The news comes rushing and screeching down the street on the wheels of a car searching up and down roads for him, while George is sweetly lollygagging along after a party at his brother’s school… throwing rock wishes at a slightly dilapidated and vacant home with Mary… unaware of her secret prayer to make it their home someday…boasting of his world traveling plans… playfully teasing her – startled by an older man, leaning out a window and prompting him to kiss her–
“Come home, George… it’s your father…” the voice from the car calls…and life changes split-instant.
A beautiful legacy becomes his that night… though George doesn’t yet see it. A legacy of his father’s caring heart for the people of their town. Of putting others first, and inspiring them to do the same. Of continuing what his dad literally gave his heart to, building so much more than mortar and brick, but TRUST. The kind of trust that could stop a run on the bank cold…when, on his wedding day…George reaches across the teller booth to take one sweet woman’s face in his hands, kissing her so soundly when she agrees to take less to help him keep the business running, as one who is a friend, not just a businessman… and one by one others follow suit, because this is George, one of them …
But I wonder… did tears sting behind his eyes at these times? Tears that came as a flood of remembrance of his dad’s kind smile… his father’s gentle hand on his shoulder…his dad’s way of counting gold as good neighbors and family…? Did he often find, in the middle of ordinary work or play, a sudden memory catching his breath with a bittersweet melancholy, a longing to see his dad one more time?
Probably just the writer in me… always filling in the back story…
But, turning on my tree lights the other night, enjoying those from across the way, pinpoints coming on here, there…as the sun sets… Taking a breather to soak in sights and sounds of Christmas… Out of the blue, I find my own eyes tearing. When, unbidden, come memories of those who have gone on to heaven… Mom, four years ago. Another who was in my prayers so long, just recently. Papa** (my grandfather), several seasons ago… All seem so new.
Peeling back the moments that often feel like long ago chapters in life’s storybook, I think how fresh it can hit sometimes. You hear a song. You see some beauty. You stir a spoon in cookie bowl. And back it rushes… how Mom would have loved this. How Papa always thought he could sneak a few sweets that wouldn’t be missed. How you wonder – O God, is the one I prayed for truly with you, now…?
How back then… dreaming of growing into your own life, you never really imagined your parents or other loved ones turning old. Getting sick. Being gone.
And….when did it happen?
Have yourself a merry little Christmas…here we are, as in olden days, happy golden days of yore…
Now as I ponder, I think — What if such memory moments…though grieving…are sort of like Zuzu’s rose petals, from our Father? Blossoms to hold in our hands. To cherish, yes… but also… to breathe in the fragrance left by those who have gone on before. The scent that beckons us to carry on the legacy.
Of laughter. Caring and giving of self. Creating beauty with our gifts…beauty that will sing, or paint a picture, or write a new light on someone’s life.
This Advent… is sadness, grief or loneliness wafting across your heart on a beloved carol.. a memory stirring a bit of melancholy at what seems lost… of those you are missing…?
Could it be a whisper to remember more?
To take the torch and run forward in our own race?
To kneel before the little King in the manger… the One who “lassoed the moon and the stars” to give us His Life … and lay out our own hearts in his upstretched hands?
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh… Wise men’s gifts.
What is the gift your heart longs to give Him in this season?
** As a P.S. to this post, continuing the story:
I invite you to one more rose petal, for your Christmas reading …
© Pam Depoyan
Wonderful life photos: http://www.creativepro.com