For Belinda and me, Memorial Day usually includes a trip to our daughter Megan’s grave. This year there were two graves to visit since my father, Paul Kendall, died in January. My Mom, Ruthie, my brother and sister-in-law Kristel and their son Collin went with us this year. The time there is bittersweet. It is sweet to remember but bitter that they are not with us.I don’t know any way to make that better. I know it doesn’t simply get better with time however we do feel the grace of God as we honor them. He gives us the confidence we feel when we remember that they are actually the ones in the better place. He gives us strength to go forward without them and He is healing our hearts.
I want to share a memory about each of them today. On one of our visits to see my parents while they lived in Oregon my Dad wanted to take us to see a waterfall. He had bought a book about the waterfalls of Oregon and on his day off he and my Mom would go to the ones near their home and hike in to see them. He wanted to share that joy with our young family. My Dad was determined this hike was not going to be boring for our boys. He got them to walk across some downed trees that fell across a ten foot ditch. Of course dead trees have bark that can easily come off and Jeremy ended up slipping off the tree. Somehow he miraculously caught himself before he fell. On the way back Dad said he would lead the two boys to a shortcut. He didn’t ask permission from the parents he simply darted off into the woods with Jeremy and Luke in close pursuit. We stayed on the path and when we got to the car Dad and the boys were nowhere in sight. We waited what seemed like an eternity but was probably only twenty minutes. Then we heard their excited voices. They found their way back to the parking lot by smelling the Port-a-Potty. That was a hike we will never forget–the funny thing is, I don’t even remember the waterfall.
I have to dig a little deeper for a Megan memory. One of my favorite things to do with Megan was to turn on the music really loud and dance around the living room. She would squeal with delight. Whenever I would stop she would jump up and down in my arms as if to say, keep dancing! She would hung my neck tight and smile like this was the best fun she ever had. One day not too long after she got a mouthful of teeth she bit me really hard on the shoulder. I didn’t see it coming so I yelped in pain and suprise. This startled Megan so much, and probably hurt her tender heart, that she began to cry. She was inconsolable! I held her close and let her know that I was all right and that I still loved her. Soon we were dancing again.
It helps to remember. You may or may not have known my Dad or Megan but thanks for your support as we heal and move forward.