I was recently going through some old photos and came across two that opened up the memory lane of my heart. They were of two people who hold very special places in my heart. The first picture if of my Granddaddy Stinson, my “Pap”. It captures him! Entertaining a group of his grandchildren with a song, no doubt an original. My cousin David is to his left and you can tell by his smile that he is loving it. My cousin Carla, who was a little minute of a thing, had a priceless expression on her face that is a mix between surprise and bewilderment at Pap’s antics. These in the picture are only a few of the many Stinson cousins at my grandparent’s home at the time. The others were scattered outside or perhaps eating some of my Mama Stinson’s delectable teacake. We were a big family back then. My Pap was the delight of my life growing up. Talk about unconditional love!! I rode hundreds of miles with him in his old beat up truck. He made up new songs on every trip and as we did not record them he never sang the same one twice. I sat on his lap and drank coffee from a saucer and went with him to feed animals and even to pick cotton. How I did love that man. I was with him the night the Lord called him home decades ago and I felt like part of my heart was being torn away. He never got to meet my children but when Dawn went home to heaven in 1987 I know he was there to show her the ropes and sing her a few original tunes. The thought makes my heart smile.
The second picture is of my mom’s brother, my Uncle Charles. It was taken when he was stationed in Germany and has a lovely note to me written on the back. Most of my life Uncle Charles was in the army and his coming home to visit was the grandest thing imaginable. We had a pretty great mutual admiration society going on between us. He wrote me letters from Germany and Viet Nam and other places around the world. I was too young to realize what treasures they would be in later years. He died at a young age in a horrendous car crash out of state. I still remember like yesterday the day the police officer came to my mom’s house to tell us. Another piece of my heart, ripped away. Again, he and Pap were there to welcome Dawn.
When I found the pictures I put them in my Bible. Now, I am not one who uses my Bible to store pictures and notes and church bulletins. My OCD does not allow it. Keep it clean and free of clutter is my motto, but this seemed the right thing to do. I felt like they had been lost to me for so long I wanted to see them everyday and that was the perfect place. Now in the morning when I open my Bible, there they are to remind me of happy memories, cherished love, and even heart wrenching loss.
Those photos have also made me wonder how I could have not thought of Pap and Uncle Charles every single day for all these years. Life gets crazy and our schedules helter skelter and we forget to remember some very important things. I think we even do this with God. If we don’t give Him a prominent place in our lives, if we don’t make the time to “look” at Him everyday we lose sight of all He means to us and of all He has sacrificed for us. We forget to treasure those letters He has written to us. Oh, He’s back there in the pages of our memory but not the priority in our thoughts that He should be. As I have cherished looking at these pictures of Pap and Uncle Charles they have brought back so many precious memories. I want to do that with His Word everyday. I want to read His letters to me and remember all He has brought me through. I want to listen to Him. I want Him to be a fresh, holy presence in this crazy life of mine every.single.day!