When Archie and I decided that water “hiking,” aka kayaking, sounded like the next right step, we were wise enough not to just assume we would like it. First we found a local guide who gave an all inclusive tour down one of our local water ways. That way we would see if this was something we could do near home, check out what kind of kayaks would be best for us (we were introduced to the sit on top), and learn the basic technique.
We next borrowed sit in kayaks from one of Archie’s friends/a vendor he spoke with and lived near us, and practiced to see which kind we liked better. Soon after, we scheduled an all day kayak trip at the end of one of Archie’s business trips–taking an extra day off for vacation–during the year of our 25th anniversary (We did things through out the year in celebration. It took us 25 years to get there, why not celebrate for a year?) We did an 8 hour float with a guide in southwestern MO, it was a blast. We watched a bald eagle soar, fought through some whitewater, and made some amazing memories. Definitely an anniversary to remember.
During that float we were introduced to “carns.” We spoke of those at Archie’s funeral. According to our guide, carns were built in the pioneer/explorer days. They were stones stacked, one on top of the other, of various sizes. The intended purpose was to show that some one was there before them. It was a way to make/leave their mark.
We decided to apply that concept to our lives. We left carns on our adventures and introduced Taylor to the concept. The picture included is the last carn we built as a family during our last afternoon of canoeing.
We invited everyone who attended the funeral to sign a picture mat for Taylor to symbolize a “carn” for Archie, showing he had made a difference in their lives.
This week Pam, head of shipping at Heartfelt Creations came in just before she left for the day. She is one of the most creative people I know. She has worked in nearly every department, traveled and demonstrated at shows, organizes scraping retreats, and now has focused her attention on ensuring accurate shipping to over 43 countries. Wow.
She set an orange box, tied with twine, on my desk with the instruction,”Don’t open it until you get home. You’ll understand later.” ooooookkkkkkkk……..
When I got home Taylor met me in the kitchen, with the mail, and more medical bills. Yeah. I set the box on the table and Taylor looked at me inquisitively and anxiously. She is always unnerved after the mail arrives and needed me to say,”Everything’s going to be alright,” because I have faith that it will be…..eventually.
I grabbed a string and pulled, Taylor looking intensely at the box. The string fell to the side and I lifted the lid. Inside I saw tangled string and shiny brown stones. I started to lift one of the strings and say,”Wha–“, but Taylor exclaimed,”CARNS mom!” before I could even get one word out.
Pam had created matching necklaces for Taylor and I to represent the carns we built, Archie inparticular. Pam remembered and honored him, and us. Tears. I understood why she suggested I waited until I got home ;).
Proverbs 3:3 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
We aren’t worshiping Archie. The necklaces represent what Archie stood for and believed in. He loved the Lord passionately and it showed in the way he treated others and the integrity in which he worked. Ultimately, they are traveling carns to remind us he walked his talk, to Speak Life to everyone we come in contact (thank you Cassie), and that we need have to have the same courage to leave our mark, as Archie.
So now the question begs to be asked: what is the legacy you are leaving? Where are your carns and who are you building them with?
Thank you Pam….. .