Frank and I just finished eating leftovers while sitting on our back porch and watching the sun set. What's so newsworthy about that, you may ask? Well, I served our bit of dinner on my beautiful Winter Greetings china by Lenox.
"China on the back porch?! Who does that?"
Here's the 'why' behind our dinner upgrade.
Last Sunday we were privileged to dedicate Olivia Rae McGhee back to the Lord in our morning church service. There were two other precious babies, many parents, grandparents and a loving congregation that were also part of the moving ceremony. It was simply precious.
But our children have told us that Olivia is most likely our final grandchild. We appreciate their warning and have taken it seriously. After all, how many Nonis have TEN perfect grandchildren? Frank and I are acutely aware of just how blessed we are.
So ever since the announcement that Kristin and Cody were pregnant, we have been savoring every moment. Actually, our entire family has been marking the gift.
Olivia wore the dedication dress I made eleven years ago. Almost forty years ago, my mom made a lovely dedication dress from white eyelet that each of our girls wore and I wanted to carry on the special tradition.
I'm not much of a seamstress so I recruited the help of an expert in our church. Her name is Pat and she helped me create an exquisite gown. We intentionally wove ribbons that could be replaced with different colors to suit the taste of each mom. (Joy chose pale pink for her girls and Kristin asked for a dusty lavender.)
Abby wore it first. Five years later it was Ava's turn. When Madi was to be dedicated, we couldn't locate the dress, so she wore the original which her own mom had worn. Can you tell we love tradition around here?
Sunday morning, Joy sent a picture to me that pulled everything into sharp focus. She had just come across a picture of Abby Grace sitting in the middle of a table at church when she was not much older than Olivia is now. It made me catch my breath with the realization of just how quickly time is flying. For those wondering, the answer is yes, I cried.
To listen as parents promised to point Olivia back to Christ, her Maker. To watch Olivia smile at her mom and dad. To observe our congregation stand and pray over the young families giving their lives and children to God for His purposes. Well, it was another defining moment for me.
Parker (Olivia's four-year-old brother) carefully touched her delicate white dress then whispered to Kristin, "Mom, is Owivia getting marhweed?" "No, sweet boy. She's being dedicated to Jesus just like you were."
He nodded his head as if he remembered it all.
"Sheri, that sounds like it was a beautiful time. But what does it have to do with a story about your china and the back porch."
Here's the point for us all - we only have today. I only have today to really SEE and SAVOR the joys of my grandchildren. In just five more years, we will have grands with drivers licenses giving them permission to operate gas powered motor vehicles on major roadways. How can that be?!
All too soon, there will be no more holding or rocking them. Cuddling, tickling and hand holding will be drastically reduced. Today. Today is my only opportunity to indulge in these activities that will become the memories I treasure and rehearse in all my tomorrows.
That's why I served our leftovers on China today because today was my opportunity to make a memory for tomorrow. Too many days have already passed with me waiting for a better moment to plan and host the special event requiring china. Today is what I have. Today.
I can almost hear someone thinking, "That dish could have broken on the cement floor." Yes but it's just a dish. And even if it had, the memory would have only been richer and funnier.
So, here's my question for you, Dear Reader, "What have you not been seeing, not putting to use as you wait for a more perfect moment?" Today is the most perfect moment I can imagine.
Call your parents. Hug your children. Attend your grandchild's ballgame. Take the pictures. Eat on the good dishes. Plan that trip. Don't wait for tomorrow, time is flying past too quickly. Grasp today and make the best memories you can.
If you do, I can almost promise . . . you'll thank me tomorrow.