By Vicki Scott
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
This is a quote by Pericles that holds a lot of meaning in my life. It makes sense when one looks at a gravestone. Most of them have just the name, date of birth and date of death. It is interesting to calculate the age of the person’s death, but basically, that is all that is left behind. My husband Alan and I recently went to a funeral, singing and church service that brought the rest of Pericles’ quote to life.
Larry Kilpatrick, who was a retired Alabama State Trooper, passed away earlier this week. He will be missed by many people. The pastor told how Larry, as a Sunday School teacher and deacon. kept him on his toes with questions about his sermons.
When we came back to First Baptist Reeltown months ago, the first thing Larry asked me was about my book. I praise God that I was able to tell him truthfully that it had been published. He was good at making people feel as if they could do the impossible. Larry was also a very good teacher, and his wife talked about how he was always studying his Bible. It showed.
The most touching part of the service was when his oldest granddaughter shared her testimony about life with her grandfather. She told the pastor several times she was her grandfather’s favorite of seven grandchildren. Larry wove the Word in many lives.
So many State Trooper cars were a part of Larry’s funeral procession from Notasulga to his gravesite in Tuskegee that everyone drove very slowly. We had four troopers behind us with their lights flashing. In any other situation, I would have had a heart attack, but this time I knew it was for Larry. Plus, I was not driving.
We went out to eat after the funeral was over, then headed to Titus. My brother invited us to a singing in honor of the mother of the man he works with, whose name is Russell. Russell’s mother has recently been diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor. I’m very familiar with this type of cancer because it is the same kind that took my father to his heavenly home. I did not know that these people played bluegrass music like my father’s side of the family, and we enjoyed some good music that reminded me of my childhood family reunions. The musical talent from our family must have skipped a generation. Neither of my brothers nor I have any musical ability. I wish we did, because I love music.
During the singing, Russell invited his mother to come up on stage and sing, and it was obvious she enjoyed it. Russell plans to keep doing that as long as his mom is able, because he knows she loves it. His children played and sang as well. What is most meaningful to me is how Russell and his family are treating their mother. The whole family was working together for her, and it was precious. It was an honor to relive my childhood and enjoy some good music. They are such a talented family.
While riding to church, I was thinking about life and what we leave behind. As we were walking toward the entrance of the church, several people in a van drove up to the doorway. A couple of ladies jumped out and scrambled to the right front seat to help an elderly lady out. The driver parked the van, and everyone else in the vehicle rushed to join in helping and walking with the elderly lady to the inside of the church.
Once I saw her, I realized the elderly lady was Miss Elizabeth, who taught my children Sunday School. Everyone loved Miss Elizabeth, and she loved them. It was such a blessing to see her with her family around her. Miss Elizabeth would not travel without her grandchildren, who seemed to be showing her the same love and respect. We wanted to talk to her, but she had too many people around her. It was like Miss Elizabeth was a celebrity. Much like in Pe-ricles’ quote she has done a lot of weaving.
Our son Joseph and his family arrived later in the service. I hope Miss Elizabeth saw him and the man he has become. She was a part of his growing up and she touched my life as well. Miss Elizabeth told Alan that he was handsome. I think he loves her, too. I love that Godly woman.
People come and go in our lives, and some of them make quite an impression. I have a song by Randy Travis in my head that goes, “It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you; it’s what you leave behind you when you go.”
I pray that I weave the right things.