Saturday, April 13, 2013

REMEMBERANCE



Is it time for a yard sale? Your clutter may be overwhelming, and a little handy cash is always nice. Create a win-win by getting organized and clearing away the remnants of a forgotten past.
This is a pre-birthday forecast. Over the years I have purposely not read my horoscope for various reasons. But I found this one to be intriguing. “Create a win-win situation by getting organized and clearing away remnants of a forgotten past”.

Now on the one hand I fully agree that going forward, it would be really great just to purge my entire basement. When I moved into my house, most of my “stuff” remained in boxes and have been that way for about 10 years. It’s interesting the attachment we place on our possessions. And for the record, it’s okay to love your stuff, just don’t obsess. But my home has been in a state of ongoing, stop and go, mostly stop renovation. So over the years I mourned for my dishes, and antique hutch, and treasured yard sale finds. Sometimes I would rebel against my husband and unpack them and drag them out, only to have them put back because of lack of space or use. So for the past few years I have been bravely donating and purging those boxes; so in that context I have to agree with the statement of “clearing away the remnants of a forgotten past.

But on the other hand; lately I have been “chipping” through my family history work. I have had a lot of success on my husband’s side of the tree. My husband P. has virtual amnesia concerning his family. Seriously, the poor guy can barely recall pertinent memories of his mom and dad, and not much about his grandparents or uncle and aunts. But if you ask me for a story, I have many about my family. I feel like that when I was little, I lived in a “moment”, where I was able to meet all of the “old ones”, like my maternal great grandfather and even a long lost sister of my maternal grandfather. I was able to have a relationship with my paternal grandma Elizabeth that no one else shared. I am sure I didn't appreciate it at the time, but I do now. So it is all the more frustrating that I am not able to find a lot of information on my side of the family. I feel like a detective struggling to solve some great mysteries.

I have had more success in organizing my husband’s relatives into families. There seem to be at least 4 lines on the maternal side. I had to really pray for my husband concerning his memory “black out”, and you know the Lord has a soft side for my husband, and a great sense of humor, because lately he has started to “remember” stories of what were heretofore just names on paper. As for me, I surely felt like Nephi, being guided by the Spirit, but not knowing where I was headed.
So I came across a recent Obit of a family member who had passed just last month. I looked at her name, and it’s interesting but a “flood” of memories came to me. Not personal memories, but the names of this person’s family members, particularly her brothers and sisters who had gone before; she was the last one, and in the paradox of “Six degree’s to Kevin Bacon”, we almost had an opportunity to meet her. She lived not far from us. I had the impression that she must have been a tenacious person, and she was waiting for this moment to be with her family again.

Have you ever wondered if we take our memories and life experiences with us? I thought about this and it seems almost paradoxical doesn't it? Can you imagine gathering together and exchanging those stories whether funny or sad or good and bad with the heavenly host? I have the impression that heaven is very “real” in a down to earth sense. In D&C the Savior gives us a recollection of what must have been a nightmare for him, concerning the “exquisite” pain and torture he endured for us on the cross. He said that even I, God prayed not to shrink.
Doctrine & Covenants 19:18-19
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
 19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men
Wow, so I can imagine that all of our life’s stories whether good or bad, painful or sad are appreciated. I believe that this is what makes sharing the gospel so important to our ancestors.
What is that win-win situation? I found this quote by Elder Bruce R Mckonkie 
“the covenant made with the fathers was that their seed after them should receive the same gospel, the same priesthood, the same promise of salvation that blessed the lives of those with whom the covenant was first made”. (A New Witness 524)
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