I don't get away very often to the area where my parents grew up - and I am not proud of that. While my mother has been dead for nearly nine years, her family is still very prominent in Southeastern Kansas, as is my father's. So I was finally able to get away for a few days and take my dad here to visit with his remaining brother and sister. Once, he had nine siblings. Time is taking its toll.
My dad is staying with his brother this evening, so I headed back to the hotel about 25 miles away to read and write a little. On the way back I stopped at the cemetery where several family are buried - I probably haven't been back there since I was a teenager. I took pictures of several gravestones, including my great-grandfather's, Andrew Johnson McCracken.
I don't get maudlin about such things, and I'm certainly not sentimental when it comes to burial sites (when my time comes, I'd rather they just cremate me and let the wind carry me where ever it will), but there is something wonderful about walking on the land where your relatives once walked. I always take time to walk around the farms where my uncles lived (and live), knowing that my grandparents once lived there and raised my father there.
As I say every Sunday to my congregation: life is short. Don't have regrets. Visit your relatives when you can. Be swift to love, and make haste to be kind.