cookies

Memorial Day is known for the bringing together of family and friends, barbecues, and the opening of swimming pools – it’s the introduction of summer and it’s all about fun.

I anticipate this particular weekend each year because it means in four more days, we are free from the school schedule of having to be here by 7:30 a.m. and there by 3:00 p.m.

Even moms need breaks from homework, projects, lessons and practices.

Yet in those moments of quiet, after everyone’s in bed and I’m still glowing in the gift of friends that have become family, I remember.

The crinkles in the sides of my father’s eyes when he smiled.

The gentle and compassionate spirit of my Grandjack, an unmatchable patriarch.

The Toll House cookies only Gramsey could make leaving an unfair standard behind every time I bite into a chocolate chip cookie. The way she looked me in the eye and said “Pretty is as pretty does,” a phrase heard almost daily by my daughter, her great-granddaughter.

The laughter of my sorority sister and how her smile could light up a room. The eyelashes that extended for miles and the always “just-so” make-up.

They live on – through us all.

And while I believe we need to celebrate their lives, it’s still hard to embrace the hole in our hearts they leave behind.

The other day, my boys began to talk about the scripture in John in which Jesus is preparing a room for us.

“Mom,” Spencer says, as serious as a Sunday morning preacher, “Did you know Jesus is getting a room ready just for you?”

I confirm I know as I’m reminded again of another of God’s promises.

“What do you think Grandpa Richard’s room looks like?” he wonders.

I admit I don’t know but later in the day, it invades my thoughts and I think I know.

His room is filled with peace. Compassion. Grace. Love. Freedom. Things he didn’t always have while alive.

When we lose those we love and we know they follow Jesus, it’s those left behind we mourn – not the one who is gone.

And when we lose those we love and we don’t know if they followed Jesus or we know they did not, we mourn for them, yes, but we are also reminded of why we are asked to share the gospel. We embrace the truth of our own salvation and don’t allow anyone or anything to shake it out of us because oh my . . . the world will try.

But for today, we remember to remember. We thank God for those we have lost and for having the privilege to know and love them. We praise Him for preparing our room and for the promise we’ll see that room if we just follow.

We wait as He constructs our room, still enjoying and despising what’s here now, but anticipating the day when we will not only meet Him but see those we’ve lost again. What a reunion it will be.

And I’m pretty sure in heaven, I’ll be able to eat those Toll House cookies without the calories.