It’s a Wonderful Life

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Today is the third anniversary of the death of my brother-in-law, Dr. Marvin Leibovich. Because I was the only boy with four older sisters, the addition of each new brother-in-law was a welcomed event. He and my sister had three sons, whose ages closely mirrored my own daughters. Consequently, there was a close connection between our families. Here is my oldest daughter’s expression of her special memories of Marvin on the day of his death on October 5, 2015.

My uncle died early this morning, and while I said my tearful goodbyes to him in August, still nothing can prepare you for the finality of life.

I’ve been thinking on his life for the past month as we knew the end was near and even though his obituary is FULL of his amazing accomplishments on this Earth, it is the little things that I will miss and cherish and learn from, as his niece.

Continue at It’s a Wonderful Life

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

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Several years ago, my parents compiled a list of family keepsakes and let us five children choose what we wanted. Many of the items were distributed as my parents  downsized over the years. Two of those items that came my way are pictured here. My great-grandmother, Mary Samuels originally possessed these treasures. She apparently bought furniture when she was displeased with her husband, and the organ was one of those purchases. As a preschooler, I remember standing on both pedals and pumping as I played some cacophony, believing it was a symphony.

Grandma Samuel's Organ and RockerThe rocker, however, is the real treasure. Also an item from Great-Grandma Samuels’ home, it sat on the front porch of my childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee with its twin. Many hours were spent rocking on the front porch with family and friends. When I bought the home from my parents, only one rocker remained, the other already having been distributed to one of my sisters. Still a sturdy rocker despite years of exposure to the elements, its green paint was cracked and revealing the previous layers of white and pink. Eventually,  I decided to refinish it, stripping the three layers of paint down to the oak grain. The cane bottom had long ago been replaced with a sheet of plywood, so I undertook the job of re-caning the seat. When I finished the transformation, I gave it back to my parents with whom it remained until last year.

Rocker Organ OverheadMy mother, now a widow, moved to our town a few years ago and decided her apartment was too crowded for the old, wooden rocker after she bought a more comfy rocker. It has come back into our possession as a special treasure, holding in its seat the memories of all the family and friends that rocked in it over the years.

While it is fun to reminisce about these special “treasures,” all earthly treasures will eventually deteriorate and cease to be, even though they may outlast several owners. Therefore, I try to hold loosely to material treasures because they are transient. But because people will be eternal, investing in others for the sake of eternity is what will last. Jesus Christ said:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.            (Matthew 6:19-20, NIV)

There is truth in the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” So, it’s best to plant gospel seeds here and now in those who will eventually become part of the heavenly treasure of relationships that we will enjoy forever.

For more examples of “treasure” click HERE

Addendum: Here is a three generational picture with my grandfather sitting in the rocking chair. He lived with us for eight years and weather permitting, he and our dog sat on the porch every day and watched the world go by, the squirrels play and his U.S. flag fly.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Photographing our family not only gives us the chance to share something close to our heart, but affords us the opportunities often required to capture an image in a very special way. – Josh R (WordPress)

Our annual, family trip to Florida offers me a great time to chronicle (through photography) our family’s growth. While I’m able to get some good portrait shots, I enjoy capturing some silhouettes at dusk.This year I photographed my oldest daughter’s family of four in the day’s last light – mom and dad (side by side), toddler on dad’s back and the three year old running ahead.Beach Walk at DuskTwo years earlier, with only one child at the time, the same daughter’s family took off for a beach walk. My wife and I followed a short time later and I was pleased to find their steps in the sand preceding our path…a sweet representation of their family.

Foot Prints

Because this is an extended family event, this week’s header is changed to reflect our bigger family at play with a cornhole tournament.

For additional contributions to the “family” theme, go to Weekly Photo Challenge: Family