Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Heritage

We have moved to a place very close to where my father grew up and where my grandparents lived for most of their life. My grandfather worked at the Dexter company in Windsor Locks, CT. They are both buried here in this little town. My uncle gave me directions to the cemetery and I went there the other day almost on a whim. I hadn't bought any flowers as i had planned...I drove around the little town...i even happened upon the address where they lived but the house did not look familiar. perhaps i had forgotten, perhaps it was a new house that was built in place of the old...

I had a hard time finding the cemetery but some nice folks at a farm fresh vegetable stand gave me some good directions. i bought some tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans from them and set off again in my search. by the time i got to the cemetery it was almost time for me to leave...I spent about 20 min looking for their gravestones but was unsuccessful and decided it would be nicer to come back another day for my visit when i was more prepared and less frazzled.

I had asked my uncle to send me some bible verses to read at their gravesite. my grandparents were devoutly active Baptists, very involved in the founding of a church and the coordination of missionary work around the world...good and kind Christian people who went out of their way to help others. i am very proud of them and proud to be their granddaughter. i only met my grandfather once when i was a baby. i need to find that picture i have of him holding me. i visited my grandmother a couple of times after that...my grandmother wrote to me often as a child growing up in Africa. she sent me bottles of her homemade blueberry jam. she crocheted a beautiful afghan for me-- incredibly intricate with two different greens and little yellow flowers that blossomed upwards out of the blanket. (this was later stolen on one of the several break ins that occurred during my parent's life in that house). i treasured these gifts. i asked my uncle to send me some readings from the bible in their honor. (my brother tells me that my uncle is an exact copy of my grandfather... he looks like him, he worked in the same company for many years, he is as strong in the work of the church as my grandfather was, and worked for many years in the coordination and support of missionary work around the world)....my uncle sent me a few beautiful passages from the bible to look up. he told me my grandfather's favorite bible verse was Lamentations 3.22-3.24. i found the passage (using the indispensable tool of Ocean)

3.21 This I recall to mind therefore I have hope.

3:22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

I just LOVE this passage. The book of Lamentations was quite a discovery too and in particular chapter 3. the theme and structure of the chapter made me think of the Fire Tablet. it has themes of suffering and mercy both at the hand of God.

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