Memories - A Tribute

Monday, May 21, 2018

Time goes on, people get older, and things happen.  Everyday- to everyone, but that doesn't make it any easier when it happens to you or to the people around you.
Things have happened recently that have made me grasp onto that reality even more, and so this post is going to be a bit more of a sappy tribute to a couple special people in my life.
Grandpa Dennis, two years ago you were diagnosed with Glioblastoma Cancer, and you have changed my perspective on cancer in such a beautiful way... Cancer is a scary word that no one wants to hear whether it is you or someone close to you.  So many hear the word cancer, and they associate it with the word "thief"- the thing that stole or could steal a very dear and loved life. When I hear the word cancer I associate it with the word "chance."   Life on earth ends for everyone- it's just a matter of time when.  When someone's life ends we have to find something to blame, and so cancer has had a bad reputation for stealing life.  Cancer gave me and my family the gift of the longest and best goodbye ever though.  Pain and sad emotions have the opportunity to take over our hearts, but every day we wake up, remember Who is in control, and choose joy.  So many people lose family members to heart attacks, death in the middle of the night, to murder, to suicide, to accidents, and so on.  So many of their friends and family wish they could go back and so say one more thing to them, spend more time with them, or change they way they prioritized their life... You see, while someone can blame cancer for taking a loved one- I want to say thank you to cancer, because even though, you, my dear grandpa aren't gone yet- cancer has given us the opportunity to give the best "see ya later" ever.  Two years to tell you how much we love you, two years to spend more time with you, two years to prioritize our lives for the important things, and two years of hugs and kisses that have meant more than ever before. Two more years to see just how big your heart is and how great your faith is.
With every conversation we have I find myself holding onto your words and to your stories and to your smiles and to your laughter knowing that one day I will get to enjoy all of that again in the presence of our Savior.  
Thank you, Cancer for giving us two years to appreciate life and love so much more.
Thank you, Grandpa Dennis, for filling my twenty years with love, laughter, and the best of memories.  You are one of the most incredible men I have ever known.  Thank you for leading me to Christ with your humble words, bold actions, and un-mistakingly Christ-like life you chose to live.
Thank you, God, for giving me my Grandpa Dennis.
PS. These pictures are in his and my Grandma Peggy's backyard.
Through this journey I have had some hard times emotionally, but here more recently it has been even harder.  I have been reminiscing my own childhood, my memories, and clinging to the dear idea of while living in the present is important we can't forget where we came from.  So for the rest of this post I have had the help of my mom (A.K.A. my best friend).  The other night I asked her to drive me around her old stomping grounds and to tell me stories of when she was child.  
My mom grew up in the same little town we live in now.  The time of faded pictures, round glasses, and neighborhood kids playing in the backyard till dusk.  As we are driving down the back streets in our little town my mom is pointing out little spots she and her friends played, the house she lived in as a toddler, the sidewalks she ran on, and so on.  It was like I was traveling back in time as I was trying to imagine it all.
One of my favorite stories is one I think most of us can relate to- at least our childhood selves can relate to.  Just like all of our childhood friend gangs there was a "boss," right!?  You know, the one that was always in charge and got the best parts in every game. Well, there was one of those in my moms friend group too... This little girl was the boss in every game and was always was the queen bee.  Well, one day they are in the midst of a game of playing "Queen," and you probably guessed it right - that little girl was the Queen, and my mom and the rest of the friends were her servants.  Just like we all have hit an epitome- they did too, and decided they didn't want to be the servants.  SO as the mischevious little servants that they were they declared the Queen dead, covered her with a blanket, and ran off before she could realize her servants went on Strike, ha!  
Another small story I admire is one I will hold close to my heart forever - it may not even be considered a story- maybe more of a routine or weekend habit... I go to my local coffee shop, The Daily Grind, all the time.  It's a timeless coffee shop that unites a community in one little place in the center of a town that we are all proud to call home.  Well, nearly fifty years ago on a Saturday morning you could find my Grandpa Jim walking with my mom to Aberth's Bakery.  They would go in, sit down on the bright red bar stools at the ice cream counter, and get these little circle cookies with icing.  My mom would twirl on her seat as she savored those moments with her dad... To this day I walk into that same building with my mom, we sit in the window seats where the sunshine pours in and washes us with warmth, and we look across the room where those bright red bar stools still stand.
Sometimes I try to imagine my mom and my grandpa sitting there on those stools while eating their cookies, and if I try hard enough I can see my mom sitting there with her adorable short haircut and wearing a dress with saddle shoes that my Nunnie would have dressed her in just before she would have walked out the door with my grandpa.
Savor these stories from the older people in your life whether they be the stories of a parent, a grandparent, or someone else, and cherish these moments in your own life.  Sure, the big extravagant moments in life are things you will always remember, but it is the small, simple, and routine things that you will one day look back on with a fond smile.  Those moments are the ones that can take us back in time...
Life is a beauty, because of He who created it.
Have a lovely day!

Thred Up Dress - Lionel Hand Bag via FabFitFun - Keds - Zara Scarf
Pictures by Me

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