We are unique creatures on this planet. We are the only ones who have a soul. We have the need for human companionship and long for those who we love and have lost.
A dog is a wonderful companion and will love his owner faithfully. But that’s different.
I interviewed a woman who was convinced her dog loved Jesus. She would say “Jesus” and the dog would bark something in the same cadence and sounded remotely like what she said.
You could take your dog to Sunday school on every Sunday for a year and he will not be any better for it. He might like the doughnuts, if they serve them, but that’s about as far as it goes.
Other people, particularly family members, are the wonderful thread woven through our lives. I can think of dozens of people who showed me kindness and generosity. They are part of a great collection of memories I treasure. I don’t know all of their names. But it seems like at every church I attended, there was a kind gentleman who always seemed to have a pocketful of peppermint, butterscotch or chocolate for sharing with young folks. Thinking of them makes me smile.
Nice people picked up and paid for my check at a restaurant. I didn’t know it until I was getting ready to leave. I doubt this column is circulated in heaven, but on the chance that it is: Thank you.
One woman stood up for a little boy smaller than many of his classmates. No, she didn’t go in and create a scene, she just gave him the encouragement to face whatever life dealt. The same woman drove the kid to events she thought would make him smarter and give him opportunities her hardscrabble upbringing didn’t allow. She was my mama.
If she were alive, she would have turned 90 this week. It’s hard to image her 20 years after her death, but it would have been fun to watch.
Although not crazy about seat belts, Mama would have been the most fervent cheerleader for their usage because that’s what her baby boy does for a living. She hated liquor, so getting her to be against drinking and driving would have been a breeze,
The other gift she gave me was a big brother. If a brain tumor hadn’t gotten in the way, he would be 60 this week. I miss that rascal. He has three really cute grandkids and would be one heck of a granddaddy. That, too, would be really fun to watch.
Don’t feel sorry for me. We had a good run and crammed a lot of living into our time together.
Both of them really loved Jesus and I’ll see them again.
My message to you is this: Drink in every moment with those you love. Have the deep conversations that you should. Laugh until your sides hurt and cry until you have to stop and wipe your eyes to see.
We don’t really know what those who are gone know about our lives today and I’ve quit worrying about that. But we have a great capacity to remember. I sometimes can’t remember what I had for lunch, but I have a wealth of memories of time well spent with those I love. I pull them out often and it stirs my soul.