One real regret of my life has been that we didn’t take summer vacations. Many families we knew went to Disneyland, Disney World, Six Flags in Dallas and Kansas City. Lots of people traveled to grandma’s house or to visit other relatives, but Grandma lived in the same town we did.
We always felt as though we didn’t have enough money to spend on trips and vacations, but other people who made less money than we did went on great vacations. Of course we were not racking up debt like they were.
One thing I always made an effort to do was send our children to Camp Fire Girls camp and Boy Scout camp. I wanted my two kids to learn to live off the land, to learn to make a fire, dig a latrine, and build a lean-to shelter.
The only vacation I ever remember taking in my childhood was in 1958 when we kids and Mother returned to California with her two sisters and their families. We stayed there about 3 weeks and then came back with our uncle Cecil who was moving back to Oklahoma to live.
California was like a foreign country to us little kids from Vinita, Ok. We visited Knott’s Berry Farm, but didn’t get to go to Disneyland. We went to Seal Beach where we little kids sat in swimsuits while the Pacific Ocean waves rolled up over our legs and ran crying to Mother when we became afraid of drowning.
I am planning a trip some day, a trip to beat all trips. No, I’m not going to schedule a cruise to the Bahamas or up the coast of Canada to Alaska. I’m planning my trip to heaven.
I’ve already obtained my one-way ticket aboard the Great Railway to Heaven. My ticket was bought and paid for by my dear Lord Jesus Christ, with His own blood. I’m not sure exactly when I’m going but it could be soon or it might be a long time. St. Paul said, “The time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
My cousins Cathy and Judy were just a couple of years apart in age. My first real memory of them took place in 1958 at a big family reunion held at our grandparents’ home in Altamont, Kansas. Their parents brought them home from California that summer and we all went to Altamont for the reunion. We ran around and played childhood games with them and all our other first cousins while our parents enjoyed their time together.
The next time I saw them was in 1960, when their father passed away and was brought back from California, to Kansas for burial. I remember going with our parents to meet the train in Parsons, Kansas, and I remember them stepping off the train with their mama—two of the prettiest little blonde girls about 7 and 5 years old.
That scene came back to my mind this week when their mother my aunt passed away, all these many years later, the sad picture in my mind of that young mother with two little baby girls to raise all by herself.
That young mother raised those sweet little girls to adulthood, then helped them in raising her grandchildren. She served the Lord faithfully all those years in the church. She always had a smile and loved many people into the kingdom of God. Her last years in the nursing home were spent praying for all those who needed prayer, and all of the nursing home workers loved her dearly.
Our minds are strange, but wonderful, with all those little hidden memories that spring up at the slightest thing. Two or three musical notes bring songs with all the words flooding back to our minds. Multiplication tables come back when we balance our checkbooks. The smell of hand cream reminds us of our grandmother who has been gone for 30 years.
The Bible teach us about the memory. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11.
My memory also holds all those wonderful family memories/ It also holds the Word of God that I memorized when I was a child.
Lavon Hightower Lewis
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org