My Mom recently lost her last sibling, my Aunt Nanny (Nancy). She was a good aunt, even if she did get a tad bit demanding in her old age. When I was a little girl she used to bring a bag of candy to our house once a week for us to share, and she and my mom would sit at the kitchen table and talk. Every Spring she would overpay my sisters and I to "clean" her already immaculate house! I remember wiping down wood paneling with lemon scented Murphy's oil soap, and dusting hard back condensed version readers digest books. Every cupboard in the kitchen was emptied and washed, her sewing basket was organised, the chrome faucets were polished, and even the leaves of the plastic plants in her front door planter were shined to perfection. In my adolescent mind I thought it all very silly, and pointless, to clean an already clean house, come to think of it, I still think it pointless.
Nanny would drive me home after a short day of "cleaning" in her tiny red Volkswagen beetle. I thought her life was so cool. She was a career woman, and she dressed nicely everyday to be important and looked up to. She talked often of her job at Storey's Piano Factory, and the people that she was over. She didn't have any children, just one step son who was by then, grown and gone. I never saw Nanny working hard over piles of dirty laundry, or cooking over a hot stove for her family. She spent her days off, golfing at the country club, and learning to play the piano. In contrast to my own mother, her life seemed so easy and carefree, and I dreamed of one day being like her.
Aunt Nanny was a talker, never at a loss for words, never short on opinions, but I never remember having a conversation with her about anything of eternal value. She went to church every Sunday, and I know she was a believer in Jesus, but she didn't talk about her faith, at least not with me. I knew she was very proud of me, and she often told me I was pretty, and that my hair was shiny. She gave me lots of compliments about my physical appearance through out the years, and as an adult she always said my children were precious. That's what I remember about my Aunt Nanny, She was a nice lady, and I don't mean any disrespect, but it has just caused me to ponder.
A few Sundays ago we sang a familiar hymn in church, one that I had grown up singing, one that at the moment I can not remember the name of. It's sound carried me back to my childhood in Spring Lake Michigan and the dimly lit baptist church I attended as a small brown eyed girl, and I could almost hear my parents singing right next to me. When I came out of my little day dream about the past, I realised my 7 year old ElizaJane was belting out the tune sure and strong beside me, and her 12 year old sister Haven next to her. What a legacy my parents left I thought, and my mind drifted back to how the Lord has used my parents to create such a strong legacy for Him.
My parents made a decision to follow the Lord, and walk in his ways when they were in their 20s I believe, when they had two small children. It is my understanding that they had both heard the gospel before that, and stories have revealed that my fathers grandmother was a strong believer, but I think they really made a commitment, and began to serve Him in their local church, at that time. They went on to have 4 children in all, me being the baby. Boy I sure am glad that little surprise happened! All four children have married, so there are now also 4 children-in-laws, and then came 11 grandchildren. Five of those grands have now married bringing that total to 16, and now there are 8 great grand children and counting. That would be thirty two people from this one couple. That my friends is a wonderful legacy, and puts a new spin on the whole be fruitful and multiply. So, because in part, this young couple made the conscious decision that they were going to serve someone bigger then themselves, there is a family that will spend eternity together, not to mention the myriad of blessings we have encountered here on earth because of our faith.
Legacy has been large and in charge in my thought life lately. perhaps because of a sweet little somebody named Ryder that recently joined our family, and who has the middle name Clifford, after my dad by the way, and Michael after both of his grandfathers.
What have I been left....what will I leave...Will my children and grandchildren, some day remember that I cared about their spiritual condition, and have I communicated those things that are important, and not just those things that are temporal? Will I be remembered the way I hope to be remembered, and for those things that I really believe to be important? I want to be remembered as a nice lady, and a kind lady, and even a lady that told them they were pretty, but oh I pray to be remembered for so much more than that.
What about you, what will your legacy be?