Past bedtime. Basil’s and mine. We’d already read a story and sung some songs, when Luke came into their shared room.
“Momo, have I showed you where I keep some special things?”
He turned to a small corner bookshelf, made by his great grandfather, Big Bob, the Baptist. On the shelves were some cards, photos, a small wooden boat, a hand carved whale and a framed photo of Jud and Luke on the boat, heading out to fish.
Then, he handed me a card.
“I read this a lot.”
He handed me the much handled birthday card, written for Luke’s 11th birthday, October 16,2014, while Jud was at MGH. The following month, Jud was gone. Gone from sight.
Jud’s handwriting’s unsteady but not his thinking, I noted, while reading specific affirmations to his eldest grandson.
“Happy Birthday, Crew Mate!”
How like Jud, to approach death, like life, with affirmations and encouragement for the next generation. Grandfather and grandson teamed up in more than fishing and boating. So much love between them that three months later Luke stood and sang, brave as his Popo, before more people than he’d ever imagined at Jud’s memorial service, to honor that sacred relationship.
Basil, Luke and I sat on the edge of the bed and cried together, but crying doesn’t last. Before long we’re choking on laughs as Basil took up the challenge of imitating his grandfather making fun of me.
Then Luke started a new round of laughter with, “Remember when Popo ….?”
And we remembered together.
No wonder God calls us to remember.
Relationships need remembering.
Remember when God…?
And maybe that’s at the heart of why church matters. We gather together where sometimes we cry, or laugh but always we come to remember.
“This do in remembrance of Me.”
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