family, parenting, small town living

Seasons of Life

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.



2 thoughts on “Seasons of Life”

  1. woow! you are making me feel so sad, I’m getting a lump in my throat. My dad died in Jan.2011 and I was fortunate to to say my goodbye’s and how much I loved him. But still in hindsight I always think that I didn’t do enough for him and I feel so guilty amongst other emotions. I feel that I can never give back enough to my parents to show them my love and gratitude. As I saw my parents aging in their 70’s I realized I must start being a support for them and I became more of a rock and started to take them out once or twice a week for tee, to a lake, etc, we had to fix their tv/remote control stations, get them tapes for the blind as they couldn’t see very well, etc..
    I bought my mom and dad a special little Tracfone SVC ($15, especially for seniors) so that they could phone me whenever they wanted (it only costs $7/month for service) and they could even phone me overseas on this phone. This is just a little example of what was a little comfort to them.
    When I look back to my child hood I was such a rebel and I was always fighting with my mother and now I have a lot of humility and respect for all the hard work and sacrifices she has made for me. As we get older family and friends means more and more, some seniors even count and write down how many people phoned them for their birthday. Now in hindsight I want to be devoted to my mom, I don’t want regrets one day when she is no longer with us.

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