I spent a week with my parents after Christmas. My youngest brother and his wife had their first baby just before Christmas, so I had ulterior motives for the visit besides spending time with my aging parents. My father is about to turn 81 later this month and his health has been declining for many years. He still lives at home thanks to the efforts of my mother. Her health is beginning to show the wear and tear though.
Holding my two-week old niece at the dinner table, watching her sleeping, angelic face, I was struck by the irony of life. My niece is completely dependent on the adults who love her to sustain her and keep her alive. She needs us to feed her, clothe her, and keep her clean. She can’t go anywhere without someone taking her there. My father has come to the place in his life where he is also dependent on others to take care of him. He is completely dependent on my mother to sustain him. Without her care he would be in a nursing facility. He relies on my mother remembering to take care of him as much as my niece relies on her parents remembering to take care of her.
While I was there I attended the funeral of the father of one of my high school classmates. The funeral was on my birthday, two days before hers. In front of me sat a new mother with a very new baby boy. During the opening prayer of the funeral service the infant was voicing his own invocation. Not understandable to us perhaps, but just as dear and perfectly understandable to the Lord, and to Tommy Thomas who was listening in with the Father. I’m sure both were having a hearty chuckle over the baby’s prayer, since both have a tremendous sense of humor.
When I came home Thursday the cycles of life hit me again. Different cycles. Not the early spring and late winter cycles that come back around and have so many similarities, but the late summer / early autumn cycles. The cycles where the leaves of life are changing and beginning to fall off the tree. This cycle can be rewarding and fun when you’re sharing it with the one you love. It is just down right lonely when that one is gone and everyone else has forgotten you. The house is empty. Everyone else has their own life to lead, their own plans. Sometimes I think I need a change. I just don’t know what to change. Maybe I’ll check the drier to see what cycles it has. I know there is a “refresh” cycle… maybe that will help. I’m not quite ready for the “wrinkle release” cycle, so I’ll save that one for later.
Maybe I’ll just take a nap.