This Beautiful Inheritance: A Place No One Else Can Fill

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Place No One Else Can Fill

This morning was different than every one before it. This morning I woke up to a void that -- for the last 25 years -- has been filled with a short, white-haired lady: quirky, sarcastic and unconditionally love-giving. Today, that lady, my Memaw, is in Heaven, and her place in my life sits empty.

It's a one-of-a-kind place that only she could fill -- someone so thoughtful, yet so scattered. So wise, yet so silly. So blunt, yet so loving.

Someone that special leaves a gaping hole.

It's a strange feeling: knowing I'll never visit her again in her white house at the end of town. My kids won't play anymore in her living room floor. I won't hear her yell "YAY Eden!" at the tiniest accomplishment. And our family Christmases and Thanksgivings will lack the link that joins us together.

Life will be different, for sure.

Last night I tried to tell Eden what had happened to her Memaw. "When people are really old, then sometimes they die and go to Heaven to live with Jesus." She stared at me -- soaking it in as much as an almost-three-year-old can. "She's not going to be at the nursing home anymore?"

No, sweetie she's not...

At that, Eden closed her eyes and whined... and I felt like doing the same thing.

I'm unfamiliar with this feeling. Until now, I've been lucky blessed enough to hang on to everyone I love. Death has never been a part of my life, and I feared speaking the word out loud for risk of changing that.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
Ecc. 3:2-4

But still, I know that death is not the end for those who know Christ. While it hurts deeply that I won't see Memaw again on this earth, I take comfort in knowing exactly where she is.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Tim. 4:7-9

And I take comfort in the memories she left behind with us.
... her gently "tickling" my arms as a kid and singing me to sleep
... her purse, containing life's two essentials: tissue and hard candy
... complimenting her picture frame, her Christmas ornament, her KITCHEN TABLE, and having it offered to me on the spot
... the way her eyes lit up at the sight of my girls, especially Eden who held a special place in her heart
... her quirky eating habits: meals made from Lunchables, rice cakes, fudge-cicles and peanut butter
... the way she never forgot a birthday or special occasion and saw every event as one worth a card
These are memories I'll cherish forever. I pray they don't deteriorate but get better with age. Because I have two girls who need to know their Memaw. They need to hear how crazy, silly she was and hear stories of her goofs. They need to know how generous she was and that she would have given them the world. And they need to know that she loved them to the moon and back, if only for the almost three years and nine months that she knew them. They need to hear it all, and they need to know her well.
They'll be better off for it. Just like their Mama.

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