Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Am I Striving To Be?

Today's post is going to be a little out of my norm.  I have a humorous story, some sad news, and some musings of mine.  Bear with me!
from last week's ice/snow storm
First, last Monday my Great Aunt died.  I was not particularly close to her, not because I didn't like her, or didn't want to know her, but because she had estranged herself from the family years ago.  I found out that the viewing would be Friday night and decided to go to hopefully be an encouragement to my cousin and her son.  We got there just as they were leaving, and spent a little time with the family.  Afterward, I felt obligated to actually go in the viewing room.  Now, let me take a moment here to tell you that I really dislike open caskets, and viewings.  When this Aunts husband died I was 10 or 11 and my grandma made my sisters and I walk past and look at him.  I do not remember my uncle alive only dead.  (now you might be asking where my parents were when all this happened, they were in Maui for thier 15th anniversary.  I don't begrudge them at all.)  Anyway, back to my story.  I asked Hubby to keep Little Monkey outside the room, I didn't think she needed to see a dead person she had never known.  Well, my Little Monkey is a rather precoscious almost 4 year old.  While Hubby was reading the guest book, and I was walking up to view the body, she poked her head around the corner and took a peek.  I then heard her ask Hubby "why is that old lady laying in that fancy bed?"  (do you know how hard it is not to laugh in a funeral home?  It is so inappropriate to laugh!)  Hubby stifled his laughter and gently told her that the "old lady" was mommies Aunt and that she had died.  When people die they sometimes put them in fancy "beds" like that.  Little Monkey looked again, nodded and said huh.  Then she commented that my Aunt had lots of pretty flowers and that was the end of it, or so I thought.

After this, we were on our way to meet Hubby for dinner, when we had this conversation.

LM: Mommy I like that fancy bed the old lady was in.
Me: Thats good.
LM: Mommy how come they put her in a fancy bed?
Me: Because she died, and sometimes when you die they put you in a fancy bed, its called a coffin.
LM: How come she died?
Me: (I tried to explain death to her, but she's 4! after a couple unsuccessful tries here is what I said.)
        You remember when your gold fish died?
LM: Yes, it died and we flushed it down the toilet. Oh, are they going to flush her down the toilet too?
Me: (again trying hard not to laugh!) No honey, they put dead people in the coffin then bury it in the ground in a cemetary.
LM: I see.
After that she changed the subject.  I am always amazed at the toddler mind, it never fails to make me laugh.  Hope you all got a chuckle out it as well.  I did learn that LM is not at the point in life where death affects her.

So, on to my musings.  With my aunt dying, I have heard lots of different people tell me what she was like, what they knew of her, etc.  I remember her as the benevolent older aunt.  She was the aunt who gave good birthday presents, or if she gave you money she gave you $40 instead of the $20 you might usually get.  She invited me over one weekend, I was probably 14 or 15, and took me to her favorite mall, the Galleria in SoCal.  She ended up taking me on a mini shopping spree.  It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed being with her.  She also took care of my Great Grandma (her mother in law).  She made sure she was in a good retirement home, and when the time came for further care she moved her into a very nice place, and paid for a fair amount of it as well.  She took the time to visit grandma often, and have meals with her.  Those are my memories, as a child and teenager.

Others remember someone very different.  There were not a lot of nice things said about her.  As I said earlier she had estranged herself from family and friends, she had let bitterness rule her life.  She was even estranged from one of  her daughters.  This makes me very sad.  It is sad to me that at the end of her life, when family should perhaps be most important, that she drove them away. 

So, this has made me look at myself and ask myself some questions.  If I were to die tomorrow, how would I be remembered?  Would people be sorry to see me go, or would I be a footnote in the newspaper that was virtually ignored? 

Will I be remembered as mean, cruel, harsh, a gossip, a fair weather friend, stingy, angry, bitter, jealous, a bad mom, an indifferent mom, a thorn in my husbands side,a complainer, (the list could go on)?

Or will I be remembered as kind, loving, a good mom, a good friend, a jewel in my husbands crown, giving, patient, respectful, joful, happy, couragous?  Above all, will I be remembere as loving my God, and being a good testimony for Him? 

That second list is what I want to be, what I attain to be.  I am not perfect, and sadly at times I am more like the first list.  But I am working towards becoming the woman God would have me be.  I know I will fail, but I will continue to strive to be the woman He wants me to be.  When I die I want to be remembered for good, I don't want to be remembered as a bitter woman who clung to my bitteness at the expense of my loved ones and friends. 

I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day, it is so very true.  "You are not your mistakes."  Everyday is a fresh new day with no mistakes.  If you mess up, you get another chance. I like that, I am so grateful and thankful to God that each day is new, and I have a chance to be a better wife/mother each day.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings, sometimes it just good to "get something down on paper".


  1. Very thought-provoking post. Thank you.

  2. a good list to try to live by!

  3. Thought provoking. Thank you.

    Darlene H.

  4. When "T" was around 4, I was busily doing a project on my sewing machine in the same room as the little ones were napping (I know, kinda crazy) but that is where the sewing machine was...

    Anyway, one of the "grandmothers" that we knew had gone home to be with the Lord and I was getting many questions. Along with answering the general ones about dying, I just mentioned that because our dear sister was a Christian, that she was going to be with the Lord and that was why those that were saved didn't have to fear death (pin this here, sew along there...)

    The questions came up about how we knew that the older lady was there (hmm, that seam needs to be done over...) and I just answered, not really paying attention to her, when she rocked me back on my heals with "can you help me do that?"

    Needless to say, I put down my sewing project right then to attend to more important things.

    Little ones are listening and understanding a lot more than we think at times. I think that she accepted Christ's gift at that time. And I was so engrossed in my project I almost missed the opportunity...

  5. It really does give you a lot to think about, doesn't it! I appreciate your pouring your heart out like this. Lovely post, my friend.

    Ricki Jill

  6. Enjoyed your thoughts, Mel. Funny about Monkey. You just never know what little ones will say but like Helen said, you never know what they are taking in either that might have a major impact on their life. Good to reflect on which list you want to emulate. Also, awesome that the Lord's mercies are new every day. Lord knows I need that!