Friday, August 5, 2011


She had just turned 100. She was thrilled to see me enter her room at the Brethren Home. Little did she know that I was equally thrilled to see her and my other loved ones who live there.

I sometimes wonder if those who live back in my Darke County roots realize the gift they have with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins living close by. I know it was something I took for granted those decades ago when I could have visited more. Now I know the value of those lives, in the lives that shared mine.

I'm not sure if I made these visits for others or if I made them for myself. I think it is the latter. The hugs from Leah, Doris, Victor, Margaret linger still. There is a missing that always follows me, a missing of the opportunities lost.

I sat for about five hours with my cousin and her husband and my aunt and uncle. I wonder if they knew how much I savored the minutes as they ticked by. We looked at old pictures and shared stories. The distance between Oregon and Ohio was made shorter and the love I captured and have held on to from that visit has a place in my heart forever. Uncle Phil and Aunt Esther drove away returning to Columbus. I, in turn, left Alma Lea and Duane. But I left with memories to keep me company until the next time.

There is a gift in those people of our past, of our hearts. I cannot drop in on them for a visit, but those of you living near your family can. Perhaps it seems an inconvenience. Perhaps it is a bit out of the way. Perhaps you will find a bit more of yourself when their smiles greet you, and you find that you are at home once more.

Please remember me as I remember you.

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