The Memory Legacy

We have moved several times and with each move have come boxes and more boxes. Surveying the scene still before me after a couple of years of unpacking and sorting, there is still much work to be done. There are books waiting for bookshelves, an odd assortment of furniture, boxes of papers that need to be gone through as well as toys that the kids have outgrown but I’m not ready to let go of … yet.

Some of you would hardly be able to contain your excitement. You’d rub your hands together, grab trash bags and with great enthusiasm, toss out every stack and box regardless of what it contained. Ah, but the problem is that you don’t see what I see.

Almost everything in our humble home has little monetary value; only sentimental significance. Inside the front door is a used filing cabinet which holds most of over twenty years’ worth of my writing; the cabinet, a recent gift and the first one to store only my writing pieces. My husband uses a desk his parents gave us when the kids were very young and we stayed with them for a few months; a gift even more precious since his dad’s death. Head into the dining room and have a seat at the table, the set, a gift from church friends when they purchased a new one. Hanging by the side door are a couple of my Granny’s tattered aprons; simple reminders of my grandparents’ farm. Inside the kitchen cabinets are gold colored glasses that came in oatmeal boxes when I was a child. Upstairs and downstairs are furniture pieces from friends, old and new. And then there’s the lamp that Mom purchased with green stamps; priceless after she passed away.

Last year, I wrote the following poem after sorting through box after box and the memories they contained.

 

The Memory Legacy

It’s a house of legacy, you see.

Inside these four walls are contained,

years of memories slowly attained.

You see mismatched furniture and projects galore,

I see special gifts from those who walked through our hearts’ doors.

I will not pretend that I don’t occasionally desire,

new matching furniture or fashionable attire.

But here, within these walls,

hand-me-downs reign,

as my heart remembers each story they contain.

Residing in many different towns,

these belongings have traveled some ground.

The walls are adorned with maps and charts,

family pictures and pieces of unmatched art.

You see a pile,

a heap to be conquered.

I see the memories,

to be savored;

not forgotten.

By Delores Brouillette Adams

 

Words like sentimentality and reminisce apply to my state of mind when it comes to these items. I don’t worship them; they are not idols. But each serves as a memorial, helping me remember a person, a season of life, or a place that represents something precious to our family. So, scoff if you will and laugh if you must. But as I walk through each room, I am constantly reminded of loved ones and what the Lord hath done. Absolutely priceless.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. (Psalms 20:7 NKJV)

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A Thankful Heart

2009-11-CCOKC-Thanksgiving

 

I have spent most of my adult life away from home during the holidays.  For a woman fiercely loyal to time with family, that absence has never been easy.  God, in His mercy, graciously provided a family connection through the years with precious friends.  While some years’ celebrations had the comfortable feel of familiarity, others have had the adventuresome spirit of new friends and surroundings.  God has shown me that thankfulness depends upon my own heart.  Thank You, Lord, for each experience as I learned to savor the old and embrace the new.

I wrote the following poem as I reflected on those early years away from home and the lessons I had to learn along the way.

 

A THANKFUL HEART

Saying thank you

this time of year,

obligatory acknowledgments and half-hearted best wishes

sound forced and insincere.

I set aside my to-do list,

the wish I were somewhere else thoughts,

and lackluster attempts

to appear as I am not.

A single tear escapes.

I remember when the holiday meal

was accompanied by laughter and cheer.

Schedules were flexible

and relatives arrived when they could.

Delicious smells filled the house,

children played games outside.

Childhood stories were retold,

drowning out any grumblings

that our food might get cold.

This year,

I am so thankful

for those holidays long past.

Away from home,

I remind myself …

Each Thanksgiving holiday

must always begin and end

with my own grateful heart.

By Delores Brouillette Adams

 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (Colossians 3:15 NKJV)