I’m just going to say from the outset that this is going to be long and probably depressing, so you probably won’t want to read it.
Late October is always a reflective time of year for me. My Dad died on October 20, 1987; my Mother’s birthday is October 27th (she would have turned 68 next week). This time of year, I find myself thinking particularly lonely thoughts. I wonder what my life would be like if my parents were still alive. What would they be doing these days? Would they still be living in the house I grew up in? Would they still be working? Would they be active retirees? I like to think of them visiting Mayfair on Sundays when I would be preaching. Would Dad have liked my sermon, I wonder. (I’m pretty sure Mom would like it no matter what!) I like to think of them taking us to lunch afterward, my Mom helping with the kids. Speaking of the kids, what would they think of them? I like to picture them as mobile grandparents, coming down for ball games and ballet recitals and to keep the kids so I could take Sunny somewhere special for a long weekend. I like to think about them being a part of Abby Kate, Joshua, and Jackson’s lives.
The fact that they aren’t causes me perhaps the greatest pain I’ve ever known.
So I often carry this abiding loneliness around with me. On most days, the thought of a heavenly reunion is balm for my soul. I have to confess that I sometimes daydream about introducing Sunny and the kids to my parents. I have this whole little speech in my head of what I would say in that moment; how each of the kids has certain qualities that reminds me of Mom and Dad; how Sunny helped to save me in the aftermath of their deaths. I don’t know much about heaven and I doubt it’ll go down that way, but on my wishful days I like to think about a moment like that.
But I also have to confess that sometimes, all of this isn’t enough. Sometimes the thought of being with my loved ones in heaven simply does nothing to assuage the pain I feel in the present. It’s on those days that I feel the loneliest. I used to miss my parents the most on the big days: graduations, birthdays, my wedding day, the days my kids were born. And make no mistake: those days were incredibly difficult for me. But lately, I find myself missing the little things I know I’ll never get to share with them, things like a cell phone call to talk about the ball game…calling to tell them the latest funny story about the kids…stuff like that that make up the everyday fabric of our lives. That’s what I grieve the most right now.
Sorry for the downer post, but it’s my blog and this is an honest reflection of where I’m at these days. I guess my encouragement to you is that if you still have a Mom and Dad who are still living, pick up the phone and give them a call today. Do it for me. I’d certainly do it if I could.