Our family (with our youngest three) had moved to North Carolina in October 2012– less than a year before the crash occurred in Georgia on our way to family celebrations in Texas. As a result, my last, and freshest, memories of AnnaLeah and Mary are from our time here. So as I was driving around in Rocky Mount yesterday doing errands, for some reason a memory of Mary from the Spring of 2013 popped into my head.
Jerry and Mary and I had taken a short drive just outside the city to see a horse farm. We had talked about the possibility of Mary taking some horse riding lessons there in the upcoming summer. Only it was Sunday and there was no one there to show us around. We drove into the parking area and spent a few minutes watching some of the horses.
While we were driving, I was mending the frayed cuffs of one of Mary’s sweatshirts–her Grandpa’s from his days singing in a Michigan men’s group, the Singing Grandpas. The shirt had the names of all of his grandchildren embroidered on it. I had had a friend add Mary’s name to the shirt when we lived in Texas–because he had gotten the shirt before she was born–and it quickly became one of her favorites.
I finished mending the shirt before we arrived home and handed it to Mary in the back seat. I will never forget the simple but heartfelt gratefulness she expressed for my rescuing her special shirt. I am glad that I took the time to do it for her.
And I am thankful for the clear memory it gives me of her appreciation of that little act of love and, also, of the way she joyfully lived her short life. It is a reminder to me to live life wisely and fully in the present so that in my future I can truly treasure past moments.
(And I am also glad I had taken photos of Mary with her shirt because it was lost in the crash.)
(Photo of Mary’s shirt taken on 3/13/2013)