My Google search was complete and my eager eyes beheld the images my curiosity longed to see.

The home of my grandparents was familiar to me from the outside, but yet there were significant landscaping modifications. Gone was an old tree close to the front edge of the property, as well as all the hedges that ran along side the southern side of the home and the front porch.

As I scrolled down on my search page, I was taken aback at the major interior renovations. The entire home had been remodeled. Joanna and Chip Gaines would be proud!

The home had been thoroughly flipped from the antiquated, quaint cottage I remembered from my childhood. I simply did not recognize it. My heart sank as my sentimental feelings were overcome with sadness. What had become of the home of my maternal grandparents?

The remodeling produced a brand-new kitchen that had been constructed in the previous dining area. A new bedroom had been added to the small, two-bedroom floor plan, and the small family room yielded its space to all the new construction.

There was not a single familiar square foot. All I had left were memories from a distant time and place.

As I viewed the backyard, the unattached garage had been demolished as well as the dog pen beside it. An old maple tree had been removed and a privacy fence had been erected. I surveyed the ground where I once played and enjoyed family activities. If only the old dirt could talk.

Each of us has lasting memories of special times and places. The ability to be transported back in time through old pictures, videos and stories generate gingerbread feelings, never to be forgotten. While time surges forward, there is a calm in our spirit as we gaze back at moments in time. If only we could step back into the picture and continue as if we never left.

The little boy who had played cars on the floor of the dining room, who had played Old Maid with my sister and grandma in the family room, and who had watched Bonanza on TV with his grandfather in the living room, was now decades removed from those spaces once occupied in the home.

Now there was nothing left for me to connect yesterday to today. The flashbacks from youth could not be accessed by a familiar floor plan. They passed away as I ended my Google search.

Memory is a beautiful gift from God.

The longer we live, the more blessed we are to remember a moment, a person, a place or occasion. In perspective, we realize that time is fleeting and left only to memory. What seems permanent today can be destroyed, remodeled or eliminated. Time does not wait for us. We must “redeem the time” as our lives grow shorter and we will one day pass away.

Let us endeavor to make memories today. Those moments that will be carefully secured in our hearts for future access. Memories that share love and compassion to those in our lives. As our life’s work ends one day, may it be said that we left memories forever forged on the hearts of those we leave behind.

Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon Shonebarger at

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