It was my first day at work at the Bonita Springs YMCA. Two of us newbies trained together all morning, and I stayed afterwards to workout. Yay! I’m back in my element! For as long as I remember, I felt that if I could not be in a pulpit, if I could not be serving a church, I would love the opportunity to work, to have a career with the YMCA.
After my workout, I drove by Holly’s office building to switch cars. I dropped off her car and picked up mine. My engine light is on and Holly is oh so protective… not wanting me to drive my car that far in case something would go wrong. So we switched cars for the morning.
After that, I decided that I was awfully hungry, so I took myself to Bob Evans for something to eat. You know, replacing all those calories I just expended! I sat in one of those little two-person booths, pulled out a magazine, and settled in. At a larger booth across the aisle from me sat two women. One was elderly, and the other was probably middle aged. The two of them sat in silence eating.
I tried not to watch or stare, but I could not ignore them. I wondered who they were. Were they mother and daughter? Were they related in some other way? Were they neighbors? Were they simply friends or acquaintances? Whoever they were, I was troubled by their silence.
To be sure, I do not know the history between the two. I do not know the relationship. I do not know anything about the situation. Was it good, bad or indifferent? But as I sat there trying to ignore the sound of that silence, I was bothered. I began to think about how much I would love to be able to sit at a table with my Mom and my Dad again. To eat with them. To talk with them. To be in their presence. To give of myself to them. To love on them. And some tears started to form.
In two days (April 16) it will be ten years since Mom went Home to be with her Lord. My heart aches today as much as, if not more than, it did ten years ago. There are still times when I am trying to remember something, and I think to myself “I need to call Mom.” And there are times when I am watching a Pitt or Steeler football game, and I want to run back to Dad’s “Dad Cave” and see if he saw the great game that I just saw!
But I can’t. Because they are not here any longer. And I grieve. But I am so eternally grateful that I had my precious Mom for 76 years and my precious Dad for 81 years. And I am so grateful that for the last six years of his life, Dad lived with me, and that we did everything together.
So as I sat in that restaurant, listening to the silence of the two ladies in the booth next door to me, I wanted to say, “Ma’am, whoever this elderly woman is that you are with, cherish her. Cherish this moment with her. Treasure the time you have together. Please don’t take any moment that you have together for granted. For they are moments you will never get back.”
Mom and Dad, I love you, and I miss you deeply.