Long Line of Love


Yesterday I was asked to play piano for a funeral. As I sat in the front of the chapel, facing outward, I had the unusual perspective of watching the faces of the family who were saying good-bye to their loved one. Having walked that road four years ago, I felt deep pain and sorrow for them as they tried to be strong. Once we have walked a difficult journey, God allows us empathy to better understand how others may feel in similar situations.

I was intrigued by one of the grown sons who sat beside his mother. As the video slide show of family pictures played, I watched as he would glance at the screen for a moment, then force himself to look away, swallowing hard and fighting for composure. It was not until he later stood up to share his thoughts about his father that I understood. He confessed that he would have to watch the video another time, as he feared he would be unable to “hold it together” and share if he allowed himself to view it then.

In his speech, he mentioned how loving and giving his father had been. He told of a song that conveyed his feelings of gratefulness for the family to which he belonged. Paul Overstreet wrote and sang Long Line of Love that told the story of a young couple committing to each other in marriage. Amid the doubts and stresses of keeping their vows, they knew they could handle whatever came their way because the husband was from a family who loved each another. The number of years his grandparents and parents were married and still loved each other was a testimony to what true love was and gave them the courage to do the same themselves.

After coming home and listening to that song I smiled. I too come from a long line of love. My parents have been married 62 years. I was married 26 years before having to realize life as a widow. However, there is another long line of love that is even greater.

Jesus Christ has shown his love for all mankind by dying a painful and lonely death on a cross two thousand years ago. Since He loves me and gave so much for me, I know that I can handle whatever comes my way because I never have to walk alone. Even though Alan is no longer here by my side, my God is.

Do you know this kind of love? God wants to carry you in love through everything you face.

The special thing about a line is that it is just a point that walks forward. So if you feel you have not been left a heritage of love, you can be the beginning point! Today can be the start of something special, good and lasting.

My desire is to hand down a long line of love to my children and someday my grandchildren. Even though I do not have Alan here to love now, I can love others – family and friends – knowing that what I choose to pass on will make a difference. Here is to your long line of love as well. Be it long or short, may it grow, lengthen and bless you on your journey.

Until next time –


Creating a Legacy


Listening to Mark Schultz’s song, A Different Kind of Christmas, is a wonderful reminder of the blessing in creating a legacy. While we face the holidays, it is okay to recognize the differences before us; an empty chair at the table, the sadness of missing a long-established tradition; forming and embracing new customs with new people.

The meaning I grasp from this beautiful, touching song is that even though the we face days without those we love, they are still with us because of the legacy left behind. There will always be a special place in our hearts and minds for these precious people because of the memories we hold close.

No matter how different the holiday season is for us after the death of a loved one, we do not need to be defeated and miserable. We can remember the ones we miss because of the investment and difference they made in our lives while they were still with us.

Knowing the value of these recollections, we must be intentional in making memories with those around us today. I have some friends who chose to forego buying numerous gifts for their four children this Christmas. Instead, they decided to invest their time and money in making memories by taking their family on a surprise cruise. I loved their ingenuity and determination. Toys and games break and can quickly lose their appeal. However, the time spent with family in building special memories together can never be replaced nor lost. What a clever idea!

Not all of us will be able to establish new traditions by taking a cruise or going on a trip with family. Fortunately, we can each get creative while experiencing new and lasting traditions, moments and events. Think outside the box and determine what it is that you can do in creating a legacy for your family.

What will my family remember about me when I, too, have gone to Heaven? Will they remember me for laughter, perseverance, a passion for life and love? Those are now my goals. I want my life to mean something. What I do today should make a difference not only in the present, but also for a lifetime. As people think of me years from now, will they gain strength and encouragement for their own journey through life? I hope so.

Let me urge you to take some time as this New Year approaches to determine how you might begin creating a legacy. Decide how you want to be remembered. Then move forward to help that dream and desire come to fruition.

Until next time –