Yesterday my dad had shoulder surgery. While helping him put chapstick on his post-surgery dry lips, figure out his ice compression machine, and getting him “set up” at home, I was reminded of an article I wrote a month ago. I am resharing this to remind myself and everyone else, that as our parents are changing and aging, to relish each moment with them.
Recently a close family friend passed away. He was a work horse. I rarely saw him sit down. It seemed as he was always tinkering with this or that, watching over others, or just busy. His passing was quite unexpected. In reaction, a friend commented on how not so long ago we were spending our time attending weddings or baby showers filled with seasons of joy and hope to now attending life’s final season. The seasons of life are changing. Grandma and Grandpa are the jelly to our PB&J. Sure a PB is satisfying and quite fulfilling. But spread in a little jelly and ooh the sweetness. Yep they are sweetness, that little extra that makes our lives a little brighter, our children happier, and our lives that much better.
My parents seemed ageless for the longest time. Now, however, I seem to see each new white strand, slowed step, or forgetful moment. My dad, like our friend, is a work horse. To get him to sit down is like asking our one year old to sit still. Sure he’ll do it, but not for long. There is always something out there for him to fix, a dish to wash, a leaf to pick up. Awakened, I see my parents in new light. Have I taken them for granted? Do I say thank you enough? Give enough hugs? When was the last “I love you”? I do not want this moment to be the last, no one ever does. What I’ve learned as the wedding and baby shower announcements have changed to writing sympathy cards is that life’s seasons are about growing and changing.
Last week I helped hang their lights, straighten the tree, and could have done so much more. My parents gave me a wonderful childhood and I want them to have a beautiful retirement. May a moment not pass without helping them enjoy this next life season. As for my children, I am so glad that when I look into my oldest eyes, I see his Grandpa’s beautiful eyes and in my youngest , his crinkled, mischievous smile. Grandma has taught the older ones, the art of baking, the respect of a “bless you”, the spirit of the nap fairy, and the love only a Grandma could give. May the next moment not be the last, until their season changes, I’ll do all that I can to see that this season is the best.