Grandma lived through the Depression; she never had many expensive things. But, she collected a lot of things over the decades. My mother, sister, and I have spent several hours at my grandma’s house over the past year. There is a lot of stuff to sort, and we’re sifting through it – one shelf at a time.
She kept hundreds of greeting cards handed and sent to her by friends and family. We also found colored pictures, brittle with age, given by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Cracked shells. Anniversary cards. Hundreds of photographs, dated and explained.
We can’t keep everything, I know. And, it’s just stuff.
But, each of these things meant something to her. She kept them not because they were valuable in a monetary sense, but because they were priceless in a memory sense. With each new finding, I feel like we’re tapping into an undiscovered piece of her. Pieces of her mind and heart wrapped in tissue paper, set in a box, and placed on a shelf.
Dementia broke through her protective pane. It stole things from her. She couldn’t live in her home anymore and had to leave most of her treasures behind. She didn’t remember the box with all the pictures or the anniversary cards Grandpa had given her throughout the years. She couldn’t recall the shell I gave her, or the picture my sister colored, or my brother’s favorite truck.
She remembered us, though. Her face lit every time we stepped into the room. She asked about our children and all we’d been doing. She was always interested and loved us with all her heart. It wasn’t the stuff she treasured – the cards and pictures and everything else; it was the memories they represented. Each a treasure.
And she loved the Lord. He was her greatest treasure.
He’s helped me through so much, she’d say. I can always talk to Him.
Dementia’s got nothing on our Jesus or the love He infuses into His children – for one another and Himself. He helps us remember the important stuff when our flesh fails.
He covers us, draws us beneath His protective wings, and says, I’m here. I’ll help you. Just rest.
After her body quit and she flew free, my sister and I boxed up the things in her room.
A whole life, I thought.
This is what’s left. Hand lotion and Kleenex and more greeting cards. But, she left so much more and took so much with her.
She left a legacy of love and faithfulness.
She left hearts full of love for her, and with her she took her heart full of love for us.
Word of the Day:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven … for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
You come and offer treasure. Eternal, priceless treasure. Keep our eyes on You. Let Your extravagant love distract us from the fleeting vanity of this world. Give us wisdom to see and hear and love the gifts from Your merciful hand. Thank You. In Jesus’ name and for His sake, Amen.
Author: Melissa Bronson