family.
Psalm 105:4-5 “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth.”