Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pile of Rocks

All through out the Bible God was encouraging His people to make memorials.  The purpose of the memorial was to remember.  Sometimes it was to be a way to remember a victory, or a miracle which occurred.  Other times He wanted them to remember a significant life changing event, and the longer we live we realize those events are not always pleasant.  When the Israelites crossed the Jordan to enter into the promised land, God said, go into the river, and one man from each tribe take out a stone.  Set those stones along the banks as a remembrance for you and your children to remember what God has done.

Remembering is a healthy part of life.  In modern days we continue this tradition, however our pile of rocks looks much different.  We hold on to pictures, videos, and programs.  With the loss I have experienced over the last few years, of my father in 2009, my husband in 2010, and my closest sister in 2011, I have made many of my own piles of rocks.  I try to pick something very meaningful as my "rock", something that was of great importance or significance in my loved ones life.

For my father it was some of his books.  My dad loved to read.  His grave stone reads "He found comfort in the written word", and to have kept the book he toted back and forth to chemo during those 9 months holds multiple layers of meaning.  His notes are still stuffed inside, along with pictures of his grand kids which he wanted during his hospital stays.  Although I will never read this book, it reminds me of my dad's wisdom and intellect.  His love of learning, which was a thrust no amount of books could ever quench.

For my late husband, the rocks are the two most important things he had: his business and his children.  I am the new leader of the business he successfully built.  It was his baby.  He ate, slept, and breathed it.  It was his source of satisfaction and accomplishment.  It also was the biggest burden and stress he knew.  Several months back I was wishing I had something more meaningful of his, a shirt or his bible.  But I quickly realized that having the business was the most meaningful thing I could have.  And keeping it growing and successful keeps his spirit alive.  I also have two beautiful children of his. So many times I am reminded of him when I am with them.  Whether it be looking down at my daughter and seeing his arm instead of hers, or hearing my son talk about things his dad would have found funny, his memory is alive in the next generation.

The rocks of remembrance for my sister are different.  While I do have a few tangible items: her baby doll from childhood, her favorite movie Beauty and the Beast, and a bear made from her clothing, the most important things which remind me of my sister are hidden in my heart, and shown in the compassionate woman I am today.  My sister was mentally impaired and we had a close and unique relationship.  Growing up with a special needs sibling forms who you are.  It teaches you to have compassion, to never fear those who are different, and to love the simple things.  My sister taught me these.  Today I remember her, and created a symbol which I can look at, my own pile of rocks, to remind me of the amazing sister I was honored to have.

God had a reason He encouraged us to remember.  There was a reason we need a visual reminder, a pile of rocks.  In my own journey of life, through trials and grief, these rocks have been my strength, my fond memories, and my tears.  The rocks won't let me forget where I came from, what I have gone through and why I am the woman of strength and character you see today.  I don't want to forget the people in my life. I don't want to forget the grace of God.  I don't want to forget.  So I build a pile of rocks, on the banks of my life so my children and I will remember.


  1. Jennifer, I, too, had 3 losses in a very short time. My husband, Mom, and Dad all went to heaven within 4 months' time.

    My rocks of remembrance for my husband are his Bible, his toolbox, and a collage of his life. My "living" rocks are our 4 daughters who remind me so much of him.

    My rocks of remembrance for my Mom are her Bible, a container filled with her handwritten personal devotion notes, and an old dresser she cherished that was refinished by her parents.

    The rocks of remembrance for my Dad are his Bible and his computer desk and chair where he'd sit for hours and communicate with his high school friends and relatives.

    But, the most important rocks of remembrance for all 3 are the memories of how much they loved the Lord with all of their hearts and how they are cheering me on from heaven urging me not to give up now that they are gone.

  2. Candy, As I read over your comment I couldn't help but notice the beautiful Christian faith that your family has left you. What a beautiful memorial that is!

  3. I've always loved this concept you've explained so well, Jennifer, but I never thought of the memorials others have left me, yet I've collected them all along:quiet character character from one grandma, art from another, integrity and commitment to God's Word from my first husband, and I suppose I could go on and on. My favorites are the underlined verses and dates I mark in my Bible. I love to thumb through it and recall God's faithfulness to me. blessings on you.