July 13, 2020 - Pam and I moved back to East Texas in 1990. It was the first time since 1950 that I would be living near my dear Mother who had lived alone since my Dad’s death in 1984. Living only eighteen miles from her, we were able to both talk with her and visit her regularly. I remember how much the “little things” meant to her.
As we were leaving her house one day, we noticed that leaves had built up on her roof. Our son Brandon got on the roof and within minutes had them raked off. “Oh, thank you,” Mother beamed as she hugged and kissed his neck. On another day we unstopped her drain and her face beamed with joy. What meant little to us meant so much to her as she smiled and repeatedly thanked us. When we learned that her car wouldn’t crank (her Olds Cutlass) we replaced and set her distributor points. When she heard the car crank, she embraced us and laughingly said, “Thank you…Oh, thank you!”
Well, I’m an old feller now…… about the age Mother was back then. At my age, I still write for five weekly newspapers, am in my 29th year as Pastor of Calvary Baptist in San Augustine…Pam and I continue to do our photography…. and I am writing my second book. But I can’t climb my 16-foot ladder any more. I can’t trim the bushes, patch the roof, repair the car or repair things around the house. And I am now understanding why Mother (and many more like her) beam with joy when the least little chore is done for them. Our parents spent years taking care of us. When they reach their golden years, children have an opportunity to pay them back. Our parents will need our phone calls and “I love yous.” But we can also give them what they gave us.
We can give them our time.