Monday, May 31, 2010

How Would You Like To Be Remembered?

There is nothing that makes you feel old like going to the graduation of someone you knew when they were an infant. This weekend, I headed back to Indiana. I spent five years on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. This weekend, sweet Elizabeth graduated.

I lived with Elizabeth and her family for three years during that time. Elizabeth was just two when I moved in. We spent the next three years reading stories, going to the park, playing tag, and making cookies with her sister, Hannah, and later her brother, Jonathon. Her sister Sarah didn't come along until after I had headed to Illinois. I didn't get to know her. But I did enjoy hanging with her this weekend.

All weekend I found myself wishing I had kept in better contact with this great family. Though I do feel old that Elizabeth is now 18 and heading off to college, I was touched by the fond memories we shared.

Some of the things that we mentioned (aside from those mentioned above) remembering were things like the butterfly shaped birthday cake I made and Elizabeth helped decorate one year. Some of it was how Elizabeth screamed as an infant -- especially in the car. Her dad seemed bent on remembering the temperature. I am cold by nature and I lived in the basement. It's always colder in basements. He lamented not making it warmer for me. But honestly, that wasn't even close to things that readily came to my mind. There were too many good things from living there that stick out to me.

I was surprised by some of the things that people mentioned about me. Becca was also graduating. Her family came to Elizabeth's open house. They reminded me how she was so attached to her mom that she screamed when she was left in the nursery or with a sitter to the point that they just didn't leave her. I had forgotten volunteering to go spend some time with her and her brother over several days while their mom was present so she could get use to me. The idea was to make me a safe person so her parents could get out a bit.

I was touched by the warmth of the memories. It was affirming. I don't know how my time in Illinois measures up. It makes me want to strive to be that person again. Right now, I am so busy with two jobs and such that I wonder if the memories that would dominate now would be rushing off somewhere. But what stood out then was a kind of taking time for people. Somehow, I want to find away to get back to that. That's how I want to be remembered at every stage of life and not just one sliver.

That is my prayer tonight, that I would be known as one who takes time for people.

How would you like to be remembered?

Sarah, Asher the dog, Elizabeth, Hannah, & Jonathon


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