I can still picture my mom and dad peacefully sitting in their living room, or the “fruntrume” as they called it. The aroma of fresh baked bread filled the small house as they sat there enjoying their coffee; mom’s piping hot, and dad’s lukewarm. The place always looked bright and welcoming. The expression on their faces always made people feel at home.
Dad would have an old coffee can resting between his legs as he searched through his buffalo nickel collection looking for that treasured 1937-D with the three legged buffalo. Mom would be lovingly crocheting an afghan blanket that she would give away almost the second she finished it. That blanket was usually accompanied by some fresh baked treats and if there were some young kids in sight dad would throw in a few roles of pennies. Mom and dad lived content lives. They were givers, not takers.
One of my most lasting memories of them was their nightly bedtime ritual. Faithfully you would find them kneeling at their bedside praying. It was important to them. It really defined who they were. That vision was at the core of my believing that God existed.
These days you will find Jan and I seated in those very same chairs having our morning coffee and reading our bibles. Today while sitting in one of those chairs I noticed the arm was a little loose. As I was exploring how to tighten it I discovered a treasure, mom’s crochet needle. For an instant I was transported back to our old family home. I could almost smell the bread in the oven. I once again became conscious of unconditional love that they displayed through their actions and deeds. Always looking to make someone smile, mom continued to crochet up until her poor vision and arthritis made it impossible.
I suppose by today’s standards the world would say that mom and dad accomplished little in their time here on earth. I would argue that in the end we will be remembered more for what we offered others, than we will for what we kept for ourselves.
Just a simple crochet needle…just simple people…or a self portrait created stroke by stroke through deed and action that represents the way they lived. Mary and Ed’s canvas remains a thing of beauty.