This is the last birthday we all had with Pops. His own pops made it to 62, and his mother and brother to 80. He was sure he wouldn’t make it past the mark of his 8th decade, but he kept going and going seven more years. It was a miracle.
I do believe all our days were ordained for us before one of them came to be, as it says in the Psalms. Those days can become hard as strength gives out. Or! There can be a renewed sense of joy.
My mom always said we need to be thankful in every situation, and God‘s Word says Jesus gives us the peace that transcends understanding. So I guess what I wanted to share on this the 7th memorial year of his passing, is that what kept dad going with joy and gave me peace near the end of his life, was telling stories!
He said over and over again, “I’m ready for Jesus to come for me whenever he’s ready but I told him, I sure would like to stick around for a while because I have more stories to tell!” I think God knew that that would probably be the case with Pops and did some preplanning there.
I guess the point of yet another post about my dad, (I do like to honor both my parents on the their earthly birthdays though) what I wanted to say today, is that if you’re fortunate enough to have your parents around, the happiest time of my life with my dad was listening to him tell those stories at the end of his life. He got such a kick out of it. Most the time I did too, except when he got really anal about the details. We’re both kind of that way though so it worked out.
So, if you have older loved ones you want to keep knowing more about, don’t turn down the moments to grab a story or two. Even if they’re hard stories. There can be healing. Sometimes I’ve struggled with memories that have been hard to face. There are pages of my own story I might prefer to tear out, but I’ve come to realize, those are the very pages God wants to use for his own purposes. He transforms it all.
We may hear that we should let the past go, move on, (can’t I just have a glass of wine and get on with it, please?) Perhaps. But our stories are important, the whole kit and caboodle. Because the thing is? God was in all of it. You were weeping? He was weeping. I know, it’s beyond comprehension. It’s a Mystery.
As my friend Shelly said at lunch yesterday (the lunch she mistakenly arrived 30 minutes early for, was starving and ate, and that I got so entrenched in our deep conversation forgot to eat), “God doesn’t erase the past, he redeems it!”
The stories and memories of stories, hugs and a thousand subtle farewells. I used to tell my folks “good-by for now”. Now I tell my kids “good-by for now”. Precious times and the depths of this hope we have unfathomable.
Love, love, love this! Somehow, I didn’t know you wrote a book with your dad! How wonderful! And, oh, my.. you must miss him a great deal — a kindred soul. ❤️❤️
Wonderful to spend time with your Pops and write a book together. A precious heritage!
Pop’s was a gift and even in his photo, his joy shines through. And those stories? So important, and what a joy you have the gift as well.
“The memories of stories.”
Who would have known these would become as precious as the stories themselves? Even the stories live and breathe in a type of “good-by” for now existence. It is unfashionable!
He was a “kindred soul.” I’m so glad we could discover how much that was true at the end of his life. We locked horns a lot. It really is all about learning to love. ❤️
Oh, we had fun. As Gary, said, the “memories of the memories of the stories” are equally rich. ☺️
Kelly, you help me remember how funny he was. (You can see by the book he was intense!)😀
Love this…oh, how I can relate to missing your dad. I miss mine as well and I definitely miss hearing his stories as well. Hugs.
Hugs back. Hope the time with your grandkids was special!
Our loved ones live on through our stories. Beautiful…
Beautiful! Loved to read it. Well shared! 👌🙏
Thank you, Priti! 💛
My pleasure 🙏
My dad was a storyteller, too. We recorded some of his stories for our “family archives.”
I suspect there’s going to be a lot of storytelling in heaven. 😉
I know a pastor who says when we get to heaven there will be no more sermons, everyone will be sharing their stories about what Jesus did in their lives! 😊
I think those stories about what Jesus is doing in our lives ought to be a subject for every time we are together on this side.
I agree, Jon!