Leaving behind Part of Yourself

“Every time I see your face it reminds me of the places we used to go.  But all I’ve got is a photograph and I realize you’re not coming back anymore.”  Photograph (1973)  Recorded by:  Ringo Starr.   Composers:  George Harrison & Richard Starkey (Ringo).

It’s not just a few in my family tree that has suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s.  However, although each and every one, that I knew, may have forgotten who I am, I’ve yet to forget who they are/were.  That’s vital.  Investing in the lives of our kids and grandkids is a memory deposited into their minds and hearts one drip after another, like a savings account.


Recently, I wrote about my beloved grandparents, complete with scores of pictures.  The gentleman above is my great-great grandfather Martin from my mom’s side.  I wrote of him last summer.  If memory serves me right, the man was born in the 1840s.  Here it is, 178 years later, and family still speaks highly of him.  What a reminder of how to live out a legacy for future generations.

That’s my granddaughter, Skylar in the cover photo above the title.  September brings Gradnparent’s Day at her school.  I was invited to visit her 2nd grade classroom, sit in an uncomfortable, tiny plastic chair and watch her while in her zone.  Make no mistake, these opportunities are blessed times.  My hope and prayer continues to be that she will remember my love for her.  Someday, as she sees the photographs of us together it will spark memories I have deposited into her mind so she will be able to bring them up to her kids and grandkids.  After all, when I do leave this life, I will be taking my memories of her with me.  It’s a biblical concept.

Skylar with Papa Brown at pre-k stone soup 2014

Grandparent’s Day from Kindergarten class.

The years run by us like a river rushing to the brink of a waterfall.

Skylar 1 year old birthday.

Her first birthday.  (That was a dress her mom wore when she was that age.)

As much as we might want to hold back the floods of time, it’s just not the way God designed it.


One day old and sound asleep.  (When her mom was born, I was afraid to hold her.  It was new to me then.)

What will she remember about me?  Will the memory file in her mind recall good scenes of happiness or spots of darkness?  All of that is up to me, the decision-maker of the forks in the road.  One memory she may not recall is when at two years old, when I had a longer beard laced in grey and white, she secretly told her mom, with some excitement, “Pa-Pa is Santa!”

As a person of faith, a Jesus-follower, she knows that when at my house she will hear prayers and stories about biblical characters.  Whatever happens to my health in the future that is one thing, an item of everlasting, I will leave with her.

If we still talk about my great-great grandfather Martin in 2018, it’s possible the ones to follow after me might well be reflecting on my pictures, recordings and writings in 178 years.  What will I leave behind for them?

Here’s to lots more Grandparent’s Days to come!  It’s up to me to fill-up with fuel for the race.

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons (and daughters) and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” – Deuteronomy 6: 6-7. (NAS)


3 Replies to “Leaving behind Part of Yourself”

  1. What priceless memories you are making with her. Its wonderful to leave a legacy and tell the stories about your ancestors. I dont have any grandchildren yet, but I know they are the greatest gift. The pictures you shared are so wonderful!


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