In every life, in every day, there are changes we must face. It begins when we are born, coming from the warmth of the womb into a cold and harsher world. We hit milestones, rolling over for the first time, taking those first tenative steps, learning how to go up and down the stairs.
As we get older, our milestones change. We go from a chubby toddler just exploring the world of our home to an adolescent in grade school. Puberty strikes and we move to dating and clothes and music. We earn our diploma and graduate to a myriad of things, from college, to military, to jobs, to marriage and family. We do these things in any order, depending on us and our plans and dreams. These are all changes we make in our lives. We look forward to some of them, like getting our drivers license, while we face others with distress, facing the unknown is scary and change can be scary too.
As we age, our parents age too. By the time we finally think we know what we are doing with our lives, we find that our parents need us, much like we needed them when we were younger. We become a bridge between the generational gap. We may have children who are of any age from very young to fully grown when this happens. We notice our parents have become a little more frail, or a little more forgetful or any number of things that come with age. If we are truly lucky, they are healthy and still active. We may also have lost one or both parnets due to illnesses or accidents. There are many ways these changes can affect us.
My husband and I are fortunate to say that we still have all but one parent alive and healthy. My parents, in their 70’s, are active and vital personalities. My mother-in-law is the same and she is 74, having retired 3 times and gone back to a new job. She has finally really retired. We feel truly blessed to still have these important people in our lives. My father-in-law had passed away before I met my husband so I never got to meet him.
As our roles are ever changing it is nice to think that if they need us, we are here for them. Personally, my husband and I have lived with his mother for several years now, helping her keep her home neat and being there when she comes home from a full day of work. We have never seen this as a burden. We consider it a privilege to be able to honor her for being a mother to her children for so many years. My own parents have not needed us as yet, but we are available if they do. It is not a burden, to care for our parents, but a blessing that gives us the comfort and knowledge that they are being cared for the way our heavenly Father would want us to care for them.
In this day and age, it is not an easy thing to do, and some are not able to do it at all. However, for those whoh ave had the blessing of being able to care for their parent(s), it is an opportunity to draw closer tot hem and give them love, as they did for us. Life comes full circle int his manner.
I only hope that the younger generation feels the same way. I worry, but in the end it really doesn’t matter to me. I will know that I lived my life doing things that make my Father in heaven smile. In this way, I can say my life had meaning.
The reason I wrote this blog is because my mother-in-law has moved from her home of some 50 years, to another state, where her daughter and family have built an apartment for her to live in. It is giving them the same privilege we have had these past few years, and I am sure it will enrich their lives as it has ours. She will only be a few hours away, but the leaving has been hard, particularly on my husband. We are still in this home of hers, that he grew up in, and he is surrounded by so many memories. However, his mother is not here. It will be strange for a bit while he adjusts to the change, but he is happy for her and his sister. These seasons of change occur and we learn to deal with them as they happen. It is what makes life so challenging and worthwhile. It can be a blessing or a curse, but it is still change. It is up to us how we embrace the change and work with it.