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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Will You Be Remembered Well?

I wish I had known my grandmother better.
Nana was my father's mother. I remember her as a white-haired little old lady with twinkling blue eyes, beautiful features and a cute Norwegian accent. Sigrid (Nana) came to the U.S. as a sixteen year old, recently married in Norway to Oluv Nicolaisen. They immigrated, came through Boston and across the states to settle in San Franciso. Nana gave birth to 8 children and the family lived-- or should I say -- struggled to live on a bakeryman's salary. My grandfather, Oluv, who I never met, had been an engineer in Norway. But he was a shy man and never learned to speak English extremely well. The language barrier prevented him from getting a more lucrative job. But in 1932, at the beginning of the Great Depression, he suffered a terrible stroke, was bed-ridden for a couple of years, then died, leaving Nana and eight children ranging in ages between late teens to preschoolers.
My dad, at seventeen, dropped out of school to work and provide for this big family.
Years later, when I was a big enough girl to enjoy sitting with Nana and hearing her fascinating stories about the kids (my aunts and uncles) and their antics, it never occurred to me to ask her about her childhood in Norway, why they immigrated, how she felt about leaving her relatives back near Oslo, what it was like to be a widow during the depression with eight children.
Now it's too late. How I would love to hold my Nana's hand and ask her these questions and listen to her soft, musically accented voice as she spoke about herself. I know that she did many kind things because her children spoke so lovingly of her.
Someday I'll see her again in heaven.
I never heard about her parents, my great-grandparents. They were probably very kind and loving people, too.
But their names are just entries on my family tree.
It wasn't too long ago.
But I know nothing of them.
As I grow older I think, someday my name will be an entry in my children's or my children's children's updated family tree.
My children know me well.
And I am determined that my grandchildren will know me well. I intend to pour myself, my experiences, my hopes and dreams, especially my faith and my knowledge, and my love for Christ into them.
Perhaps, if the Lord so allows, I will have the opportunity to lavish some old-woman love on my great-grandchildren.
But that will be as far as the memory of me will last.
However. . . .
The heritage of faithfulness, the legacy of love for God, family, friends, community. . .
my "Acts": I hope that those will live on and bless people, even those to whom my name means nothing.
I hope that my Father in heaven will one day say: "Well done, Dena. I have not forgotten the things you have done in my Name while still on earth. Many of my children have been blessed because you lived your years well."
Wouldn't it be fantastic to hear thoses words?
And won't it be fantastic to get to heaven and be able to say to your grandmother or father or teacher, "Thank you. I remember what you did." ?

"I thank my God every time I remember you." (Phil 1:3)


  1. Good Morning Dena

    Passing on a good and Godly legacy to our children and grandchildren is high on my list too.

    Keep up the good work for Jesus :-)


  2. Thanks, Ron. Since we're both "old geezers" we think a lot about this subject.

  3. Hi Dena -

    I tried to get my grandfather to let me tape his stories, but he wouldn't do it. Other relatives are writing memoirs.

    It's important to preserve our family history.

    Susan :)

  4. Thought-provoking blog, Dena, as always. I hope to leave the legacy of a "woman of great faith in God" with my children and grandchildren. And, as you say, if God wills it. . .my great grandchildren. Always pointing them to the Lord.

  5. Hi Susan, Thanks for your comments. It's important to preserve family memories, but more importantly, to preserve a heritage of godliness that will bless future generations.

  6. Nancy,I agree. Even after we're gone, our words still speak through those we've taught and influenced.