Last week was a rough week, we had to say goodbye to our sweet Aunt Glenda. She was 75 years old, she had a gentle spirit, she loved Jesus and our family.
It is hard to see all of my aunts and uncles get older. Time seems to get longer between our visits so the obvious (aging) smacks you in the face. And then there are my parents, who are in their 80's. I have always been grateful for the gift of time we have with them, they have great health and never slow down.
A week before this, Dad was not feeling well, we saw a couple doctors, they added and changed some medication. The day of the funeral he chose to stay home, he was not feeling like himself. This is so unlike him, to stay home. After the funeral I stopped by and he did not have his usual sparkle in his eyes. I left feeling sad and honestly... scared. This took me by surprise.
I've had three close friends lose their fathers, and as I watched them, I knew I would be here someday. So I started to prepare myself.
As I was driving after I left my Dad, I said out loud, "Now Laurie, we have talked about this and we have had many great years with them, heck you're the oldest so they have loved you the longest." I have talked with my parents about dying and I try to say everything I want to say to them. But I learned I am NOT ready!
So I went back and talked with my three friends and they all said the same thing, "You will never be ready, so stop trying, and enjoy the moments."
As we were driving home from the funeral my sister asked my mom to tell the story AGAIN of how our parents met, I found myself hanging onto each word, trying to memorize every detail. I had a taken a few pictures that day of aunts, uncles and cousins and as I went through them, the one picture that took my breath away was the picture I took of my mom kneeling in church, she was crying and my niece reached back to hold her hand. She held it for what seemed forever.
I sent the picture to my niece that night and this is what she wrote back:
"To me that's just my relationship with Grams. We have been holding hands for 28 yrs. That's a blink, if your lucky that blink will leave a smile on your face, love your people, don't wait to tell them. Don't wait to love them through grief. All the could have, should haves. Do it now. Say it now, it is so worth it!"
Wise words and so true. It is not about the things we need in this life, it is about the who we need in this life. We were made for relationships, so take the time to tell someone you really love them.
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14