I can still see the television. The big box with a Disney castle logo across the screen, the old one that was blue and just simple shapes. Popcorn in a yellow bowl of hers that is now stored in my cupboard. Sitting on olive green carpet with the coffee table behind me. Thirty years later and I can still see it.
My parents now live here. It’s the same house, but a different one. My mom and dad have remodeled, updated, and made it their home. But sometimes, I can still see Me-ma’s things in the bathroom, and Po-po’s in his bedroom. Her quilt on her bed with blue stitchwork and flowers, with the music box frame I got her sitting on the nightstand. It played “You Light Up My Life”.
That picture now sits on my bookshelf.
It still plays. Thirty years later.
I wind it. Simple and sweet it bursts forth, starting with a quick tempo as all music boxes do in the beginning. It gradually slows. Each note deliberate, dramatic. I want the melody to continue, I need it to finish the chorus but it stops short. It’s so beautiful, it should at least get to finish the last notes. But it doesn’t. I’m left hanging, wanting more, a sadness and longing and need for it to resolve, to finish.
But time ran out.
Like the song, my Me-ma’s life was cut short. She was taken mid melody. I was a brand new teenager when she died, and she was only sixty-six. It was a lifetime ago. There are so many things to tell her, moments I wish we would have shared. But something so small can draw me back to a time when I can see the smile that lit up her entire face, and hear her soft-spoken voice call to me… “Well hey Jodi Lynne!” Apron around her waist, hands busy as usual but never too busy to wrap me up in a hug.
“Hey Me-ma! I’ve got three sweet sets of little boys’ cheeks you need to kiss,” I grin.
One day. One day it will all be complete. We will be complete. Wrapped up in our Savior’s arms, where the melody never ends but goes on praising Him forever.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” ~1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NLT