It has been a very soggy day. It’s as if all of the rain we’ve been missing lately all came at once. With gusto. And lightening. Boy, has the light show been impressive.
My mother has come down with some sort of bug and needed to be resting today so I got to take my dad to a doctor’s appointment. The days can get so busy tending my kids and all the stuff that comes with life in general that time to visit with my parents apart from the daily phone call doesn’t come easily. While I am not happy my mother is sick it was nice to have to put everything else aside and go spend time with my dad.
I was left alone in the examination room for a few minutes while they took him back for an x-ray. While I was holding his things I breathed in the familiar scent that is my father. I can’t describe it really. It’s a mix of him, his aftershave, the laundry detergent my mother uses, and just their house, their smell. It’s the smell of comfort.
My parents are getting older. They’re having to adjust to a new season of life and it’s one that I imagine is kind of uncomfortable. Limitations and the reality of not being able to keep doing all the things they’ve always done they way they’ve done them is not a whole lot of fun. Not wanting to be a burden on me and my sisters also weighs on them.
But as I buried my nose in my Dad’s vest and smelled deeply the smell that is him, I realized what a privilege it is to care for our parents as they grow older. And, more importantly, I wish for them to see it as an honor. My Dad has earned every ache and pain he feels now because for years his body has faithfully done what he asked of it whether it was jumping 255 times out of an airplane with the 82nd airborne division during his time in Vietnam, or slinging a hammer or any of the other physical labor he did most of our lives to provide for our family. My Mother is moving slower but all of my life I have seen her go from one act of service to another, always helping wherever there was a need.
My parents are still pretty young. There is still much that God has for them to do. But they also will be learning the art of receiving gracefully that which they have always been the ones to do. And while there are some small things that are changing it’s not like it’s anything too drastic. But there is change happening and probably more in the years ahead.
So to my precious parents I say, you may not like this new season of life…you may find the limitations a great big pain in your backside…you may be frustrated by needing help when before you didn’t. But trust me when I tell you that we, and I know I speak for all of us girls, are beyond thankful that God has given you to us and it is our great joy to love you and do things for you.
It’s how you raised us. So, please don’t begrudge our obedience to what you taught us as we seek to show you the honor due you as our parents. Honestly, we don’t mind.