I’m sitting on a porch in Pennsylvania this morning. I am here for a big family and friends picnic in the tradition of Glen and Shirley Ranck, my parents. I am also here to help my brother and sister finalize the family home. My parents decided early on, they wanted their kids and their friends at our home. We built floats for the annual Mummers Parade at our home with a bunch of kids from high school. We had a swimming pool and trampoline and it was open to all! Approximately, 50 years ago two close friends and I dug the hole for an in ground trampoline and helped pick every pebble out from under what would become our swimming pool!
Years and years of friends, family and neighbors enjoyed that back yard. We have received notes from all over the country from people saying, “Coming to your backyard in the summertime was the highlight of our childhood years.” It was an inviting place! When dad was alive, he was pretty quiet in the background, but it was a big treat when he got home from work, for him to jump in the pool with us. Mom on the other hand was never quiet nor in the background! When you were in the yard, it was like you became her kid! She was fun but kept everyone in line.
Yesterday, my brother and I tore down the swimming pool, the trampoline was sold a year ago. We broke up what was left of the pool deck. Dad originally built it and it has had many repairs by others over the years. When I saw the pile of what was left, I felt this blog brewing!
It really hit me that the pile of debris does not come close to representing what transpired here on the corner of East Central Ave. and Church Street! The real value of life is not in the things we possess! In fact, the real value is when we use the things we possess to build community, relationships and share love with others.
Ultimately, everything each of us owns will be a pile of rubble. No earthly possession no matter how nice or how expensive will last forever. Only two things will last. Your relationship with God and your relationships with others. The really important things seem to be captured in these two pieces of art my sister made years ago, that are still hanging in the empty family home!
Today, as family and friends gather on what would have been Mom and Dad’s 66th wedding anniversary. Their legacy isn’t the property at 215 E. Central Ave. Their legacy is the life and love they shared at 215 with so many of us! I choose to celebrate the latter rather than be depressed about the former things passing away!