This Sunday is Mother’s Day and your weekend, I’m sure, will be filled with either the activities or memories that the day brings. Flowers, dinners, gifts and lots of hugs are what Mother’s Day is all about, and it is generally a good time.
However, some might actually find it difficult to read through a devotional like this, knowing that Mother’s Day accents a deep and, at times, painful loss. I am very aware that somebody reading this may have recently buried a mother or child and the wound is too fresh to think about. I’m not sure that it is possible to ever get over it, but it is possible to adjust and it does get easier over time – which is what I really want to write about here – time.
Most of us find that our days are very busy and filled with all sorts of detail. Very often it is difficult to separate the urgent from the important and to fall into the trap of majoring on the minor things. When company comes over, it is easy to fret about the house or that the kitchen hasn’t been cleaned up from dinner yet, and miss the joy of just being with the people that you love. The Internet and television just make things worse. When a family or group comes together it isn’t long before someone is online while others are gathered around a televised sporting event and still others are just preparing the meal – no guilt tripping here; we all do it. But the question is, is that what you really want to do with your time? Sometimes, it is a really good thing to just break the distraction habit and spend meaningful time focusing in deliberate conversation with the people we love.
All sorts of wonderful things occur when this sort of engaging conversation takes place. We discover things about those we love that we had somehow missed. Maybe it’s a story or a mannerism that is just a part of who they are; maybe it’s the truth in their eyes. Rehearsing family memories, vacations, reunions and, yes, even awkward moments brought to life by a photo album or a family video, quickly act like glue that serves to hold us together in difficult times.
Really, all that we have in this life, besides our faith in God, are places, people and time. It may seem that we have more than that, but all of those other things, whether money, possessions, jobs and positions are simply composed of or result from places, people and time.
Earlier this week, I spent the afternoon with my parents, walking around Kensington Metropark. We visited the livestock at the petting farm and gazed at a large number of swans that had congregated in an alcove on Kent Lake. We watched them from the shore and then sat down at a picnic table. I watched my mother and father, both now in their 80s, look at each other and also at the swans, which mate for life, and thought how fitting it was since next month Mom & Dad will celebrate 68 years of marriage; still lovebirds as well.
Life has slowed down for them over the past few years and I have watched them simply take time for each other. At their age and from their vantage point, they seem to realize the true value of people and time. Happy Mother’s Day Mom…I love you.
Here are some memories from our day together.