Yesterday was my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. They are both gone now- the memories of their faces and voices fading into the distant past like an early morning fog fades with the rising of the sun. In this day of “try before you buy” and “love the one you’re with” I’m pretty sure that had they lived, they would still be married. They would have had much to teach us had they lived, but they didn’t.
They made it 17 years. The last anniversary was anything but a celebration as the cancer that my Dad valiantly fought would finally win a mere nine days later. I remember Mom attempting to care for Dad, and the heroic battle he fought. I never heard him complain- not once. He was a military man to the end. I remember the solders in full dress uniform, the 21 gun salute, and the folded flag from Dad’s coffin that they gave mom, but I can’t remember what his voice sounded like. Mom could not forget, and even though she was still young, she never remarried.
Every year for the next almost 22 years until cancer once again invaded Mom and took her from us (you can read her story in my book One lamb Redeemed), we had to make sure we called her on three very important dates: Dad’s birthday, their wedding anniversary, and the anniversary of Dad’s passing. These dates are indelibly etched in my brain; although now-a-days they usually pass unnoticed.
Mom has now been gone for 21 years. Every now and then I find myself saying something that sounds just like her. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see an expression that she wore. We have the exact same color eyes!
Unfortunately, I never appreciated my parents when they were alive. I was young, selfish, and far too busy with my own life to pay much attention to theirs. The only thing Mom and I had in common was that we both liked to go out to eat, so we would do that from time to time. I never realized how lonely she must have been. Now that my husband and I are the grandparents, it’s no surprise to me that the next generation struggles to make time for us. I understand the ultra-busyness of our society: working full-time, over-time, raising kids, sports, house and yard work. It never ends. I wonder- will they miss us when we are gone? Will they remember anniversaries? Will they wish they had spent more time with us? I guess I started writing so that they would have something to read in case they do miss us!
Sometimes the memories of my parents come flooding back and I wonder what they would think if they had lived to see what the world has become. I don’t think they would have liked it very much. My parents were both military. They fought external enemies for our freedom. Now we are fighting domestic enemies for those same freedoms.
We still have freedom of speech and religion as long as we don’t say anything about Muslims or that homosexuality is not a lifestyle, but a bondage-inducing sin. As a nation we have far progressed beyond adultery and porn as sins. Gambling and drunkenness are no longer sin, but illnesses. I’m glad my parents don’t have to see the degeneration of our nation into the cesspool it has become, but I fear for my grandchildren. We are not giving them a very nice world to inherit.
I don’t believe it’s too late. God is still on the throne. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (CJB) says “if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” Will we do it? As a nation, will we do it? What will our grandchildren remember us as? My parent’s generation fought and won World War Two and saved our very way of life! Will we be remembered as the generation that fought and saved our nation from ourselves, or will we be the generation that was too lazy and selfish to care about the world our grandchildren would inherit. As for us, we WILL humble ourselves, pray and seek His Face! Time has almost run out!