Our provost, Mike Kinman, offered a reflection on Sunday, November 21, the last Sunday after Pentecost. It reflected upon the request by the one criminal who asked, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Mike painted a picture of what it means to be remembered.
The picture that came first into my mind was, of course, of my family. My memories of this particular holiday are full of fabulous, my grandparents, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, children, the smells as we walked into the house, the noise of so many people talking at once, the laughter and the warmth. These memories give me such feeling of family and what I think it means.
But what is it for me to be remembered by another?
I know that during the day tomorrow, I will be remembered by several people. Probably the one who will remember me most is my mom. My daddy too. The kids at one time or another will think about me, especially my daughter and grandbabies. My sister will remember me. My grandmother also.
The funny things about it all – as my own memories of Thanksgiving’s past will in many ways mirror their own.
In some ways, it tears my heart, I miss them all so badly. In other ways, I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. It doesn’t make it less painful, but it does make it a bit easier. To know that what I am doing now is important; that I am living a life that I believe I am called to live, it makes it easier.
But Lordy, I do miss my family!
So, tomorrow, as with every day, I am so thankful for so many things and so many people: Debbie, who has walked with me for this crazy journey and still loves me; Tucker, who has adapted as necessary to the craziness of our lives; Mom & Daddy, who love me unconditionally; for Amanda & Chris, who are taking care of business; Kyleigh, Kason, Caleb & Abby, who love me as only grandbabies can love a grandmother; for Josh & Karri and Matt who are my own even though others claim them; for my sister Jo who has been my best friend (and my best enemy in the past) and is always willing to support me; my sweet niece Tori and her beautiful baby girl; and I am thankful for my wonderful, resilient, awesome grandmother, Bula Bell Click, 97 years young.
And just a few other things for which I also give thanks: for our friends far away in other lands and our new friends here in Saint Louis, for this crazy Episcopal Church, especially the Diocese of Missouri and her bishop, for my job, especially the new part of it!!!!!, for our new home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and for the opportunity to breathe and laugh every single day! I give thanks for this great Creator God who has made us for goodness. Most especially, I give thanks for hope.
May God bless each and every one of you and fill you with love, laughter and Joy! It is good to remember and to be remembered. In our memories, we will always be united.