They Loom Large

[ Note: I started this post back in June. On Friday, of last week, Stephnie and I traveled back up to Philly for a family wedding, my nephew Scott (youngest son of my sister Mary and husband Eric) married his beautiful bride Alexandra. Saturday was spent eating and visiting with all of my brothers and one of my sisters and all of their wives or soon to be wives. Stories, eating, laughter, more stories, more memories, more eating, more laughter, more stories–it was wonderful. The wedding was on Sunday afternoon and evening. More stories, more pictures, more laughter this time with my youngest sister and her husband included in the mix. Saturday night I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and finished this post with a reflection on my parents legacy. ]

Mom and Dad loom large in the family memory. Dad was larger than life and mom was quietly powerful in ways that most people never recognize. She was a care-giver, a servant of others, a mother to seven, a grandmother to 26, the end of life care-taker of her mother and father, of my grandmother and great aunt and finally, of my father, as leukemia drained his life away after 50 years of marriage. She was a rock.

This past week I have been staying with one of my brothers (I have four) and his wife, visiting with friends in my old haunts in Southeast Pennsylvania. Traveling the roads that I was so familiar with through the first 18 years of life when I lived under the roof of two parents who loved well, has been a pleasant trip down memory lane and a boon to my soul.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

                                                Exodus 20:12, ESV

They Loom Large

Every one.
I would buy every one.
The three, no, the four,
The four homes you / we lived in,
if I had the ability, 
I would buy them all
and turn them into museums
of the memories you gave us,
and the stories our God gifted us with,
through the forge of love
from which you shaped us.
Oh what magnificence you surrounded me
in the siblings you encircled me.
These have become the fleshy treasures
of my heart,
the four and the two—
Men, joyful and generous, strong and courageous,
filling rooms and days and nights
with stories and laughter and wisdom.
The women, oh what women!
One word, extraordinary.

Two flowers of grace and beauty—
They adorn their days and their friends
with creativity, loyalty and love.
Who am I to stand with such a company?
A wastrel with a pen—
But perhaps a pen can carve a place,
a moment,
a monument.
“Once upon a time
there was a man and a women
who met and loved for 50 years
and planted a garden of flesh.
They nurtured it, and protected it,
and watered and tended it
till one day a magical thing happened.

Instead of fruit and vegetables,
a waterfall of love began to flow from it.
Out of the garden it spilled and widened
over the rocky crags of life,
deepening through the years
and spreading throughout the neighboring valleys—

A stream, a river, a lake, an ocean
whose crashing waves sound
a symphony of honor to their memory.”

2 thoughts on “They Loom Large

  1. Pastor Marty

    I read your blog about family it also takes back my younger days. Family reunions, supper after church at Grandma Hamlett’s house. As I got older aunts and uncles past away we became distant slowly from each other. Thanks for
    Sharing your family stories my friend it takes me
    Back to a place of peace, love and comfort.



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