Thanks For The Memories

Warning: Mom, this will make you cry. Might wanna read it at home.

This weekend I went out to my grandparents’ farm in Terrell to fix their computer. Don’t worry, I was still able to sleep in, kind of. I don’t get out there as much as an adult, because most of the family events are at my mom’s or aunt’s house. When we do get out that way for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s chaos. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, it just seems like there’s thirty of us (really, 18) out there all at once and it’s. just. so. busy. A whirl of conversation and catching up, and then we’re gone. We don’t stop and slow down. Maybe it’s because we aren’t forced to, maybe it’s because we don’t want to. But I had to this weekend, and I’m glad.

So, my grandparents’ computer was running slow, which meant I spent three to four hours running all kinds of malware, spyware, and virus scanners on it and uninstalling potentially suspicious applications to clean everything up. Sometimes I’d just sit there and wait for a scan to finish, and sometimes I’d get up and walk around.

I’d walk out front and see the white fence that’s been there longer than I can remember. That white fence that I helped my grandfather rebuild when I was a kid. He wouldn’t let me use the saw to cut the wood, but I could paint. I’d walk around back and stand on the deck extension I helped him build when I was a teenager. I still couldn’t use the saw, but I could hammer nails and finish what he started. I looked at the stack of logs my brother and I split last fall. I looked around and realized that it was on this land that I learned the value of hard work…and the benefit of doing that hard work inside in the air conditioning.

I’d walk around behind the bathroom and bedroom, seeing the now-too-rotten railroad ties that separate the levels of plants on the side of the house facing the pond. The same railroad ties I learned to balance on while walking quickly and then running…and falling off of more than a few times. I’d see that white porch swing, where my brothers and cousins and I would sit down next to my grandmother and crawl into her lap as she told us a story. She didn’t usually read us a book (though I’m sure Curious George came up at some point), but she would pull back the pages of her life and tell us about the time she went on a missions trip, or had to cut the head off a snake crawling around the house, or about when she had to shoot a coyote to keep it from killing one of the dogs…about how she wished she could shoot the cats for using her flower beds as a litter box. I’m sure I’d break that porch swing if I sat on it now.

Driving down the road past the white gate onto their property. The same gate that my grandfather told me to get out of the truck and open when I was twelve. It wasn’t usually closed. The gate I finally saw my mom on the other side of after she was gone for a month, and my preadolescent mind couldn’t understand why. The gate I ran through to hug my mom for what seemed like hours, just days before my world was turned upside down by my parents’ divorce.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that old farm was the place where God’s grace flowed into my life in big and small ways. No doubt the result of a praying grandmother, long before I was even born. God’s grace covered that place more than I knew, and probably more than I’ll ever know.

I saw my grandmother working on my youngest cousins’ picture albums while I was out there. Compiling memories from birth to graduation, to be presented after they graduate. She did that for all of us. I can’t imagine the time, energy, and emotion it took. I told her that after these were finished she could have a sixteen year break until Hunter, my older cousin’s son, graduated. She just smiled and said “I don’t think I’ll make it that long.”

It’s something I knew to be true before I talked of her being around then, but hearing her say it made this abstract reality become an objective truth that I couldn’t avoid anymore. I know that one day she and my grandfather will be with Jesus, and I’ll be leaning on Him for strength like they taught me to do all my life, even when I didn’t know it. I know there will be so many things that will come flooding to my mind that I wished I could have said, but it will be too late. But now that I know this, I want to say it before it’s too late.

I love you
Thanks for praying
Thanks for the memories

6 responses to “Thanks For The Memories

  1. Pingback: Our Favorite Reads in 2013 - SingleRoots

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *