RE-Membering is Part of the Journey
It’s just past the two-month mark since my Honey graduated to heaven. We continually remember him. We talk about him, the “ways he did things”, his little quirks and his many abilities. Someone will tell us about how he impacted and made a difference in their life, and how they will never be the same because he cared. Someone will do something the way he did it, and we’ll remark “That is just like him!” Another one will smell a cologne…and say, “That smells just like him!” Another will hear a voice and exclaim “That sounds just like him!” Another will comment about his “always-perfect hair”. At breakfast this morning, Ron’s Mom, sister and I remembered him. We recalled how contented he was during that year of adversity, and how he never complained. We recalled how very quiet he was — quite the feat for a man who “fire-hosed” people when he was given the chance to expound on God’s Word. All such sweet re-membering that is so very important and brings us so much comfort.
A few days ago, my daughter, Staci, spoke to me about a new way of understanding the word, re-membering. She reminded me of a beautiful statue of Jesus that I had given to her and how, inadvertently, in a move, the statute was broken into many pieces. Very quickly, she embarked on the task to “re-member” Jesus. Carefully, piece by piece, she glued the statue back together again. In essence, she put Jesus’ members back together again. She, then, said “And this is what Jesus wants us to be doing – to “re-member” His body (the Body of Christ – you and me) by striving to bring us all back together again.
As I thought about that, I thought about what we are doing when we re-member our loved ones. For me, it’s putting my Honey’s broken body back together again – re-membering that beautiful body that we knew and loved, before the disease took its toll on it – putting away the thoughts about the pain he suffered, and the broken back that would not let him sit up – and come to a fresh, new “re-membering” of all that he was and is to us.
Ryan, our son, is re-membering by stepping up and carrying on my Honey’s passion, and his Dad’s passion, for missions and helping those in need. He is carrying on our 40-year old humanitarian foundation to help hurting people, to be a resource for improving and giving opportunities for education for those who can’t provide for themselves, to feed the hungry through the establishment of food pantries, building and operating orphanages, and fund the building of water wells in third world countries.
Our daughter, Staci, is re-membering by being an expression of her Dad as she motivates, encourages, trains and brings healing into hurting individuals, families and homes, and in so doing, re-membering what was broken, and restoring to brand new life.
Our ten year old grandson, Payton, is re-membering as he just wrote his very first book, “That’s What Papa Said”. His 5th grade class was given the assignment to write an imaginary story that will be illustrated, hard bound and published. He didn’t want to “imagine” a story. He was insistent that his story would be about actual facts. He asked, and his teacher allowed him to write his story about his Papa. I cried as I read how he remembers his Papa and all that he taught him about life, the right way to do things, piano playing and fishing – with each paragraph ending with…..”That’s what Papa said.”
Then there’s our nine-year old Alexia, who we never know what will be coming from her next. She’s always “thinking outside the box”. Out of nowhere, a few days ago, she asked “Nana, why did you need to put such good clothes on Papa in that bin?” “That bin?” I asked. “Do you mean, the casket?” “Yes” – that’s what she meant. She was re-membering….in her own style and in her own way.
And, for me, I have been re-membering with friends and family as they ask me “How are you doing?” I was asked by a friend a few days ago if people were still expressing their condolences to me. I commented “Some do, and others seem to not know just what to say!” And I recall, I was like that when wanting to comfort someone – wanting to say the right thing, but often hesitated, because I just wanted my words to be heartfelt, and not so sure what those heartfelt words should be. But now, I know. I know, re-membering is the most precious gift – keeping that loved one very much alive in our hearts and minds. From now on, in those times, I will ask them to re-member their loved one. I will join with them and remember some of the things that made that person so special to me. I will ask them to tell me about them – what some of their fondest memories were – what he or she did that made them laugh – what he or she did that made them so proud of them. I, too, want that. I will be a force for re-membering! I will REMEMBER to remember as I continue this exciting faith journey!