This past week we enjoyed some yummy waffles I made with my Mom’s now-antique waffle iron. I nostalgically recalled the many times she made the best waffles with it. I’m fortunate to have that same waffle iron now.
Each time I marveled at the beauty of the huge irises outside my front door a few weeks ago, I remembered how much my Dad loved gardening. These same plants were his: planted and cared for, along with dozens of other varieties of flowers and plants. I’m fortunate to have his irises and other plants in my flower beds now.
Three years ago, both Mom and Dad both passed away. They were 95 and 94 years young. They left other things for me, too: the silverware set he bought her a few days before their wedding in February, 1938 is one of my treasures. I also have Mom’s ancient Betty Crocker Cookbook, yellowed with age and full of her notes, drips, smudges and fingerprints. Dad also had a very extensive arrowhead collection that we siblings divided among ourselves, and my share is dear to me. The list could go on and on.
Thinking of the things they left me, I became increasingly aware that what really matters, and that I’m truly privileged to have is NOT the waffle iron, the silverware set, the irises, the arrowheads or anything else that was theirs. The “stuff” they left behind was just that. It was “stuff”. One day I’ll leave it behind, too.
What I value most cannot be held in my hands. I treasure it in my heart. I value their love for God and commitment to the Truth of His Word. I value their integrity, hard work and thankful outlook that they taught us by example. I value their lives of service, generosity and love they had for their neighbor – next door, or in another continent. I value the love they had for reading and learning, even till their last days. I value their commitment to each other; after 69+ years of marriage, and well into their 90’s, Dad still gave her chocolates on Valentine’s Day. This list could go on and on, too.
No, it’s not the waffle iron, and it’s not the irises. It’s who they were that – by God’s grace – helped make me who I am today. I thank God for having chosen the parents He chose for me, and now that they are gone, for showing me what’s really important to leave behind.