I lunched with my friend, Jennilyn, recently who stopped me in the middle of our conversation and said, “Sarah, do you remember anything that your parents said to you?” Uh, no, not really-especially not when you consider all of the dialogue that goes on in a home of 10 people who live together for 18+ years. I remember a FEW conversations from my 16+ years but the rest is long-forgotten. She said that she didn’t remember anything either. Then she told me what she did remember and SUPRISE! it was their actions-the way that they actually lived. I came home with this still on my mind and felt prompted to write down what I remember from the home of my childhood.
So, today on Thanksgiving, I wish to express thanks to Bob and Barbara, my parents, for what I remember:
I remember faithful parents who devoted their lives to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember them serving in their callings, going to their meetings, meeting their obligations. I remember a gospel-centered home. The world didn’t get a whole lot of attention in our home. I remember unspoken expectations of wise decision making. I remember feeling safe. I remember feeling cared for. I remember loving the Christmas season. I remember putting up our phony Christmas tree branch by branch for Family Home Evening. I remember singing Christmas carols around the Christmas tree every chance we got. I remember delicious homemade food. I remember cousins coming for Thanksgiving. I remember Fast Sunday interviews with Dad. I remember Sunday dinner. I remember Mom reading Little House books to me. I remember my Dad studying at his desk. I remember my mom sitting in the blue chair enjoying an Agatha Christie mystery. I remember Easter hunts inside the house after church. I remember Family Home Evening EVERY MONDAY NIGHT. I remember wanting to teach an impactful lesson, but usually crying instead. I remember early morning family scripture study. I remember family prayer: two-a-days. I remember family dinner-always. I remember the job chart on the fridge. I remember weeding the yard. I remember taking piano lessons. I remember rocking chair songs…and being too big for rocking chair songs. That was a sad day. I remember going to Juan Tabo Picnic Ground for cook-outs. It’s impossible to forget the things that we did day after day, year after year. Were those events perfect? No. But they were ever-present and the foundation of our family life. Indeed, they WERE our family life. And now those memories are the substance of who I am…which, I think, makes them much more than memories. They are the building blocks of my personal eternity. Oh, how lucky I was to have parents who loved God!
Today, I am grateful and I remember. Happy Thanksgiving.