I've now mentioned several times how much I love Memphis ... and that there are SO many reasons why. I feel like a piece of my heart has always lived in Memphis. Growing up, I never lived near either set of grandparents, unfortunately, BUT we would always get to visit Memphis, TN and Palatka, FL (where my mom's parents live) once a year. As Chris, the boys, and I drove into Memphis this past week, we passed the Memphis Airport. Mema and Grandaddy (my dad's parents) lived right around the corner from the Memphis Airport, so this was always our "sign" that we were THERE (finally, after what seemed to be driving for days). Lots of emotions and memories started to flood me as I started thinking about their house - and the excitement we felt as kids of being at Mema and Granddaddy's house. Then, I thought about WHY I was in Memphis this particular weekend - for Anne Marie's wedding .... and I started thinking about how proud they would be of all the grandchildren. It was always so evident how much they loved us - and I felt that even being so far away. I thought about how I so wished that Jake and Cole could know them! It then hit me (as it does often) that Jake and Cole (and all of our spouses that didn't get to meet them - Matt, Josh, and Mark) COULD know the type of people they were, b/c they passed down so much to their children and grandchildren .... that I think we are all such a great combination of both of them. I think it is even MORE EVIDENT when we are all together .... it's like Mema and Granddaddy ARE there.... we all bring a different characteristic of them "to the table." The legacy that they left that I cherish most is the importance of family. Period. Aunt, Uncles, Cousins .... we are all spread out and always busy and going in different directions, BUT Mema and Granddaddy instilled in us the closeness of family and the IMPORTANCE of family. THAT is WHY I love Memphis so much .... FAMILY! I feel that Nana and Papa have done the same for us on my mom's side, which means I feel beyond blessed. I try not to take family for granted - and appreciate all of the moments we have together - and the memories we get to make .... and I hold them close to my heart, and that is why there is a small piece of my heart that will always be in Memphis.
As we were driving home and Chris and I were reflecting on the weekend, I was thinking about how to put this into words. Then, I got home and opened a gift from Anne Marie. It had a quote by C.S. Lewis,
"We think we have chosen our peers. In reality,
a few years' difference in the dates of our births,
a few more miles between certain houses,
the choice of one university instead of another...
the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting -
ANY of these chances might have kept us apart.
BUT, for a Christian, there are . . . no chances.
A Secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work.
Christ ... can truly say,
'You have not chosen one another, but
I have chosen you FOR one another.' "
That pretty much sums it up right there. As a family, Christ chose us for one another ... and I'm thankful that Mema and Granddaddy embraced this - and LIVED it. I sure do miss them.