Today would have been my parent’s 73rd wedding anniversary. I truly treasure them! Yet, there’s not much to celebrate, today, because they both passed away about 18 years ago. I lost my dad in August 1999, and my mom died 26 weeks later, on February 17, 2000. Together for 55 years, I can’t tell you the number of times my mom would say, “I’m going to leave him.” Yet, she never did! Then after he passed away, my mom felt lost without my dad. She didn’t want to live any more without him. She easily succumbed to an illness, and before I could catch my breath regarding my dad’s passing, I lost my mom too.
It’s stunning how we tend not to appreciate what is right in front of us, until it’s gone. That was true for my mom, and it is true for me. My guess is that it just might be true for you, too. It is only in my parent’s absence, that I truly treasure the memories of their presence. For example, my dad was not a mushy, sentimental kind of guy. He was a man of little words. So, he wasn’t one to tell me that he loved me, but he showed his love through action instead.
During my dad’s last few weeks of his life, while hospitalized, I flew home to see him. He must have told me 50 times that evening, upon my arrival home, that he loved me. He kept saying it repeatedly. The next day, he needed to be intubated, and would never again speak another word. Eighteen years later, I treasure that memory of being in my father’s presence. I treasure the repeated statements of “I love you.”
Treasure the Presence
Treasure the presence while in the present. Don’t wait for the absence to treasure the memories of presence.
May the souls of my mom and dad, and all those whom you love, who have passed away, rest in Christ’s peace, Amen.
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