You might have noticed the crickets chirping on the ol’ blog lately. I got a little sidetracked this week because had to travel to my 96 year-old great-grandmother’s funeral services. There was no sadness–only rejoicing because she was a believer. I wish I understood why God allows us to hang around on this old earth for years, unable to care for ourselves and unable to remember our loved ones, but that’s another post for another day.
Every time I experience the death of a family member or friend, I begin to think about how our lives are pretty much summed up in three paragraphs or less in an obituary.
In my early twenties, I really struggled with the question, “How will I be remembered?” I guess I had totally bought into the American Dream that tells us we are only as important as our contributions to society. We must all do some important work that outlives us. That one word–“significant”–would constantly bounce around in my head. “Is your life significant? What are you doing that’s significant?”
Could it be that a truly significant life is a consistant one?
My great-grandmother wasn’t a person of significance by modern standards. I mean, she never held a high-powered job or made any scientific discoveries. She didn’t heal the sick or educate young minds.
She did, however, make a mean pot of chicken and dumplings. She was married to one man for over 50 years until death parted them. She was a faithful member of her church from the time she married until she died: 79 years! She brought her children and grandchildren to church and taught them to love the Lord. She gave me my first “real’ Bible–a little white King James Version that I still have on my bookshelf to this day. She worked as a “lunch lady” at school, often sneaking seconds to little boys who gave her “the hungry look.” She quilted and sewed for friends and family. She made Granddad a coconut cream cake–his favorite–every year for his birthday. Her home was tiny and had slanted floors, but the door was always open for friends and family. She raised four kids, ten grandkids, and something like thirty-three great-grands and nineteen great-great grands! In every memory I have of Grandmother, she is always wearing a smile, the kind where her squinty eyes would get lost in a sea of wrinkles. Truly, no one could remember anyone having a bad thing to say about her.
She was faithful and consistent in marriage, worship, child rearing, friendship…
In the end, my friends, it is not the investment in our careers or our bank accounts that matters most; it is the investment in people. By living consistently in what we say and do, people will see what we value most; we won’t even have to tell them.
So, go make someone a pot of chicken and dumplings this week…and don’t forget to deliver it with a smile. 🙂
Here’s my recipe. It’s not as good as my Grandmother Sillavan’s homemade chicken and dumplings, but it’s still yummy (and easy)! Serves 4 mildly hungry people or two really hungry folks.