Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My father leans back in the wooden dining room chair. His hands wrapped around a John Deere coffee mug. The coffee is more to warm his hands than his stomach. I see the look in his eyes and the crooked grin ... I know there's a story about to unfold. Mom says I have that same smile. I hope so and I hope that my children will mark a story on its way with that same expression.

After a supper of homemade pizza and a dessert of vanilla ice cream and fresh blueberries ... my husband and I join Mom and Dad for conversation. My house is always a "family circus", as my parents call it. The four of us crowd around the dining room table and visit in between the craziness of my three boys. These are times that I know I will keep close for many years.

I'm listening close, trying to memorize the details. I guess one might say I'm a bit sentimental. I'll admit it, I am. I love stories. I love to hear them and tell them. I want to pass these tales down to my children and someday my grandchildren.

Tonight, the tale was of two young boys baptized in a small creek. I hadn't heard this one before. My father was recounting the day of his baptism. I guess in all the stories my father has told, I've never wondered about his salvation. I just knew he was saved and baptized. This evening, I learned he was washed clean in a muddy creek. Right along with him ... a long time family friend, Bob. At my father's telling, I could just picture him at near nine years old wadding into the water with his friend, Bob.

I found myself wondering what sins were drowned on that day? Maybe, spitting chew on the rump of a white mule (one of my favorite stories from Dad)? Did either of those boys know the difference their choice would make for their children, grandchildren? I'm sure they didn't at that time.

I've known Bob for years. He and his wife have been a part of my life for ... well forever. I remember dancing to Donny and Marie albums with their daughters. My sister and I spent lots of time in their basement and garage ... playing ping-pong, listening to scriptures during youth group meetings and just enjoying their entire family. Bob's wife played piano at my wedding. She helped prepare the meal we shared on the day I was married. Have I ever told them how special those times were to me? I hope so.

One Sunday, after a church service, my sister and I joined their family for lunch at Clark's cafeteria. I recall Bob's oldest daughter dabbed perfume behind our ears. She said her grandpa liked the smell and it made her feel special. I know it made my sister and me feel special. Did I ever tell her how that made me feel? I hope so.

I wonder if either boy knew or even thought that someday their children would make memories together. Did they know we would need them and their stories? I see my father's friend nearly every Sunday. He and his family are a part of my past, present and future.

Tonight I'm thinking about my Dad and his friend. I'm remembering good times, special times. I'm praying my boys have special people and memories. I want my boys to know their roots and to love those roots.

Are there people in your life that have made impressions, ones that will stick with you forever? And, are you leaving impressions that will last long after you are gone from this earth?

There's a song that I love ... Randy Travis' "Three Wooden Crosses" ... It isn't what you take with you when you leave this earth, it's what you leave behind you when you go.

Joel 1:3 "Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation."


  1. I think this is my favorite. I too like to hear stories from the generations before me. My gradfather used to tell us about coal mining at nine years of age in Harlan Kentucky. My grandmother told us of how she met my grandfather and how he threatened to run away with the circus if she wouldn't marry him. And my Baptist Aunt Helen, blinded by Diabetes, would dance as she listened to the cool whip commercial. I love people's memories and the memories I make with them. They are what we hold with us when they are gone. It's what keeps them with us until we meet again. For in Christ, there are no real good byes. Three wooden crosses reminds me of my dear departed Aunt Hellen. It was one of her favorites, and now, one of mine. Thank you for sharing this Aine. It truly touched me!

  2. Thanks Chas! I love what you said about your grandfather ... he threatened to run away with the circus if your grandmother wouldn't marry him ... I love that!