So today I attended the funeral of my great aunt. As a kid I spent many Christmas and Easter dinners at her house with loads of extended family. I have good memories of playing outside on the swingset, and holding baby cousins (all of whom, I might add, are now taller than me!). I remember hot cross buns, card games, and roller skating in the driveway. Today as I listened to the people who loved her reminisce about how much she meant to them, I realized that I didn't have that kind of memory of her, and that, more than her passing, made me sad. The most vivid memories I have of her personally, are as an adult. She was a schoolteacher, and I chose to homeschool my kids, and she (very vocally) disagreed that that was an exceptable choice. I regret that I let that disagreement color my memory of her. Listening to her family and friends today, I saw a totally different picture of her.
As I sat there in the church, I wondered, whose memory of me is colored by a disagreement we've had? Who would remember me, if I died today, as one who thought poorly of them because of opposing beliefs? Would the people I love know that I loved them despite a difference of opinion? Would they know that I cherished them simply because they are a child of GOD? I pray that I will get better at treating others in my life with love and respect, regardless of how I feel about their choices. And I will try harder to stop letting what I think others think of me color my memories of them.
RIP VMR July 1922-March 11, 2012