I just read a great quote:
To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.
– Thomas Campbell –
I love this quote NOT because I never wish to leave this life, for I do at some point seek to live “up there” with Jesus and to sit at His feet, but there is another reason this quote touched me. Gosh, in a very short time not too far back in my life it seemed so many people I love were passing on all within a few weeks or months of each other. It may have been a broader period of time, but my broken heart-felt like “there’s nobody left.”
When we hear that “they” live in our hearts forever, it sounds cliché and initially comforts us very little, yet eventually the grieving passes or at least becomes less crippling and when it does life continues and “they” truly are still with us. Each time I pick up a hammer, I feel my Dad’s hand on my own. Whenever I sit on the left hand side of the church in the first or second pew, Becky’s there with me and I feel her sisterly hugs and see her beautiful smile with Jesus reflected in her eyes just as He always was. I can’t pass a yard sale without hearing Betty say “Ooo!” and recalling how she could do a three-point turn ANYWHERE when there was a yard sale sign in sight!
When I see a nurse lovingly treating a patient, I think of Barbara, and when I see a seagull I think of Uncle Bob and his summer hat with plastic seagull poop on it, and I feel his smile charging through my body. I can’t pass through a yarn store without thinking of Nana and all the vests she made. Nana was not well and was a “shut in” for years and years, but from her one room apartment, she warmed many a body and many a heart hand crocheting vests and hand writing letters which I mailed for her. She always had “Rocko” who owned a small corner market and delivered her groceries to her (and put them away for her) bring my favorite flavor of ice cream and several other treats that she couldn’t even eat, just because we enjoyed so many long visits in her tiny and really hot apartment. The heat never bothered me when I was there. I remember Rocko and his demeanor of grumpy old man, but he didn’t offer delivery service . . . just had compassion for Nana and for many of us in the neighborhood in one way or another.
Those who’ve passed through my life and moved away or have gone to be with Jesus . . . they truly are still with me and will forever be a part of me. Mr. Campbell had it right!