Every year at Easter time my Dad would bring me a little pot of spring flowers. I always thought they were so pretty and of course I always appreciated the kind gesture. My mom had passed away in 1995 and when he was invited to come over to dinner he appreciated the invitation so much. It is hard to imagine the loneliness that comes after 50 plus years of marriage with your soul mate and then suddenly overnight, just being alone. Of course he had his children, but how could we ever replace the woman he loved. He brought her flowers so regularly and after she went to be with the Lord, often I would be the recipient of that mindset of picking up a little something at the grocery store on his way home.
At Easter 2000 he brought me a little basket of spring bulbs in bloom. We have all seen them, sometimes they are on sale and they are never more than ten dollars. I'm sure I thanked him, of course I would have, but had I known they would be the last flowers I received directly from him, I'm sure I would have flung my arms around him and wept. Isn't the Lord good? I often think of the personal care that we receive from our Heavenly Father. Instead of my Dad picking up a bunch of daffodils or tulips he picked up live flowers still in the dirt. After they finished blooming I planted them in the dirt. Do you do that? Maybe they'll come up or maybe they won't . . nothing to lose.
It wasn't' long after Easter that my Dad's health began to fail. His attitude was always cheerful. My sister-in-law Mary and I were his morning visitors at the hospital. Each and every day when we came, he would tell us how good the nurses were. He just couldn't get over that those young student nurses would have to deal with his personal care and they were so gracious to him. After 3 weeks in the hospital he passed away. Forever with Jesus and with our Mom. We rejoiced for him and yet the shock of being without a parent was quite unexpected. I knew that I had been blessed beyond belief to have not one but two loving parents, and on top of that they loved one another. There are no words to say what is in my heart concerning the two of them. So . . us as siblings regrouped and did the things that are necessary after the last parent passes on. One kind and well meaning person came to me at the cemetery and put her arm around me and said . . .well, now you are an orphan. That saddened me and yet the reality is that when we have our Heavenly Father we are never ever truly orphans.
Since that Easter I look forward to Spring. I always did and yet now I find myself looking out my kitchen window waiting for the sign of rebirth. When I see those first green shoots peek out of the ground I feel my fathers love, all over again. My thankful heart swells with gratitude for the simple gift that continues to give year after year.
Having said all that, one can not help but be a bit introspective and wonder how we are treating those we love on a daily and consistent basis. There is no kidding ourselves, we will pass on and when we do, we will be remembered.
Well, today I will not be going on my 30 minute walk. I am taking my beloved on a date. Perhaps I'll take my camera along and you will be treated to pictures. In the meantime enjoy your day and tell someone that you love very much . . just that.
PS . . . It is an hour after I wrote this post and have thought about nothing else since then, and I wanted to add, that for some of you, your memories will be very sad. I wanted to encourage those of you who read this with a heavy heart. You may not be able to change your past and the heritage that was left for you but with the hope the the Lord has given each one of us who chooses it, we can effect the generations to come. Be the beginning of hope and love in your own family. I say this with love. Alright now I'm leaving on my date, for sure.