>> Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – All Saints Day, grandparents, Isaiah, legacy, memories, Old Testament
So I’m feeling a bit bad about the most morose post of all time on Monday – and what timing…the day after we celebrated All Saint’s Day. As I listened to the sermon on Sunday I cringed when I recalled what I had already written about those same verses from Isaiah 25. Pastor Sara’s interpretation was SO much more hopeful and positive than mine. In light of that, I decided to write a little about what she said here today – a Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Wednesday redo.During the All Saints Day service I thought a lot about my loved ones who have passed on.
I remembered how much Nana loved to watch my sister and me play dress-up, even when we clomped over the linoleum in her fanciest shoes, even when we wrapped a dozen strands of her favorites beads around our necks in a tangled mess. She always slipped a five-dollar bill into our coat pockets before we walked out the door, and she smelled like Chanel No. 5 when I pressed my face against her rose-petal cheek. I remember how her glow-in-the-dark rosary lit the bedpost in soft, green light.I remembered Papa’s gruff love – how he never liked hugs or kisses, but flipped pancakes, carved wooden birdhouses and took us to feed bread crusts to the ducks in Forest Park. He always cooked Thanksgiving dinner, from the turkey to the mashed potatoes to three kinds of pie, and then did all the dishes afterward, too, washing each piece of china and silver by hand, steam rising from the porcelain sink, fogging the kitchen window.
I remembered my in-laws. Janice’s humble gratitude, her steady joy, her quiet faith. She baked an apple pie to absolute perfection, wrapped it tight in saran wrap and brought it with her from Minnesota to Nebraska every autumn, just for me, because she knew it was my favorite. I remembered Jon’s exuberance, his love of storytelling and 50s dancing, how he delighted in my boys so much. I remembered his incredible generosity, how he was always ready and willing to give anyone exactly what they needed.As these memories spooled, I heard Pastor Sara remind us that All Saints Day is a time to recall these lives well-lived, but also an assignment, a responsibility, a commissioning placed in our hands. As we remember our loved ones, we are commissioned to carry on their lives as best we can, to pass on what was important to them, to carry on their faith.
So today, in honor and memory of my loved ones, I am thinking of joy, gratitude, generosity and delight. I’m thinking of apple pie, birdhouses, stories, dancing and rumpled bills stuffed deep in coat pockets. I’m thinking of the people I love, the ones who are gone, the ones whose legacies I carry on.
What's one quality of a loved one in your life that you would like to carry on?
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