It’s Sunday evening as I write this blog. Earlier this afternoon, I pulled out a photo album of a trip hubby and I did to England over two decades ago. He had seen a photograph this past week on Facebook and said it looked so familiar. I immediately recognized the place—we had passed through the Cotswolds on our journey, and I’d aptly named this place “my very own Lilliput Lane” (I was an avid collector of those little molded clay houses back then).
Anyway, tucked in front of the album I found an envelope of photographs of a different trip to England, one I’d taken with my parents and son, then twelve, in 1999. I found a beautiful photo of my mom and dad taken on that same holiday together.
Earlier in the week I had photographed a hanging on my kitchen wall for a 7-Day photo challenge I was tagged in on Facebook. I had given my parents these two wall hangings as gifts on one of their last Christmases. The words of the one hanging at the top resounded with me when I found this photo of my parents—“Grow old with me, the best is yet to come.” And they did grow old together, passing away at the ages of 88 and 87, and married for almost 66 years. Now, together for eternity in heaven, the best has come. What a privilege to grow up in a family where my parents loved each other so much that my dad couldn’t live without my mom, following her to heaven 33 days after she died.
My 6½ year old grandson, who was nearly 5 when they passed away, and who knows that Oupa and Ouma Grootjie (great grandpa and grandma) have gone to live in heaven, picked up the photo and asked, “Is this heaven?”
His comment made me reflect on how this photo, and every photo I have of my parents, are like postcards from heaven—memories of special days gone by.
Today we celebrated my husband’s 56th birthday, and of course the camera was constantly flashing, making sweet memories. Noel’s father never made his 56th birthday, passing away at the age of 53, merely six weeks before our wedding. It’s hard to think that my mother-in-law was younger than I am when she was widowed. Noel and I, ironically, spent the evening watching the movie, PS. I Love You, which is the love story of Holly and Gerry and the meaningful messages, most in the form of letters and all ending with “I love you”, that Gerry arranges to have delivered to Holly after his death. The messages encourage her, sending her on new adventures and a journey of rediscovery. One line stuck out at me during the movie: “What a privilege it is to grow old together.”
I pray that Noel and I, like my mom and dad, will be blessed to be together until we’re old, wrinkly, and gray. But nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. So while we still walk this earth together, I’ll take these photos, make these memories, because one day they will be our postcards from heaven—either for me, or for Noel, or for our children and grandchildren.