We live life and we love…we love deeply.
I loved my Grandma Keen and everything about her. I loved the way she laughed, with her hands to her mouth, giggling about what tickled her soul. I loved the way she would sip her saccharin-sweetened coffee and enjoy a piece of toast with it. I remember sitting at her kitchen table, with my own coffee and piece of toast —- she would pour the last gulps of coffee into a saucer and dip the toast — I would do the same…thinking I was such a big girl to sip coffee and dip toast. Even today, when I sip my morning coffee —no saccharin, but Stevia — I remember back to those summer mornings and I feel so blessed to have known that precious woman.
I loved my Daddy…a man who chose to adopt me and make me his own. I remember how proud I was when he wore his police uniform…wondering if anyone else’s Daddy was a giant like mine. I can still smell the aroma of Christmas breakfast that he would cook us each year — oh, how he loved Christmas. I cannot but think of that giant of a man, whose heart was even bigger, when we decorate the Christmas Tree and enjoy Christmas morning breakfast. I remember his sheltering arms when I wept over my Grandma dying or my childhood friend dying. He loved me and those memories are profound to me.
I loved my Momma! Certainly the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to whisper through cascades of grief and questions and regret. Regret that I did not try harder to understand her. She was so fragile and yet so strong — much like the Live Oaks that line the streets of my now home, Sanford. When I am overwhelmed and yet survive the hurt, I think of her and I’m grateful that some of her got left in me.
I’ve stood at two graves of young friends questioning the short length of their paths. I’ve stood also at the foot of friends who lived long and had much to leave to the world in years and family and experience.
God created us for relationship! He gave us fathers and mothers and siblings and grandparents and friends and love so that our journey wouldn’t be so long or laborious. He gave us moments of laughter and the gift of grief and tears.
The Bible says that “the steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23 NASB) So then, grief is a gift because it means we loved someone and we walked with them in those established steps. We had the grand privilege of sharing in their delight along the way. And, as we loosen the earth and lay them gently to await the coming of Christ, we get the privilege to bring others along our journey while we walk in the soul dust of those gone on before…I’m so grateful for that soul dust and the footprints!