Our daughter Shelly, her husband Philip, and their 5 kids, who are visiting from Fairbanks, Alaska, along with Patty and I drove up to Trout Lake, Washington today to see my Mom. We had a good time riding the 3 hours together, and a super time with Mom. I am sure she enjoyed seeing her great grandkids and us as well. Because they live so far away there is considerable time between visits and I don’t think any of Philip and Shelly’s kids remembered their great grandmother so it was a good time of getting reacquainted especially in light of the fact that because of Mom’s age it might be the last time they see her this side of heaven.
I wondered as I mostly sat and watched and listened as everyone was talking, what Mom was thinking and feeling, and then I started wondering what I would be thinking and feeling if that was me. In relationships we tend to do what we do because of immediate reward and fulfillment, and often their isn’t much with an old Mom, or grand Mom, or great grand Mom. Emotions and feelings of closeness and love get weaker as memories fade, and time between get togethers like today get farther and farther apart. It really doesn’t take much time apart for relationships, even really close ones to grow apart. As I thought about that I realized that the only thing that will keep relationships from drifting is for there to be a few very responsible people who do things because it is the right thing to do, even if it isn’t easy or natural. We drove 6 hours for 3 hours of visiting because it was a good thing to do. There were so many other pressing things begging for our time it would have been very easy to have not taken the time to do what we did.
I have a goal to call my Mom on the phone once each week, but I don’t do it much because I am so busy. I realized today that I am being very selfish and irresponsible, and making decisions on the basis of expediency and convenience, rather than what is good and right. I remade my goal with resolve thinking about all that I owe my Mom for who I am today. The command in the Bible to honor our Mother and Father is most important when they get old, but it is also when it is most difficult so it must be done with a strong sense of “this is good, right, and pleasing to God”.