Monday, December 26, 2005

Auld Lang Syne

I'm just sitting here at the kitchen table in the early morning hours, surfing the blogs on my borrowed laptop. I noticed a dab of lemon pudding on the wireless card, a leftover from last night's Christmas dinner with my wife's brother and sister. The rest of the family is still fast asleep. It's nice to be able to sleep in on a weekday, makes me feel a little bit guilty that a major portion of the local population is already on their way to work and I can take time to sit here and goof off. One of the many perks of working for a school district. You don't have to go to work when you get a bad snow, just about every major holiday off and long paid vacations at Christmas and over the summer. Unfortunately, getting up at the crack of dawn for so many years has programmed me and I rarely am able to sleep much past 7 a.m., so here I am blogging away until the rest of the family decides it's time to wake up.

Christmas is pretty much over, folks are now looking forward to the new year or looking back at the year we are about to finish off. One of the blogs I happened to pause and look at for a minute or two this morning asked the question "How do you want to be remembered?" and it's gotten me to thinking about that subject. I've been thinking about people I remember that have passed on, not just recently but throughout my life. What do I remember about them?

For example, my grandparents. All of them are now long gone, most of them passed away before I was 10 years old. I can remember my grandfather on Dad's side sitting in his big brown recliner chair in the front room. I can remember what his voice sounded like and that he always had a smile on his face. That's about it. Grandma was a good cook, her chicken sandwiches were always a holiday treat. She tended to whistle very softly when she was really busy.

My grandmother on Mom's side was a lot different. She led a hard life and seemed to be uncomfortable around children. I don't have many fond memories of visiting her or my two uncles who still lived with her. For some reason they never called me by my first name, they always addressed me by my middle name. I can remember sitting on her couch when Mom went to visit, Dad rarely came along. There was a big coal stove in the middle of the tiny parlor and I would patiently watch the fire flicker through the panes of glass in it's door while Mom chatted with her about who knows what. About the only time there wasn't a fire in that stove was in the hottest part of the summer. When I pestered Mom about leaving often enough she would make me go outside to play by myself. No cousins to play with like there were at my other grandmother's house, I couldn't wait to go home.

It got me to thinking, how will I be remembered? I know my immediate family will have a lot of memories about me, my kids and maybe grandkids...but how about everyone else? I guess a lot of folks will probably say "he knew a lot about computers" or "he wrote a good church bulletin." Most folks will remember what a big fellow I am...sort of hard to miss that. I've had a lot of time to make an impression on a lot of people I have met over the years. Hopefully most of them were good impressions. I would like to be remembered for more than my computer and writing skills, but I'll take what I can get.

One person I know won't forget me is my Savior. What a terrible thing it would be to finally meet him face to face and have him say "Depart, I never knew you."


Jason Coriell said...

Interesting post, Al. I often think about looking back over my own life and regretting that I was too anxious to pursue possibilities.

Zoe's Mom said...

Al, I've always thought of you as being kinda' like Santa Claus! Only not as noisy as he is.;) The bulletin is kinda' like your list that you keep and check twice. You have rosie cheeks and some graying hair. But, best of all, when you laugh, you look and sound like "a jolly old elf"! ;) I love it when something makes you laugh, Al!

So, yes, I will remember you as being a nice guy, creating a great bulletin, a not-so-little guy, always willing to help anyone and knowing a ton of stuff about computers,.....but best of all, I'll remember your jolly laugh. Being a laugher myself, this kind of thing means a great deal to me!

Thanks, Al!

Taylor said...

To me, you are the quiet servant. You go about doing what you see needs done.

I admire your quietness and soft spoken heart...from the old deacon's meetings to quietly making things happen.

I'm paraphrasing what Jesus said to not let your right hand know what your left (or vise versa)is doing in giving. I think you do just that. You have a way to gently encourage those around you.

Thank you Al, for your loving touch, you quiet approach to serving.

This coming from someone who really needs to learn how to serve...quietly.

I love and appreciate you brother.

P.S. Hope this will help you to understand that people you have been in contact with will remember you for more than the computer and writing skills.

Al said...

I honestly wasn't fishing for compliments with this post, but I appreciate the kind remarks. I was in sort of a depressed mood when I wrote it, I guess. Anyway..thanks. I'll try to be a little cheerier with my posts in the future :)