Legacy, in loving memory of Delores Lightsey Powell. For those of you who have previewed or purchased The Legacy of Aris, this book has a memoriam. Here it is as it appears in the book:

In loving memory of
Delores Lightsey Powell…
May God carry you forever in His arms.

We all have people who are important to us as different times of lives, and Mrs. Delores was one of those for me. When I first new her, she was the mother of the family who moved in next door after “the guy with the German Shepherd” moved away. They had a son about my age, and in the 70’s, this meant someone to play with. Eventually, an arrangement was orchestrated between our families where she would keep me during the summer and after school (I believe – that was a long time ago). Given that I was a handful, it was a lot to deal with – I’m sure of that. However, still she kept me and eventually my sister also.

Because she did, and because that family did, they rubbed off on me. Much to my parent’s frustration, the sandbox I preferred and the fort I spent the most time in was in the Powell yard. Some of my earliest memories are from playing in their back yard…

  • walkways of multi-colored carpet samples making paths in the grass
  • kite string intentionally woven through the yard’s trees like a big spider net
  • a blue-dyed Easter chick after it had been attacked by a cat
  • a frozen “Stretch Armstrong” in a pail outside
  • captured frogs (Sorry, most of those didn’t survive our attentions)
  • iridescent “June-bugs” that pinged into their metal awning and ended up stunned on the ground
  • a hole dug through the thin topsoil of their yard and deep into the “Georgia Red” clay (that Mr. Powell had to fill back up)

What’s above is an odd memoriam, I’ll admit, because it’s not about what she did. However, if she’d never said yes to my being there, I wouldn’t have those memories, and I would be a different person to some degree.

Attending the memorial service for Mrs. Delores, I learned things about her I never knew about her family, her history, her kindness, and the love others had for her. Growing up, I only got to see a small, small part of her life. However, The Legacy of Aris is dedicated to her because of the contribution she and her family made in my life and in the life of our family.

The dedication is made for one other reason – a reminder of a life lesson. People in your life are always more complex and deeper than you suspect. Her son became a gifted sculptor and caricature artist, and I think he achieves in art what we sometimes do unintentionally in life – create only a sketch of a person in our memory. It may be a good sketch; it may capture some unique aspects of a person, but I think only in eternity we’ll be able to truly know those with whom we have lived.

Some believe that in Heaven, those who have impacted you in your faith walk will be there to greet you. Among many others, I know she will be there; how could someone who took good care of you be said as having done any less? Thank you, Mrs. Delores. I’ll see you in the future.