My mother in law is traveling internationally this summer and of course the shopper in me has no issues with getting her what she needs. I literally go for broke when I shop for international traveling. My husband picks up two bars of soap, I pick up four. I pack for the trip and to give away when I get there. I go in for five things and end up getting twenty. It’s the way of the woman and my husband doesn’t understand. For him it’s a chore, for me it’s a labor of love.
I later explain to him that a minor thing like shopping for one’s parent is what I now would consider an honor, especially in this season of loss and grief. How many times have we rushed through an errand for a loved one or couldn’t wait to be rid of them after a long family holiday weekend? Only to sit back and reflect on those yarns of memories when it is all you have left.
Be purposeful in creating memories and being in the present with loved ones. A simple thing as early morning phone calls, weekly check-ins, weekend getaways, holidays spent together is what creates the memories that will sustain you even in the absence of a loved one.
I’ve fallen in love again with this old country hymn. What it didn’t say to me before, it now soundly resonates:
There are loved ones in the glory
Whose dear forms you often miss.
When you close your earthly story,
Will you join them in their bliss?
Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, in the sky?
In the joyous days of childhood
Oft they told of wondrous love
Pointed to the dying Saviour;
Now they dwell with Him above.
You remember songs of heaven
Which you sang with childish voice.
Do you love the hymns they taught you,
Or are songs of earth your choice?
You can picture happy gath’rings
Round the fireside long ago,
And you think of tearful partings
When they left you here below.
One by one their seats were emptied.
One by one they went away.
Now the family is parted.
Will it be complete one day?