Here's my epiphany...
Someday, I may be here for my parents, instead of my parents being here for me.
Now, here's the lame part. I'm 48 years old, and this is just now dawning in a real way. I knew it - but I just hadn't really thought much about it.
I think my parents may have spoiled me a bit. I've never felt spoiled, but as I've watched my mom over these recent weeks of illness and hospitalization, I've decided that I was/am spoiled.
My Mama has always, always been here for me. She has been with me for the birth of all my children. She came home with me and stayed for a week, cooking our meals, cleaning my house, taking care of me so I could take care of my babies. She taught me how to be a Mom. She taught me how to be a wife, a manager of my home, how to cook. She has always been my friend. She has always been a pillar of strength. My Daddy too.
I've always thought of them as young. They were young when I was born, and were always among the youngest of parents in my group of friends. They've always been, and still are, very active... often wearing me out in the work they do around their house and yard, hiking in Colorado, serving in their areas of ministry, etc.
I still think of them as young, really... compared to most people their age. (Does that make sense?)
So, as I've watched my parents deal with her illness, I've thought about all of this a lot. My Daddy has worked like nothing I've ever seen from him in taking care of her every, single need. It's been beautiful.
And I've thought of the thousands of times that they have taken care of my every, single need.
And I've thought that, if life goes as it naturally does, there will come a time when those roles are reversed. They have always been here for me (it was their calling, and they answered that call) - but I, and my sister and brother as well, will one day be here for them (and it will just as clearly be a calling). To meet their needs.
I've watched and learned this from them as well. As they took care of their mothers. My Granny lived to be 104. My Mama went to see her every, single, day. She loved her, listened to every story (some of them hundreds of times), shopped, cleaned, cared for her, made sure those providing for her were doing an excellent job - even when Granny didn't know it was happening - even when it was hard and Mama was exhausted from a full day of work herself. That was also beautiful.
I will be here for them - a calling.
I can't imagine that it will be soon. I fully believe this season of illness for my Mama is temporary, and she'll be back to running circles around me soon. But someday, it's very likely to come.
Proverbs says of the wise woman, that her children will rise up and call her blessed...
My Mama is blessed - my Daddy too.
I'm so thankful that God gave me parents that, when that day of being here for them comes, will make this an honor and a privilege.