Originally published in the October 2007 issue of groundswell
There are days when I cannot walk down the candy aisle of the grocery store without getting misty-eyed. A cheap little lump of yellow candy can cause me to pause, remembering moments from 25 years ago.
My great-grandfather Melvin was my favorite person in the world. When my family would go visit him and great-grandma Macie, I would bolt out of the back seat of the car, tear through the house, and to the kitchen nook where great-grandpa Melvin sat in his brown leather chair. I would sit on his lap for what seemed like hours to my 4-year-old world view. I would try and try to figure out how the buckle on his overall strap worked, all the while asking him endless questions about endless topics. And he would share his lemon drops that were kept in a candy dish on the table next to his chair.
Today, I cannot remember the questions. I cannot remember his answers. But I can remember how to buckle overall straps and knowing I could ask him anything that popped into my constantly inquisitive little mind. I remember the smell of pipe smoke, the taste of bittersweet lemon drops, and the feeling of being precious in his sight.
His wife, my great-grandma Macie, would let me watch as she took culinary creation after culinary creation out of the oven. I remember crouching down and peeking in the oven with her. And I remember her player piano. I cherish her applesauce cake recipe and the chocolate sheet cake that is beyond compare. I remember hours chatting with her.
Great-grandpa joined my Hebrews 11 grandstand of heavenly witnesses when I was five. Great-grandma Macie sat down in that grandstand next to him in 1999. And next to my coffee maker sits the sugar dish from the china set great-grandpa bought for great-grandma in 1949. Other pieces from the set appear throughout my apartment. The value of the china remains unknown to me. Only the heavens can measure the value of the time, energy and love they invested in this little life.
In another corner of my kitchen sits a cake stand. It’s clear glass structure, cut in ornate ways, speaks a different story of inheritance. This cake stand belonged to my great-grandma Josie. I never knew her. I never even met her. But because I cherished the memory of my great-grandparents, they desired their mementos of love, my grandma Leta and grandpa Arlon gave me great-grandma Josie’s cake stand. This memorial speaks of her love to her family.
More than that, these cherished inheritances speak to the memory of our Father in heaven who knows every hair, loves every bit of us, and never, ever forgets a single breath we take.
These precious memories serve as reflections of the Father’s love for each of us. the singular focus of great-grandpa Melvin as I asked my unending stream of questions mirrors the same patience and glee that our heavenly Father feels when we approach Him asking to know how things work. Great-grandpa melvin’s treat of a lemon drop reminds me of the sweet little blessings of daily life, the ones you only catch if you’re tuned into God’s hand at work. Great-grandma Macie’s love for music reminds me of God’s desire for our joy. And the love that motivated great-grandpa melvin to buy his wife beautiful place settings reminds me that God longs to show me beautiful things. The cake stand from great-grandma Josie speaks to her provision to her family. I am God’s child. He provides for me.
My precious family memories reflect the glory of God. What inheritances has He poured out on you?
photo by Laura Morariu
Those who have followed groundswell for years will recognize that Throwback Thursday is all about bringing in previously-published articles. These articles appeared back when groundswell was published in the form of an email newsletter. Now, those articles are searchable through the blog. Check it out every Thursday. The photos are newly added to the blog.