Precious memories of those we love

Debra Whittington: Notes from the Church Lady

Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. Psalms 16:1, 5-9

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

A month of deaths and dealing with their aftermath left me feeling numb and exhausted. In my wildest dreams I could never imagine a month as I just experienced, and yet it feels just like that; a dream. In a frenzy of activity, I first said goodbye to my little dog and then to Grandma in a period of only eight days.

Then came the trip to Utah and before I could hardly catch my breath, I was back in Artesia to help take care of Grandma’s estate. Walking into her house was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, as it mostly remained the same all of my life.

Grandma’s house is the stereotypical cozy type house, a little two-bedroom with the original linoleum in the kitchen and even the original Roper Range that she used all my life. It is filled with mementoes of a lifetime. Now, it was time to divide her belongings among family and friends.

We came across a metal box that was like a time capsule. She kept both business papers and others that linked her to her past. We were surprised to find her marriage license to Grandpa. It was amusing to look at Daddy’s report cards and imagine what he was like as a small boy. One teacher noted that he often spoke without obtaining permission. That sounds like a typical boy.

Grandma’s house was full of knick-knacks, mostly gifts over the years from her family. Her house was filled with items that are priceless in sentimental value. One of the items is an old crockery bowl Daddy gave to her as a little boy. She always used that bowl when she made potato salad and family functions just weren’t the same without the “blue-bowl”. We always took great care in handling the bowl, as we just knew that potato salad wouldn’t taste the same in any other bowl if it got broke. Now, I am the keeper of the bowl, but even with it, my potato salad won’t taste the same as Grandma’s.

Grandma is gone after a long life of 97 years, which is still just a fleeting moment in the eyes of God. While going through the stages of grief, I am coming to the realization that she isn’t coming back. Now is the time to focus on the good memories and the legacy left behind by Grandma. The material items left behind, though precious in memories, is just stuff. In a letter she left behind, Grandma emphasized the importance of the love of a family over the things of this world and not to fight over her belongings. That is the best inheritance she left.

In the midst of all the activity, I’ve had little time to think. I know there will come a day when everything is taken care of and I will have time to think about what transpired and then what? In the days, months, and years to come, I will have good days and bad days. I will cry and I will laugh as I remember all the precious memories. I will hug my family and tell them often that I love them. With the Lord’s help, I will go on and strive to live my life for him.

Life as I knew it is changed forever and yet in the midst of the uncertainties, there is one thing that remains the same and that is the Lord Almighty. He gave me an inheritance that is more precious than anything on this earth. In Him, I will rest and be comforted.