Some of the most difficult times to watch are when someone we know is trying to be there for a loved one when he or she is coming to the end of his or her journey. As I think back through the years, I remember watching my mother and father as they reached out to support friends or relatives in such times.
If the loved one was elsewhere, they would close up the business, and off they’d go for an undetermined amount of time to just be present. There to be called upon if needed for and extra pair of hands and legs to: run errands, do day-to-day tasks, cook, just simply sit, talk, laugh, console, remember, and pray.
I saw my mother and father do this time and time again. I know they drew no financial benefit from what they were doing. Their only requite was in knowing they were serving Christ with their actions.
Sometimes their presence reached beyond the caregivers to the patient and I know that brought a peace over each of them when they knew they comforted someone as they prepared to cross over.
As a small boy, I watched this routine many times as they said goodbye to former co-workers and neighbors, friends from throughout their lives, and of course, relatives of every description who impacted their lives.
I vaguely remember one period in my childhood when I felt I was spending more time in hospitals and funeral homes than at school but death comes at God’s appointment not on our timetables.
I am now at a similar point in time of my life as they were when they were saying goodbye to so many. So, I have become readily cognizant that like my folks, many of those I know are being called, some old, some young, but its seems more with every passing year.
As I reflect on what can I do to support their loved ones, I think back on the model that my parents gave me. I try to simply be present whenever possible to offer support and help them walk down the path I have already walked. I know that hope, comfort and strength should be offered along the path and I only pray that I can be an instrument to provide some aspect of these to all concerned along the final journey.
Most of us know someone who is facing this point in life, what are you doing to support he or she, and his or her circle of caregivers?
I encourage you to find some way to make a difference; you may be able to leave a message of love that changes a life forever and passes a legacy of love to your children as they see how you help others in a time in life we all must face.