Have you heard that saying before? People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Sometimes we are surprised by which category then end up in. Mostly I think it’s when we expect people will be our forever friends. We can’t imagine our life without them. Lo and behold, they end up leaving our lives.
When I was looking at old home videos, I realized that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Endings aren’t always painful. Remembering them can be warm.
When I was in elementary school, we had the option of going Wednesdays on the bus to go to the local fire hall. Religion classes were held. Aunt Alice and Aunt Eunice were the teachers. Aunt Alice was this plump woman who exuded excitement. I remember raising my hand to say that yes, I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
My favorite time was the “Bible drills.” Everyone who wanted to play would hold their hand up with their Bible in their hands as Aunt Alice bellowed, “Draw swords!” Then she would ask a question about a Bible verse and the first one to stand and have the answer would win.
I’m proud to say I won often.
Even though my parents took us to church every week, it was Aunt Alice that got me excited about God. I would have never remembered it, but when I saw my 1988 wedding video, Aunt Alice and Aunt Eunice attended. What an honor that they came. I’m sure they have long since died, but they had such a great influence on my life.
Jim Gardner was another fond memory. He was my neighbor. He had diabetes, an artificial limb, and was blind. He was an inspirational speaker and taught about disabilities in several venues. I would clean his house once a week because his wife was super busy and exhausted all the time.
Well, I sort of cleaned. We talked most of the time. We talked about everything. Even though he was an adult, he wasn’t my parent so I could talk with him about life issues that I was afraid to talk to my parents about.
He wrote and recited a poem he wrote about me as the “toast to the bride” at my first wedding. In it, he talked about some of the memorable things my mom did for me. That warmed my heart too. I sang at his funeral a few years after that, but I loved seeing him again and remembering what a big role he played in my life.
Kent and Marci were my youth leaders throughout high school. I went to their house as often as I could. Marci played the organ and Kent read a Bible passage at my wedding. Every once in a great while, I will run into Marci. It feels like the 30 years melt away when I see her. I always wish we would re-connect more regularly, but it just doesn’t seem to happen.
I forgot that my high school friend Melinda sang at my wedding. We were “music heads” together in high school. Every few years we connect briefly. I saw another high school friend Diana recently. We both thought she didn’t attend my wedding but sure enough, we found video footage of her being there.
So the saying may be true. Some people come around for a reason (like a plumber), some for a season (like high school), and some for a lifetime (like your sisters when you realize they are also your friends.) But regardless, their influence can last a lifetime, no matter how much time they spend in person with you.
I’m grateful for all those people who helped shape my life for the better!