“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4 NIV
Today is officially Memorial Day. I’m looking out my window at the beautiful view God has created for me this morning. I’m thinking about my dad. The dad I never knew, really. He saw me when I was a baby, but then he was gone…off on a ship as a nineteen year old to fight for our country. He never returned. He didn’t have a chance to be a father to me. It’s sad for both of us. I’m grateful he was a Christian who believed Jesus was his savior, so I’m hopeful that we will be reunited in heaven when it’s my turn to be called home.
As I grow older, I think more about heaven and how it will be. I don’t know what awaits me there, but I can imagine it. Just the thought of no more illness, no more tears, no more hate is enough to give me God bumps. I think of these things in the early morning as I gaze out my window and sip my tea. In the moments, before my day really begins.
I made a trip to the cemetery on Friday to place flowers on my husband’s and mother’s graves. My step-father’s ashes were scattered on the ground of the home he loved so much, but we kept a small amount to be placed in Mom’s grave with her. I wish I could also place flowers on my grandparents and my father’s graves. But they are in another state. I doubt anyone ever visits those gravesites and remembers them. I wish I could place flowers on my son’s grave, but he doesn’t have a grave.
Our younger generations have not been raised to visit gravesites, as my generation was. I remember going with my grandparents to visit relative’s graves and watched my grandmother place flowers. My husband, also, wanted to visit the graves of all his relatives when we traveled to his home state. Once he and I found the veteran’s cemetery and visited my father’s grave. But we didn’t know where my grandparents were buried.
The placing of flowers is for the living, really. A sign of respect and remembrance. We know that our loved ones aren’t in the graves. Their souls are in heaven with Jesus. I think of them often, especially on their birthdays. And with my father, I always think of him on this day made for remembering every man and woman who gave their lives for our country, for our freedom. I love you, Dad.