I cried this morning. I think the last time that really happened was over a relationship last summer. This time it was different. Less deserved in some strange way.
I took my fiance to meet my parents this past weekend. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while may remember from Christmas that my parents still live in the same house in which I grew up. I don’t go back often, because I hate that state, I hate that town, I just…I hate it. I hated it growing up, and I hate it now. But it’s where my parents, who have never done anything but love and support me unconditionally, live, and they never have any intention, to my knowledge, of living anywhere else, so I return on occasion.
This was odd, though, because I was back for two consecutive holidays. My family loves my fiance, she loves them…it’s really a God-thing to see how it works out.
Very similar to Christmas, though, as I spent the weekend in the house in which I grew up, I expereinced these amazing memories. Not the vivid flashbacks that came during Christmas, but still potent. Mostly childhood, some college memories. The difference begins with the fact that it is Spring, and so we weren’t stuck inside. My parents are heavily into landscaping and home improvement in their retirement years, and so we walked their small orchard and garden (which was much larger when I was young), and my fiance and I helped with a couple of projects that my parents had been unable to complete.
There’s the issue. My father’s health is deteriorating. His spine is actually shrinking. He receives disability income, and he is beginning occupational therapy now. The injections for pain have nearly stopped having an effect. But he has always been happy, funny, joking. Still is. But he asked me for help with something this weekend. He’s never done that before. He’s very independent, doesn’t need the help. But he asked me.
I didn’t help much around the place during my high school days, because I was a little teenage snob when it came to that (oh, how I regret that now). My mom used to always push me out to help Dad with stuff, and he knew I did it under coercion. By the time I was in college and had realized the error of my ways, I was never around to help. You know how college is.
I spent some quality time with my father this weekend. Thank God for that. But my fiance saw me tear up for the first time, because I can’t stand to see him in pain like he is. In my mind, he is still Superman, still invulnerable, still able to handle anything life throws at him. He’s still bulletproof in my head. And I am so thankful that I could be of help to him this weekend.
If you happen to think about it, and are so inclined, please say a prayer for my father the next couple of days, because he’s going to me working on a roof repair that he is too indpendent (not proud, just desperately clinging to independence) to ask for help with, and I can’t get back there to help him. I don’t want to see him get injured.
The other thing that really amazed was the incredibly happy memories that I experienced again this weekend. You see, I stopped calling that area “home” when I moved, because I hated it so much. But it occurred to me that that place, that piece of it, I love. As I prayed this morning, I called it “home.” And I didn’t mind. Not because I want to go back, but because that place is sacred to me in a way. My parents gave me so much unconditional love and a million happy memories there. Now, I am not far away from starting my own family. I want desperately to give my future children those same types of incredible memories. I pray that, somehow, He will enable me to do so. I wonder if my parents prayed that same prayer years ago. It has come full circle.
I cried this morning.
Sometimes that’s not a bad thing.