Proverbs 21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”
This past week was spent in Cape Hatteras, NC with all of my siblings and most of their spouses. This was a bucket list trip sponsored by my 82-yearold father. This will be a much talked about trip as we all had a wonderful time on the island.
It becomes difficult to see ones you love struggle. My Dad has the onset of Parkinson’s and has come to accept much of what the disease has taken from him. Allowing others to care for you, and feeling the youthful side of your life as only a memory are only some of the challeges he is facing.
Being together with all eight of us was fun, warm and humorous. We chartered two fishing trips – a half day and and all-day deep sea fishing trip that gave us all wonderful memories. We climbed a lighthouse, walked the beaches and played in the surf. We sat by the pool, read good books and shopped the island stores for mementos.
But probably the most memorable will be the dinners. To see each chipping in to cook, prepare and clean up for those meals was one of the more precious memories I will take with me. The talk around the table was heartwarming, funny and special. I caught my Dad more than once looking around the table with nostalgia in his eyes.
I have in my life, seven other people who shared a childhood with parents who invested in their children. The fruits of that investment were revealed in many ways this week. I saw sisters who lovingly doted on the Daddy; kissed him and told them of their love and gratitude. I saw hurting hearts able to sit by the still waters and heal – if only for a little while. I saw still others looking toward the latter years with hope for what the future holds.
But most of all, I saw a Dad whose heart was bursting with praise and thanksgiving to God for the love he saw, felt and received from his children. Capturing the time in pictures helps to hold those memories close, but continued visiting, calling, writing and remembering through maintaining the closeness takes work. Work worthy and necessary.
Dad, I truly thank you for the opportunity to spend such a special time with you!