Friday, July 14, 2017

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." ~ unattributed

This is that very famous day of the week that so many long for as they travel this earthly sod. That's right. It's Friday, and this one happens to fall on July 14, 2017. I suppose I am going to be thanking people for a long time as we continue our journey. So many have been so very kind during these past seven months where we dealt with the inevitability of having to lay mom and dad to rest, but, none of us would have ever thought it would have been these seven months, in this year. My sister JoAnn sent that photo. I worked on it a little and added the digital frame. I had not even remembered it being taken. That is, with me in it. I like it because it tells a story. We all, our entire family, did what we could to support these two that God had given into our lives. I've had people tell me how that our devotion to seeing after our parents has been an inspirational testimony. Really? I'm not being overly humble here, but, to me, and I mean this, it was our privilege, and more to the point, it was, my privilege to do what I could on their behalf. I'm blessed because God provided me the means to be there as much as I could and I am also blessed to work for people who supported me. One day I was talking to my brother Victor just before dad's passing. I told him I wasn't in a big hurry to get over there because I had no unpaid bills with our dad. We were up to date. With each other. He mentioned that was a good way to put it. That's what I think about when I look at that portrait. No regrets. We did what we could and I thank God for the peace that comes with that realization. Amen.

Now. When it comes to all that was done each and every day by those in our family who acted as hands-on caretakers for mom and dad, well, their example of devotion is one that none of us will ever forget. Again, my brother Victor, he mentioned at dad's home-going service how that if you look up true love in the dictionary you will find a picture of those lovingly serving our mom and dad. Now it's my turn to say, that's a good way to put it. Let me try to put that into some perspective. While I did put many miles going forth and back to check on them, when my visit was concluded, I returned home. Mom first, and then dad, they each required 24x7 care, and we were blessed to have family who stood in the gap for them. Yes. We were especially blessed to have our niece MaryBeth, a licensed nurse, who cared for both of them. But, there were many others as well. And, while we did provide some minimum financial compensation for MaryBeth, I can assure you, the care our parents received could not have been purchased out in the public domain. Again, that does what? It makes us thankful as we are humbled in how God worked through our family to honor our parents. Amen.

We continue to get cards from those who care. These expressions of love, support, and sympathy are appreciated. The good news about mom and dad is how their being such blessings to us all does help us to move on. We were not shortchanged with their time here. They both lived lives of significance. They both made contributions in their own ways to the helping of others in their family, in their Church, in their community, and to those in need all around. I think of mom's ongoing commitment in her support for St. Jude's Research Hospital where children are treated for cancer, free of charge. I think of dad's willingness to spend countless hours helping a veteran friend get all his affairs in order as he lived out his final days. I think about their many trips made to help build new facilities for missionaries who work with American Indian tribes. I could go on. I hope you see what I mean. Imperfect people living in an imperfect world, but, they ran a good race with the lives God gave to them, especially as a couple, and for that, we are forever grateful. Some will read this and think it to be a form of grieving on my part. It could be, and if it is, so be it. Yet, we still have to get on with it. You know. Each and every day. That includes today. Have yourself a wonderful week ending Saturday and then enjoy the first day of the week, Lord's Day Sunday. I will do my best to catch back up with you next time. Until then, may God bless. Amen. .....More later.

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