I have just gotten home from spending the last 2 weeks with my parents. I drove to Indiana by myself to pick them up and drive them back. Then they stayed with the whole family and were able to watch 6 football games – 2 Jr. High, 2 Jr. Varsity and 2 Varsity. Then I loaded up with them and drove them back to Indiana. Finally I spent a couple of days visiting and doing several little miscellaneous jobs before traveling back to Missouri alone. All total I have spent 16 days with my parents.
So today I am reflecting on the time I spent with them and some little lessons I have learned or at least remembered.
1. No one knows what tomorrow brings. Last Christmas I made plans with my parents for the year. We knew when and how they would visit and how the year was going to work. Then in April my dad had a stroke and everything changed. No plans remained and life had been different since that day. We never saw it coming.
2. At some point you need to let people help you. Dad did not want me to drive up to bring them back to Missouri. But at this point there was really no other choice if he wanted to see his grandkids. At some point all of us need help, but most of us are resistant to ask. To be honest I was glad to help.
3. Marital love means serving. I watched my mom take over and help my dad in every way. She checks his sugar and gives him his shots for his diabetes. She helps him do almost everything right now. It is sad to watch and beautiful all at the same time.
4. It doesn’t matter who wins the ballgame. I can get emotional about games especially if they involve my kids. I told mom that I am sorry they had to watch a couple of bad losses by the boy’s teams. She kindly explained that the score didn’t matter, they just came to watch the kids. She was right, it didn’t matter who won the game.
5. Take time to relax. With four boys life can be go, go, go. But everyone needs time to just set and let the world go by. It is okay to not be busy. It is especially good to take a nap.
6. Time together is the best part of life. My two favorite parts of the time with my parents were simple times we spent together. First was traveling in the car with my mom beside me. We talked and talked while dad took a nap in the back seat. My other favorite time was sitting in the garage talking with my dad while we waited on my mom to return from the grocery store. We spoke of birds and stuff and life in general. The best times in life are just being present with the people we love.
I am glad my parents came to visit and I hope they can make it back in the spring. I enjoyed our time together and they continue to teach me about life, even after all these years.