Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Legacy, Leaving


I read, the other day, that we do not change as we get older, we just become more clearly ourselves.  The way a diamond cutter chips away the rough rock, to reveal each of the tiny faucets that make a sparkling, glittering diamond; I believe that every person we have ever met has made a mark on our psyche, even if we do not recognize it at the time.  And, I believe that we in turn, leave a mark on every person we meet.  As a leaf pressed into soft clay, whose impression shows a complex map of lines, each soul that intersects with mine brings clarity, definition, and detail to my life.

And much like the fine thread that I work carefully with my smallest crochet hook, to create complex and beautiful laces, each encounter I am allowed with another human soul, is designed and carefully orchestrated by the loving and gentle hands of The Master of the Universe, to create a beautiful garment, that clothes and warms, and protects me.

People come and go from our lives.  Some people however, leave longer lasting, and more recognizably important influences.  I cannot be more thankful for the short time that I was allowed to know one of the most loving and gentle souls, in the person of Ed Brand.

My relationship with him was brief, but somehow feels as if I had known him much longer than a fleeting 4 years.  From the first time I met him, I felt a kindred spirit with him.  There were a few times I was able to stop at the house and visit, just him and me.  I enjoyed those conversations with Ed very much!  He always asked such genuine and thoughtful questions about my children, who he had only met a few brief times.  He shared news of his grandchildren, and how proud he was of their accomplishments.  He relayed a particular story of Jeff and Matt floating past the house on the river in Granite Falls, as he sat drinking his coffee and watching from the window.  With a firm and patient heart he equally loved all six of the children he and Elaine combined when they married, and all of the grandchildren that followed.  His wise and gentle manner helped me, as a mom, to remember to see the long range for my own children, and realize that even the most difficult moments can work out for the good.  I thank you, Ed, for being part of the intricate map of encounters that continues to bring clarity and definition to my life, and nurture my healing heart.

Every encounter I had with Ed filled my heart with gentleness, and I always came away loving and appreciating him for helping me to see through softer eyes.  His thoughtful and guiding way of asking questions makes me, yet, long for that amazing skill in myself, and I tried to pay attention to that mannerism, so that I might nurture that quality in myself.  Ed was a great listener and teacher of life lessons for me.  I will always have a precious place in my heart where I hold my memories of him.  I am forever thankful for the rich detail, and intricate stitches Ed brought to the lace of my life.

After being surrounded by his large and loving family, Ed slipped gently and peacefully from this world and into the next, with his wife and daughter at his side.  While his presence will be deeply missed at family gatherings, his loving and gentle essence remains with all of us who are blessed to have counted him as family and friend.

A precious gem, sparkling, and radiant from a life that exposed and polished his many faucets, he is now set in the Crown of God.