Thursday, November 11, 2010
Our Uncle Gene passed away last week. It was sad to see the end of life. It is sad to see his wife go on without her life partner. It is sad to see his daughter go on without her father, his grandchildren go on without their grandpa. Now, two little sisters, daughters, grown ups, wives, mothers, grandmothers....both have buried their husbands on separate windy days, side by side on the hill, now alone as two sisters again. Although painful, it was also very, very evident that he knew and they know where he is going.
While on earth, Gene was busy "planting seeds"....literally. When I heard this verse read at his celebration of life, I had to smile at the memory of Gene, handing out his little cards to anyone....to everyone...planting this seed of remembrance.
If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley-but be
The best little scrub by the side of the hill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do.
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't in size that you win or you fail-
Be the best of whatever you are.
Gene lived by this verse and he died by this verse....giving his life for his country, his family, his city, his church and his God....until his last breath, he was anxious and willing to serve his God. Gene took his very last breath in his church.
Even in death, there were lessons. The minister said most people would probably say they would like to pass in their sleep, but, Gene, being the best he could be, passed away in the house of the Lord!!! They were an elderly couple with only one daughter who lived at a distance, but they were never alone in life and even in death. Their church family rallied around Gene, and in their haste and support of him, his wife was not forgotten or left alone. There were those there to support her. She was so touched by this, even exclaiming that some had come to the hospital to be with her that day and even more had come to her home to be with her in her grief. The minister said, (no I can not stop quoting him. He was amazing!), all of those who came to the aid of Gene and Melva...that was God working through those people!!! It was God reaching out and touching them, and through them, Gene and Melva!
I did realize one thing....I have something very much in common with Gene. The minister said of his love of phototaking...."Gene was always busy capturing life". His family have all of their memories in their heart and mind, but in case any memories are forgotten, I am sure Gene has them neatly ordered in a box, many in the form of slides for years and years and years of memories. Again, I had to smile as I remembered Christmas after Christmas after Christmas in Grandma Kroger's living room, lining up first by individual family, just the family, then the inlaws and then maybe the "outlaws" as we liked to jokingly call the date, significant other, or fiance, who wasn't really legally part of the family. Then came the entire bunch, and Gene, having the high tech camera of those times, could actually set the camera on a timer, which gave him JUST enough time to run into the picture frame to join the whole crew. We all held our smile and counted through our teeth, one, two,three, four.......and so on. If my memory is accurate, I believe Gene had until the count of 10 to get into place before....."FLASH"!!!
I think that is what I am doing. I never called it that before, but I like it!!! When I am scolded for spending so much time taking pictures, when my family says, "not the camera again!", when my grandkids say, "Grandma always has her camera".....I will remember to say, "I am busy capturing life". They really do enjoy looking at my scrapbooks, and I believe it will be quite a legacy once I leave this earth! Maybe they will say the same of me......."oh mom, she was always so busy capturing life!" I love that!!!
Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. How do you know the way? I am the way, the truth and the life. Because I live, you will live also. -John 14:2-6, 19
Because of this promise, we know where Gene is today. Gene is most certainly celebrating and being the very best he can be. He will be remembered as a man who knew "we can't all be captains, we've got to be crew", the man who gave his all, the man who handed out little white cards with this little poem on it, and the man who spent his time, "capturing life".