My daughter, who as you know lives with her husband and son in Cambodia, has a new carved elephant sitting on their TV stand. It’s an African bull elephant sitting on his haunches, with painted ears, eyes, and toes. It seems a bit out-of-place — it’s the only carved anything in their house that I know of, and certainly in their family room. As a result, I knew why it was there even before I asked her about it.
My wife and I also have an elephant — several elephants, actually — on a lacquered piece on the wall of our bedroom. It’s titled “Homeland of Elephants,” and, as something of a coincidence, was also purchased in Cambodia, at an artisan’s shop in Siem Reap.
These two items have a few things in common: they’re both of elephants, they were both purchased in Cambodia, they’re owned by daughter and parents. But the most important thing they have in common is the reason they were purchased. When I saw Ashley’s elephant, I asked her where she got it. “At a craft fair.”
“It reminded me of Mimi.”
Those are the same words I said to my wife when I saw the lacquered elephants in the artisan shop. “I would like to get this; it reminds me of Mimi.”
It was fifteen years ago today that the Lord decided Mimi had spread enough laughter and love and stories around this earth and that He had other things for her to do. She would probably get a kick out of two generations continuing her elephant collecting, which she got into quite by accident.
I’ve written about her before, and there’s not much else to say other than the obvious: she is deeply missed, her influence continues on opposite sides of the planet, and she is thought of pretty much every day.
Because when it comes to her, we have memories like … you know.