GENDUSA COLUMN: Pie and ice cream in Heaven

Published 10:30 am Thursday, June 9, 2022

Occasionally, there are times when I wish I could laze away a day. Do nothing, think of nothing, ignore the chores, and not require food. The only problem with the whole scenario is that, thanks to my father, I am not made that way.  And, Lord, to miss a meal might send me to the hospital! Again, thanks to dear ol’ Dad!

When my father passed away in 1999, I informed my mother, “Don’t worry, Mom, daddy will be back if they don’t offer pecan pie and ice cream in heaven!” So, just for you folks out there who are concerned, there is ice cream and pie above the clouds; Dad didn’t return.

My father believed in working hard at whatever endeavor one attempted throughout life. Sitting down was never encouraged. “Pull your share and contribute to humanity” was a Walker family mantra. As far back as I can recall, our Walker clan were hard workers and fearless doers. I’m proud of that heritage, except when I get bone tired when the doer in me does not sit. Stopwatches must not be in our DNA because my cousin Bobby is like me; we never stop.

‘Lazy’ is akin to a foul word in my family. Like my father, it drives me nuts to see people who ‘could’ but don’t. Most of them wind up being complainers and ill-tempered.  As we become older, it is natural for most of us to slow down, except for Bobby and me. I can tolerate loafing just so much, and then suddenly, I want to pull the recliner out from under those sleeping, drooling, healthy crabby folks. Don’t they know there is still much to do before they can’t?

Often, I lay in bed, dreaming of what I might accomplish if I had more time. There are more words to say and write. I must tell my children a million things to avoid heartache because I, unfortunately, learned the hard way.  Gosh, it is a bit unfair that wisdom mostly comes with age. If they installed more knowledge up front, you would think we would have less regret on the back end.

I discovered that life isn’t about my life; it’s truly about what my living will do for others. Will my life make a tiny imprint on the earth for good? Don’t we all need to ask ourselves that question? Perhaps, if we did, we would make a more significant imprint than the one on the sofa.

It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor or somewhere in between because leaving our mark on society is not only about donating money; it is about sharing our spirit. Bobby, Daddy, and I don’t rest due to a genetic issue, but all folks should not waste precious moments in life if we are able.

The people who made the most extensive impact in my life were not those deemed by the world “successful.” Instead, it was those who successfully changed the world by what they did. And folks, they didn’t stop just because they aged; no, these special ones continued until they ended.

We often say, “Well, those folks need to do this for the country!” Or “It’s nice that those people helped others!” It is always what “those” did. Perhaps the correct word is “we,” not “those?”

We have a minuscule amount of time on this earth, and I am grateful for my many years compared to others who were never given a chance to live a long life. How many children have died before seeing what tomorrow held? How many teens pass away hours before they walk into the future? That should prompt our appreciation of our time and humble us enough to promote personal action.

In my father’s last year of life, he struggled to walk because of circulation problems and congestive heart failure. My parents lived in an independent living facility near me. You could find Dad in the parking lot many mornings, walking among the cars, armed with a bottle of Windex, rags, and cleaning all the car windows.

Until his last day, Dad followed the old Walker mantra. And just before he passed away, I asked, “Dad are you scared?” His response, “What in the world is there to be afraid of?!” My father had no fear of leaving earth to meet the Lord; who knew Dad lived his life helping others until he couldn’t. Be assured that pie and ice cream are waiting for us in Heaven if we keep doing and going until we can’t.