I have been blessed with many heroes in my life, people who, at one point or another in time, had loved me and helped me along the way to become who I am today. They inspired me, showed me the beauty that God has created inside me, and encouraged me to become all that I can possibly be. They were there for me when I needed help, and taught me that God is bigger than any problem I may face in life and that He will always send help in the form of these heroes. These wonderful people were used by God to heal me from past hurts and teach me about real love and friendship.
Over the years, especially the last 2 years, I’ve had to say good-bye to many of these heroes as they left this physical world for the spiritual one. I have missed them terribly. I get sad whenever I am struck with the realization that I can’t just pick up the phone to call them and hear their voices anymore, or be able to visit them, or ask them for advice, or. . .
This morning, as I’m grieving the recent loss of two of my heroes, Betty Malone and Uncle Ben, I am aware of something new. Well, it’s not really new because I’ve heard it said before, and even said it myself, that our loved ones live on inside us, but this time I see a pictorial representation of it that I never saw before. Betty, Uncle Ben, Karl Moore, Becky Silbaugh, my grandmother, Doc, and all the heroes that had gone before them, aren’t really gone at all. And the reason is: When these heroes loved me and gave of themselves to me, their gifts had been used by God as seeds in the garden of my heart. These seeds have become plants and trees that have produced flowers and fruits. This garden is still thriving, as God tends to it, doing whatever is needed to keep the seeds of love growing.
Love can’t be destroyed by death. Love keeps on growing inside the hearts of those who have been touched by it. Sometimes the seeds of love are watered by tears of grief, as those who are still living yearn for the departed loved ones to be here physically. But after the rain, there always is sunshine. As I look inside the garden of my heart, I see here in a sunny patch, a yellow sunflower that grew from the seed of Betty’s love, still blooming brightly, cheering me on to keep writing and share my heart with the world. And over there, in the shade, a violet that grew from Uncle Ben’s words of encouragement the last time I saw him is motivating me to keep singing. And in the pond, the lilies that grew from Carl Lazzereschi’s generosity and Karl Moore’s affection are there to remind me that God is always with me even through hard times. The whole garden is splashed with flowers of many different colors, and in the air I can feel the love that they all represent. Yes, they are all here, my heroes, still living on in my heart. And when I visit this garden, I am comforted.
Thank you, my heroes, for letting God use you to make my garden so beautiful!