My mother told me many times that she missed her parents every day. I was a teenager at the time and I thought that was so odd. I mean, of course I loved my grandmother. I knew her. I was 14 years old when she died. She seemed terribly old to me and I thought my mom should be more use to not having her parents. My grandfather had died when I was just five years old and I only have one brief memory of him and it isn’t a positive memory. Hmmm, I wondered where this longing came from. Logically, they had been gone a long time and yet my mother missed them very much. She remembered how her mother had taught each of her daughters to guard themselves and to dress modestly and to work hard. There was a mistrust that was passed along from Grandmother to mother to daughter regarding dangers in the world. I carried that fear for many years and conquered it after taking an Impact training class (high contact self defense where you learn to kick heads and get away). I learned hard work and that everyone loves the person who takes care of the dishes after dinner. I always help to clean up.
My grandfather taught my mother about gardening. I understand that he always had beautiful gardens. He also had a big temper and when I slammed the door to his kitchen one too many times, I received a slap on the head that left my ears ringing. I remember running to his garden and walking there for solace. My grandmother came out to console me and talk about not slamming doors. She said that I should appreciate my grandpa for the beautiful garden and that he loves me enough to teach me not to slam doors. I never really learned not to slam doors but I do think of him every time I do. And I remember all the lovely days I would spend near my mom as she gardened. I know that love of gardening came from her dad.
I really miss my mom today. I can tell you so many stories about the person she was. You only saw her in her older days when she was tired and sick with such limited mobility. I remember her vigor and how she taught me so many things: to cook, to sew, to knit, to try. She taught me about God and his Holy Mother Mary and passed along her steadfast faith. I know that I will see her again one day.
I am grateful that I still have my dad with us. He has always worked hard and been a very action oriented man; a leader who always has a plan. I know that these days of diminished capacity are difficult for him. I hope that I am helping him in these years and enjoying his company as much as I should. What a blessing my parents have always been to me.
I miss my mother in law too. She and my mother died in 2012. Sometimes their passing seems so raw and fresh to me. My grief and longing overwhelm me. Many times I think of them. Such good, loving women that God so graciously put into my life. Not perfect but good people. I know they both forgave my failings, took pride in my success, and loved me with all their hearts.
We are fortunate to still have my father in law too. He is still strong willed and able. He golfs multiple times a week although he needs a cart now. He should ask for help more often. We are so glad when we spend time with him. After he recently visited, we had the golf channel on our TV for a couple of weeks. We would turn it on and watch a little golf, think of dad and then turn to our current Netflix series.
It may be a bit self serving of me to say this but cherish your time with your mom and dad. Cherish the time with your grandfathers. Truely, “Honor your father and your mother”. I know that we will see our moms in heaven again. I know that our time with our dads is fleeting.
Oh God, help us to be the sons and daughters that you desire us to be. Help us to Honor our fathers and mothers. Help us to forgive them their failings, to love them, to listen to them and to honor the place you have given them in our lives. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. Amen.