We would then clean up Grandma’s grave. She died in 1938. I don’t know if anyone is ever ready to lose their mother or father. I doubt that my mother was ready to lose her mother. Later on, in 1959, Grandpa was buried beside Grandma. We would visit the grave site of Aunt Bert and Uncle Jack’s twin baby girls. I think Aunt Eva’s baby boy, Chester, was buried there too. We would walk through the rows and look at the names and think about those who were buried there. The country graveyard was not a place of great sadness. It is just a few steps from the church and there was the great feeling of community. I am sure that after a funeral there must have been a meal in the basement of the church as people spoke of the one who had gone on before.
Fast forward to 1955. Mark and I were living with his sister, Dort, and her husband, Claude. Claude and Mark were either listening to or watching the Indy 500. I have never understood the attraction of the Indy 500. It must have something to do with how fast you can go without killing yourself, although sometimes that happens too. While they were thus occupied, I was having my first miscarriage. It was a hard time. Our first born would have been in his fifties and Kay would have been second from the youngest. However it never accomplishes anything to dwell on the past or what might have been.
Elisabeth Elliot quotes this poem, author unknown:
At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
That, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'
We learned this from our mother too. After the death of my father, my mother quickly stripped her bed to remake it and said, “People will be coming!” and she went on to do the next thing. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, in part, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might!”. Colossians 3:23 echoes this thought “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.”
These are good words to live by.
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