Saturday, July 28, 2012

Family Stories

I really enjoy a good story. Especially stories that are a result of a shared experience. And most especially when it's something shared with my family. You know, when you can just say a few words or a phrase and everyone involved knows exactly what you're talking about. A few words can bring about laughter and that warm feeling from a sweet memory. Just such a thing happened this week. Johnny and I were in Georgia while our 3 kids were at Student Life Camp. Before Johnny and I left for Georgia to visit his parents at their lake house we heard that the 14 year old Sea-Doo had not been put in the water and no one was sure if it was even working. Johnny made it his mission to get it working. The first time he and I put it in the water, it definitely was not going to start. Unwilling to pay someone to work on a 14 year old personal watercraft, Johnny just asked for some advice from the guy at the marina. To make a long story short, he fixed it! That night I tweeted to my kids that it was working and we had gone out on the lake. Josh tweeted back, "that's awesome! Hope you made it back without getting lost in South Carolina." I laughed a little just typing that tweet. That's a really long story but, needless to say, he was referring to a time when I got lost on the lake and ended up in South Carolina when my inlaws' lake house is on the Georgia part of the lake. That happened in 1998 and we still get a  laugh out of it.

The reason Josh tweeting that was particularly meaningful to me is it's the exact story I was thinking about when I was riding behind Johnny on the Sea-Doo the other day. You see, the reason we were in Georgia is because Johnny's dad is really sick. We've been going to Georgia and spending time on that lake for all of our 24 years of marriage. When we first starting going, Johnny's dad would wake Johnny and his friends up at the literal crack of dawn, when the water was still, and drag them all over the lake skiing. Johnny's dad has had a number of boats over the years and we've done all kinds of skiing, tubing, and fishing out there. Then, in 1998, he bought that Sea-Doo. He was like one of the kids, pushing it as fast as it would go, coming into the cove and doing donuts. We still have photos to document him taking all of his grandkids out when they were way to little to ride it by themselves. Sweet memories.

I'm pretty sure that was the year that I took the Sea-Doo out and got lost on the lake. The next day he took me out in the fishing boat with a map and showed me how to read the map and the corresponding buoys. He wanted to make sure I never got lost on that lake again.

So, the other day I rode on the back of that old Sea-Doo (that Johnny put back together with duct tape) with tears streaming down my face, like they are now. He didn't even know. I was thanking God for a life well lived. For a man that has cared so deeply for his family and so many of his friends. For one so giving and faithful. For so many great memories and so many great times out on that lake. I'm grateful for the years that I've been a part of the Dickerson family and our shared stories and memories.

Serving the King,