Preserving Memories and Family

In my last blog we talked about Memorial Day. My (late) mother-in-law always called us on that day and said “it’s time to decorate the graves”. Her family took that day to not only honor those fallen in service to our country but to remember all of their family no longer here. They didn’t mourn, but they remembered.

Many hours were spent making and buying decorations for tombstones and graves. A list was made with paper and pencil beginning with her mother and trickling down from there. My mother-in-law was the youngest of thirteen children so the list was lengthy. In-laws were included, also. No one was left out.

When we would take her and her sister it wasn’t a sad affair. No, not at all. Actually it was the opposite. We had a drive in the country to the cemetery. As we wound from one site to another stories were told and lives were remembered. Names of friends, neighbors, and ministers were noted. Sure, tears were shed, but not all of them were sad. A lot of happy tears and laughs were had during those trips. Our children learned valuable family history that is recorded nowhere except in their memories. Like the loved ones these trips were precious.
Isn’t that the way trips to the cemetery should be? Happy memories and family stories instead of sadness and tears of sorrow? Unfortunately that can’t always happen. Some deaths are too fresh, too unexpected, and just too hard to get over quickly or at all. We just get through them, one day at a time.

There was a death that affected me like that when I was twelve. I would think that by my age, a grandmother, I would be over it. Nope. Not now and I suppose not ever. It is just something I have learned to get through in my life. If you are dealing with this, my prayers are with you. It does get easier through prayer and time. God will also use you to help another who is beginning the journey you have already been taking. Remember, your saved loved ones are waiting for you in Heaven with Jesus. Certainly they are happy.
Find joy in your memories and keep telling family stories. Like my mother-in-law’s stories, they may only exist in the memories of your children and grandchildren’s minds now. Better yet, write a little family memoir to preserve the memory for future generations to read. Your loved one will always be remembered. Pray for your family, all of them. Make sure they know Jesus and have taken His gift of salvation. Don’t you want the whole family together in Heaven? Leave no one behind. Why not have a big family reunion there? Oh, happy day!

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
I Thess. 4:13-18 ESV

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