My mom had five sisters the picture on the left is them with their mother my Grandma Ida that I have told you about. They were very close and did everything together. I grew up surrounded by my cousins. The picture on the right is a few of the oldest cousins when the sisters were just starting their families. When I was young it felt like life would always be that way.
Then one-day things started to change. The aunts were getting older and our annual 4th of July party didn’t happen anymore and the Christmas party with all the family was gone. Suddenly life was different, my sweet mother was the first to go home to Heaven. Over a period of 14 years they all went home one by one and on December 23rd the last of the six girls joined her sisters in Heaven. I found the story listed below titled Keeper and it is pretty much what I have been feeling. I hope we all cherish our keepers while we have them because one day they will all get used up.
I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, and renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.
But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return.. So… While we have it….. it’s best we love it…. And care for it… And fix it when it’s broken……… And heal it when it’s sick.
This is true. For marriage……. And old cars….. And children with bad report cards….. And dogs with bad hips…. And aging parents…… And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
I hope we all find our keepers and smile with them!