Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor the faithfully departed, especially our service men and women who have given their lives for our country.
This weekend is a memory-day for me too, in that John and I would have celebrated our 20th anniversary this week. John passed away from cancer complications December 15th, 2013. His service was in the form of being a faithful son, brother, husband, father, and teacher.
My brother came to visit this week and he asked to see John’s grave. I hadn’t been there since the day he died – it was so hard. But the kids and I decided that it was time, so we went. And in one of God’s awesome moves, the tombstone was just being laid. Ironically, it is also my tombstone as well, since my name is next to his and I shall one day be laid to rest next to him. His family had had carved on the stone the twin statues from The Lord of the Rings – and between them is a carving of a ring, but not the ring of magic and darkness, it is our wedding ring.
Not many people get to see their tombstone laid in place. I guess I am just uncommonly lucky. I know John loves it – he would – it’s just his style. And, strange to say, I love it too. I know that one day I will die and lie in the earth and though that seems incredibly real and hard, I also know that there is more to me than the body I inhabit at this moment. As I know that John lives, and God lives, and all who have gone before still live, so I know I too will live on – in another world from the one I now know. I would be a fool to try to imagine that world or that life. I am content to live this life and no other, for the time being. The fact that my grave is marked out for me doesn’t change anything really – but it does remind me, rather forcefully – to make the most of this life. Not to be selfish and preoccupied with a “bucket-list” but to live so that when I face my death, I won’t feel like I missed my life. I want to love well, forgive easily, help often, and care deeply.
Memories are good for us, for they give us a chance to look back and review our lives and then hopefully look forward and better direct our future. For those who have gone before – pray for us – that we may be wiser today than yesterday.