6 February 2020

A Life Well Lived; We're Just Passing Through

It's taken me a long time to write this post...Mother's Day 2018 we went to visit the home where I grew up...or what was left of it. I knew I wanted to write about it, but I couldn't get all of my thoughts organized enough to express in a post, so I set it aside.

My parents are an example of a life well-lived.


I mentioned on our About page that my parents were my inspiration for Living Our Lives Well. I wanted whatever I wrote to honour them and be a reflection of their lives and faith.

What I eventually wrote was...surprise...song lyrics!


No music yet...not for lack of trying, but nothing sounds quite right yet. Hopefully one day it will come.

Honouring my parents life well lived in song

Let me share a little of Mom and Dad's story.


Golden Memories Song
Although Mom grew up in Toronto and Dad on a farm in Manitoba, they met when they were 4 and 5. Mom travelled by train with her family to spend summers in Manitoba.

Over the years, Mom and Dad became friends, and in their teens, a romance blossomed. They began writing letters and eventually, dad proposed, and later sent an engagement ring by mail. Mom worked in an office and Dad was a farm boy, so I'm sure they seemed an unlikely match, but they were married on August 21, 1948. 

When Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998, I wrote a song called Golden Memories. It tells a bit of their love story.





Mom and Dad's first home was a small house on the property where they would spend 61 years together. When I was about 2 years old, they built a block basement where we lived for about 5 years. I remember it had a flat roof that we liked to play on as kids. Eventually, they were able to afford the house, and it was moved onto the basement. 

Mom and Dad remained in that house until Dad became ill and was too weak to continue maintaining the property, in August 2009. Dad went to be with the Lord in December of that same year. I shared his testimony here: Remembering Dad. Mom is now living in a care home. Although she has dementia and doesn't retain short term memories, she still knows us and seems very content where she is. *EDITED: Less than 2 weeks after this post was published, Mom too went home to be with the Lord. I plan to make a post in honour of Mom in May for Mother's Day and will link here.

The farm was a wonderful place to grow up, and I have so many memories...but those are a post for another day...With 8 kids to raise, much of Mom and Dad's time was taken up with just working to provide for our family. But for as long as I can remember, we always had flowers to brighten up our yard, and as time went by and they had more free time, those small flower beds and borders grew into one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen.

The farm was a wonderful place to grow up,


We went back to visit the farm nine years after Mom and Dad left it.


It was hard to believe it was the same place. If it wasn't for a few trees still standing, and a couple of small buildings, I wouldn't have been able to visualize how things used to be.

The sandy lane I walked so many times remained...

The sandy lane I walked so many times remained

...but all that was left of the house was the basement.

but all that was left of the house was the basement

This beautiful pathway led down to the garden...

This beautiful pathway led down to the garden

...it's now just a pile of rubble.

The garden path is no more

This little shed, set on the edge of the garden, was just an old addition to a trailer but surrounded by flowers, it looked like a little cottage.

A beautiful shed in the midst of the garden

It now sits in a field of tall grass, all evidence of the beautiful garden is gone.
All evidence of the beautiful garden is gone











It was hard to go back and see all that Mom and Dad spent so much time and hard work on completely gone, but I couldn't help but think...Isn't this a picture of our life here on this earth? 

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

This is the song I wrote...

Just Passing Through


We've made a place of beauty as we've lived out our days;
Been blessed with loving family and friends along the way.

We've made a place of beauty as we've lived out our days

But this is not our home; we're walking by faith,
Knowing Jesus went before us to prepare for us a place.

But this is not our home; we're walking by faith,

Our life is but a vapour, then vanishes away.
This earthly tabernacle will be dissolved one day.

Our life is but a vapour, then vanishes away.

Then all our wordly goods will wither and fade,
As we behold God's glory when we meet him face to face.

Then all our worldly goods will wither and fade,

Yes, we are persuaded; we know that we know,
At the end of this journey lies our heavenly home.

Yes, we are persuaded; we know that we know,  At the end of this journey lies our heavenly home.

We're seeking for a country; God's promise is true.
We're strangers and pilgrims; we're just passing through.

We're strangers and pilgrims; we're just passing through.

  

But we're not without hope...


We know this world is not our final home. As beautiful as their earthly home was, Mom and Dad both knew there was one far better to come.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.


Hebrews 11:13,14,16  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: For he hath prepared for them a city.


2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.


John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Someone once said the garden was like a little piece of heaven, but nothing can compare to what God has prepared for us, and I'm confident that along with mansions, God has planted the most beautiful gardens for Mom and Dad to spend eternity in.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Note: Dad had a couple of songs that meant a lot to him in his later years. One was J.D. Sumner's The Lord Still Lives In This Old House. The first line is, "If this earthly tabernacle should be dissolved today, I'd trade it for a finer one that would not pass away." 

The second one was, I Know That I Know It, by Gordon Jensen, and that became a favourite expression of Dad's. I knew I had to find a way to incorporate these phrases into this song. 


A tribute to a life well lived.

I hope Mom and Dad would both approve of these words I've written for them. They were always my biggest encouragers when it came to my writing.


This is the 1st post in a series: Love and Loss

For more posts like this: Faith

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10 comments:

  1. This was so beautiful it made me cry.

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  2. Beautiful tribute! Thanks for sharing. Many blessings to you!

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  3. Beautiful! Such a wonderful reminder of the shortness of life. Can only begin to imagine the beauty Heaven holds!

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    1. Yes! There is so much beauty in this fallen world...I can't begin to imagine what heaven will be like!

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  4. I'm so thankful we are not without hope! As I grow older and see the familiar fading away, the hope you speak of shines brighter and brighter. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  5. Amen! Thank you for coming by.

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  6. This made me so sad, Deb. My mom will not let us take her by her childhood home because she doesn't want to see the state that it is in. (It has now been torn down and a million dollar house is being built in its place.) She says she only wants to remember the good times that she had while growing up there and bringing us there for holidays and time being spent with my grandmother.

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    1. It’s sad to see the changes, but I can only imagine what God has prepared for Mom and Dad in eternity. When I think of the beauty they created on earth, what God’s gardens must be like!
      James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

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