what a rip-off!

I spent a lot of time looking through old letters tonight. They brought back a flood of memories.

Letters from my mom and sisters when I went away to college in 1994, then when I went to Okinawa in 1997. (Beth & Steph, we need to have a party soon where we sit on someone’s bed, munch on snacks and crack up laughing at the letters you wrote when you were 9 and 12!)

Letters from parents of the kids I taught, thanking me for the impact I had on them. (wow)

Letters from Gabe’s Grandma Marilyn who died in 2005. We weren’t related by blood, but we were true kindred spirits. Miss her like crazy tonight.

One itty-bitty scrawled note from my Grandpa Yoder that I didn’t remember existed. I have no words for how special it is to me. Oh, I loved (love!) that man.

Two letters from my dad (who, like his dad, “never writes letters”–his own words). Praising the Lord that my parents are still living. Heart hurting for friends (Jamie! Holly!) who have lost their daddies.

Letters from Silvia (Silvs), one of my dearest friends from high school. She was an exchange student from Italy our senior year and blessed my life more than I could ever, ever convey. She died in a motorbike accident in Italy when she was 25. I’m aching tonight just thinking about her.

Treasures. These letters are treasures. And I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around what they mean to me, what these people mean to me. I feel sad. And the sad is actually tinged with some mad. Mad that they aren’t here anymore. Mad that I can’t touch them or hug them or laugh with them.

It’s not fair.

I printed out my last two blog posts (and all your sweet comments!), and I’m sending them to my grandma. Mom gave her a heads-up today that they’d be coming, so that Grandma would understand what a blog was and what the comments meant.

(And that one was from Randy Alcorn. “The real Randy Alcorn!” Mom told her. Grandma has Randy’s Heaven book that I gave her after Grandpa died and a little Heaven book that Randy signed for me and I gave to her. I’ll be re-visiting my copy of Heaven here soon, by the way.)

Mom said I can’t even imagine how thrilled Grandma was to hear that I was sharing stories about her Mama. (Note: for those of you who are new here or don’t remember, Grandma is my dad’s mom, but she and mom are just as close as mother and daughter.) She got all choked up and asked Mom if she thought her Mama could “see what Marla is doing from heaven.”

I think Mr. Alcorn would answer in the affirmative.

I’m feeling overwhelmed. And overcome. And over-, over-everything.

And yes, a little bit ticked that some of my loved ones are gone.

But so, so, so, so, so thankful for the many, many, many who are still here.

And praising the Lord for the someday reunion made possible (not in part, but in WHOLE) by the blood of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Jesus.

9 thoughts on “what a rip-off!

  1. Kristi

    Wow….a book my hubby and I are slowly working through is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. A good reminder that marriage is not about making you happy, but about making you HOLY.

  2. Holly V.

    So….you know that my Daddy taught at the school I now work for. Its neat to know we have worked for the same organization and in the same building.

    Well, this week I’m working on a filing project and I’m flipping through files and all of a sudden my dad’s handwriting and plans are in front of me. I choked up and wiped the tears from my eyes as I read plans he wrote more than 20 years ago. His handwriting was so amazingly neat. I loved the way he made charts and graphs…..way before EXCEL! What a gift to find this while doing a totally mundane job!!

    And then today another reminder of him in a school meeting….and then I happen onto your blog tonight.

    I am SO grateful for memories and the tangible items that bring us back to remembering the smells, the feelings, and the love for those whom we’re missing.

    THANKS dear friend, for playing a part in my walk down memory lane with my Daddy.

    I love you.

  3. Jane

    {She got all choked up and asked Mom if she thought her Mama could “see what Marla is doing from heaven.”}

    Yes, of course she can. In Revelation, we see the saints and the martyrs in Heaven looking down and watching what’s happening on the Earth, and begging God to take action on behalf of the faithful still living. Yes, her Mama will see what you’re doing from Heaven. **hugs**

  4. Sarah Montanye

    Oh man I have tears in my eyes again! I treasure those kinds of letters too. I am ticked too that some of my dear loved ones are gone too, but praise the Lord we have the hope to see them once again.

  5. Jen Griffin

    I totally understand how you feel. I miss my grandpa each day. I was 16 when he passed away of cancer…it took him in just 6 short months. He was a dad to me…the one there each day. Titus is so much like him…it hurts. I wish he was here to see his 7 great grands…he’d have loved each moment.

    Your grandma will love reading your posts and the responses….I’m sure it’s hard to wrap someone’s mind around blogging and technology. 🙂

    Heaven…what a wonderful day to see Jesus and to run into the arms of my gramps.

  6. Kaye

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall to hear your Mom ‘describe’ to your Grandmother what a blog is:)
    And so thankful for you to have these incredibly precious letters written by loved ones.
    Blessings today and always,
    Matthew 21:22

  7. Lisa

    Wow, Meg’s right. How often do I take for granted that Jesus is the whole reason I will be reunited with my loved ones? All because of Him! And not because of anything I did or didn’t do; simply because He loves me. That just added on a whole new layer of awe. I’m not quite sure how to wrap my mind around it.

    Marla, my heart aches that you’re missing so many precious people right now. Sending as much love and comfort, and as many hugs, as I know how.

  8. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia

    You are experiencing what I went through some last year after the death of my grandmother. The treasures of family heirlooms (i.e. letters, pictures, handmade art, etc…) that we never eve knew about! I had the privilege of walking through it all with my momma. It made us miss my grandmother so much, but grateful like you that we will see her again because of Jesus. I amen the “thank you”.

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