About 9:05 this morning I was headed to work and I glanced over at the house, where I saw the family climbing into the black limo for the solemn trip to the church to bury their mother. Mary Louis Mueller left this world last week and the time had come for the trip to her final resting place.
I paused at the stop sign at the intersection of Hufsmith and Stanolind and for a moment my own thoughts were brought back to my own parents passing. I knew the ride this family was about to take was a ride of mixed emotions. There are so many things that go over and over in a persons mind when death comes to a family and at times we are not able to contain them and then the tears begin to flow.
I have been in Ms. Mary's home off and on during many occasions since my childhood. If you walked into Ms. Mary's home and entered her kitchen you would not see the latest and greatest appliance man has ever made. There would be no sub zero freezers and commercial grade dishwashers. If you walked down the hall and opened her closet you would not see rows and rows of shoes that have only been worn one time and then placed back on a shelf for show only. Fine dresses from Paris are not hanging on her closet poles and you will not see her jewelry box full of large diamonds, necklaces or pearls.
No, Ms. Mary did not hold much stock in fancy things of this life but let me show you what she really had. If you walked into her kitchen, you would probably see odd pieces of paper hanging on her refrigerator with a magnet that had words scribbled on it from one of the grandkids. You would probably find a large array of pictures from various activities over the years with her family. There are probably several pictures of her sons, some of which served this country in uniform and there are probably pictures of her and her beloved husband. If you walked into her closet, you would probably find boxes of old report cards from her years of putting seven sons through school. Alongside the report cards are probably the valentine cards the kids made in grade school to their mom. Stuff she has saved all these years. There will probably be a box found of wedding invitations and birthday party announcements, baby pictures of the kids and then there will also be some obituaries cut from the local newspapers announcing the passing of loved ones and family friends.
In this life Ms Mary was not a wealthy person, yet she was richer than most with the things that count. She was rich with love and she gave of her love in multiple fashions. She first raised seven fine sons and then as they grew up to be men, sadly she had to bury two of them. I cannot fathom the pain she endured during those times. But, even with that loss, she continued to give back to the community through their annual fund raising events over the years giving to various causes to our community. She carried the wealth of kings in her heart and she shared that wealth with many.
I will continue to drive past this same intersection for many more years of my life and I will continue to glance over at her home. I know the family will have a lot of decisions to make over the next few years. Seeing momma's house now empty is a hard thing to do. Going inside the home and cleaning out her personal belongings is a tough job, but while doing it, remember each thing you move, each thing you touch, each piece of paper and every picture must have had meaning to her in some form or fashion. Yes, I know that we all have a lot of junk, but there will be a few things that you will look and wonder, "Now why in the world did mom keep that?" I'm sure that at the time there was good reason to keep them, but now that it has been put away, the items simply become memories. There is an important thing to remember, it's all part of her riches on this earth. They are her memories and her recollections of the things that were important. And now as you find these things, remember that "stuff" is a sign that Mom has given up things on this earth to give of herself to you.