Yesterday, Saturday, October 5th, my mother would have been 89 years old. She’s been gone since 1998, but I can’t help but think of her on what would have been her birthday every year. It’s not one of those things that I dwell on, but the day never goes unacknowledged. Mom passed away Sept. 14th back in 1998 and this year, it was Janet’s father who passed away on Sept. 12th, just two days before the anniversary of my mother’s death.
Janet was very fortunate in that she had time with her father before his passing to express her love for him; and John certainly expressed his love for all of his daughters and the rest of his family as well. But I have been thinking quite a bit lately about how long it has been since I have heard either of my parents say, “I love you”. Oh, I know that I am older and that it is supposed to get easier with age. After all, as the older generation, we are the ones usually telling our kids and grandchildren that we love them. And to be honest, the younger generations just don’t seem to have grown up the same way that we did. Traditions and honor just don’t seem to be as important as they used to be.
On a related note my cousin, David, and I do ministry work together and I take on the responsibility of receiving donations and entering them in our accounting system. His mother, Alverta, is still living and is quite remarkable. I have know her for a number of years and while David’s and my fathers, who were first cousins, are both gone, his mother prays for him, and for me, every day. It is heartwarming to know that there is someone out there who lifts you up to the Most High God every day. Anyway, this week-end David received a donation from his mother. As I opened up the envelope I noticed a short handwritten note – “Love you… Mom”.
For a moment, I stared at the handwriting and noticed how similar it was to my own mother’s notes. Admittedly, there was a sense of sadness, maybe even a little daydreaming, before I was jerked back into reality and I realized that it was David, and not I, who received the love note from “Mom”. I am sure that the whole situation hit a little closer to home based on the fact that it was my mother’s birthday. Nonetheless, I was blessed to see a love note from a mother to her son.
I still miss my parents – and even though I had my occasional issues with Mom and Dad throughout the years, I can’t even think about them without using words like honor and respect – words that seem a little hollow today. And that is reinforced by the dignity and respect that Janet’s father exhibited his last several weeks on this earth. It was remarkable.
The verse for this evening is just about the only one that even crossed my mind as I think about parents and children. From Ex. 20:12, in the section of the Bible called the Ten Commandments, we are told by God, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” My encouragement this evening is that regardless of whether they are alive or not, God wishes for you to honor your parents – and by the way, He also wants your children to honor you – whether you are the best Mom or Dad in the world or not. My prayer is that you will keep trying to be the best that you can be and that some day, your children will still honor and respect you years after you have gone home to heaven. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…