Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cannot Be Contained in a Box

The children of Irene Underwood and the late Ralph Underwood converged on Reynolds, GA this weekend to close another chapter in their book of life. And since I married into this family over 31 years ago, their chapter is also my chapter.

As usually happens when children clean out a house that holds a lifetime of family memorabilia, things are found that are long forgotten and others that bring back tons of memories. There are some laughs and a lot of nostalgic moments. And there are a few tears. And maybe even more than a few tears when the loaded truck pulls out of the driveway for the last time.

This afternoon, when all was done, the children visited their mother who was completely oblivious to the fact that her home will be sold in a few days. I suppose sometimes the affects of Alzheimer’s can be a good thing.

I have been reminded again that life on this earth is a journey and it is a fast one at that. The physical stuff that’s left behind that really matters when the destination is reached can be packed up in a few boxes and divided up between those who are left behind in a matter of a couple of days.

What cannot be contained in a box are the memories of a great life afforded to four children. In this case, four children who suddenly lost a wonderful dad when they were kids. And in this case a mom, widowed and gorgeous at age 43, who chose never to get married again in order to devote her life to her children. And as a result, in this case, four children whose memories make them among the richest of any family I know.

If you are in your home reading this, look around at your furniture. Look at the pictures on the wall and china in your cabinets. There is a really good possibility that one day those you leave behind will be forced to go through all of it, throw away what they don’t want and divide up whatever they decide to keep. And then there is a real possibility that a family you don’t even know will move in and another story will begin.

I’m telling you it’s a journey.

The only thing that matters at the end of the day are the memories you are creating wherever you are.

And thank God they don't have to be divided up and they cannot be contained in a box.


Anonymous said...

The weekend was filled with all kinds of emotions. We laughed at some of the pictures. I think I won the award for the most hairdos. At the end of the day all of us were reminded of what a rich heritage we have. Daddy only lived for 49 years but he touched a lot of peoples hearts and lives. I was and still am reminded of what an anchor of strength Mama is.
When I visited Mama yesterday she was content and happy telling me how much she loved her "place",oblivious of what we had been doing for two days.
I'm thankful that God sees the big picture in our lives and He has everything under control.

Anonymous said...

This past weekend was one that will be in my heart forever. I have heard friends talk about cleaning out their parent's house, but I never knew the emotions that go along with the task. Looking through pictures brought back so many great memories of my childhood. And what a grand childhood it was. Mama had many books, many were gifts. As I read the inscriptions inside the books,I was reminded of the many lives she touched. And believe me, there were many. Mama has an inner strength unlike most. For years, she has depended on God to direct her path. The most important aspect of life that Mama has given me is faith. Through her example and many conservations, she has taught me to have faith in God allowing Him to direct my path and give God complete control. I am so very thankful for the example of Godly parents.

Natalie said...

So very true. It's definitely not the things in a house that make it a home. Rather, it's those moments that stick to your heart like glue for years and years to come. I am blessed to have lots of those. Thanks for reminding me. <3