As I return from a long journey, which began a week ago when my son Jason and I climbed into a moving van and started the long trek from Puyallup, Washington to El Paso, Texas, I had no idea all of the emotions it would entail. I will always cherish the conversations we had in the confined quarters of that truck cab as we journeyed through Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Texas. Time passed quickly, much more so than I anticipated, as we talked about things we would not have talked about had we not been together for those four days of traveling. It was a great time!
I hadn’t seen my mother in well over two years (shame on me) and took the opportunity, while in that part of the country to fly to Colorado Springs and spend a couple of days with her. She will celebrate her 85th birthday in May, and was so glad I had the occasion to see her. She lives alone and is in remarkably good health, considering her age. For the most part she has a good mind, however it was difficult seeing her struggle to remember certain things that once came so easy for her. It was bittersweet looking through the myriad of photo albums she had collected over the years and sobering to think about how quickly time had passed. I will celebrate my 60th birthday this year, and I just don’t feel in the least like I am that old…that is until I look in the mirror.
Looking at sixty years worth of photos took me on another trip, an emotional trip down memory lane. It was a trip of remembering the joys of family celebrations, the pain of broken families, and the loss of loved ones in death. Some through natural causes, some through reckless living, and far too many from traffic accidents. I was determined to get through every album in her house, looking at one, passing it to my mother, then picking up another and doing it again, and again, and again.
One of the highlights of my trip was spending a full day with my older brother George and his family. Our parents were divorced when I was six and he was twelve. In many respects he was like a father to me. Our father charged him with taking care of his little brother, a charge he took very seriously then, and in many respects takes seriously to this day. Needless to say, we are very close.
We were able to spend a good amount of time talking about things we had never really talked about before. We talked about the difficulty of trying to process our parents divorce and the effect it still has some fifty-four years later. We talked a lot about our dad who passed away ten years ago. And we laughed a lot about things that only we thought were funny. I find it interesting, that no matter how old you are, when you are around your siblings, it is as though you were just kids again.
And so, as I sit on the plane, about an hour out of Seattle, I am very glad to be going home. I missed my wife Jenny and return renewed in my appreciation of her. I am so grateful for her willingness to let me go on this trip. She sacrifices so much for me.
I am thankful for the stability that the Lord brings to my life and the reminder this week of His faithfulness. And I am especially thankful for the good health the Lord has given me and the opportunity to serve Him in the manner I do. I am looking forward to the years to come. I am renewed in my understanding of how important it is to ‘redeem the time’. Yes the days are evil and unpredictable, but with the Lord they are good. He sustains us, strengthens us,and bring us great joy in the midst of great heartache.