While I was in church today, I became a little emotional. We had communion today (and normally, on days that there is communion, I’m not so thrilled because service runs longer than normal..I know I know..not really Christian like for me to be saying that..out loud anyway, but it’s how I feel), and today we had a few members who needed to have communion delivered to them in their pews, as they were too frail to walk up front. Normally, I would just look ahead quietly and not really pay attention to those that get communion served in their seats; but I looked, and what I saw touched me on some level. Pastor gave to the first elderly woman and then walked back to the next (with my son following as he acolyted today), I looked at who appeared to be her daughter sitting next to her (older woman as well) and she looked like she was crying. I immediately began to tear up (I do this a lot, it does not take a lot for me to cry honestly, and sometimes It’s embarrassing ), it seemed so poignant on some level.
It left me to think about my parents and how they are aging quickly. That one day, they will be in this very position (although not at church because my father is an atheist). I’m not exactly sure I have put myself in the mental capacity to think about how I will deal with it exactly. I cannot imagine my father, my strong father, in this position. To me my father represents strength and mental fortitude. My father is strong man, who never ever shows weakness. In the last few years, I have seen breakdown in health with him and I’ve noticed that he is not as strong as I once thought he was. I guess seeing these elderly people receiving communion today, reminded me that time does not stand still, it marches on and sometimes faster than we’d like it to. It reminded me that my parents are getting older and that someday, they won’t be here for me anymore. It has left me to visit a place where not many of us really want to be at. The process of growing old and losing someone we love.
The thought of my father in this state of being, scares me..no it terrifies me. Aging isn’t always kind and it certainly isn’t forgiving. It robs you of your youthful way, it breaks you down inside and out. It hardly seems fair, that a time in one’s life when they should finally be able to relax and enjoy their lives, that this cruel and unjust process begins to happen. My father visited us for the Holidays not too long ago, and he is indeed aging. It seems as if every time I see him, he’s a bit older,and bit more tired looking. His deep dark eyes seem filled with pain (of the body and the mind), his body has begun to break down, and he complains of being in constant pain.
You see, my father is a hard worker. He works with his hands as he is a carpenter, he has been a carpenter since he was a small boy. All those years of heavy lifting and constant abuse to his body has taken its toll on him. He has had to work hard for the money he made, everything he has in his life, he earned. He likes to say “The problem with people today is that they don’t know what it means to really put in a hard days work, no one likes to get their hands dirty anymore”.
Maybe he is right, but what I know to be true and accurate is that I will miss him. He was not always the easiest person to get along with and God knows he made a METRIC TON of mistakes with me growing up, but he is still my father. I look at him and I see a different man than I once knew. I see a kind and loving man who would do anything for his family…anything. My wish is that time could be a little kinder to him. A little gentler on his body, I know it’s part of the process, but if you could, please gentle with him.
When I think of my father..I think of this song..and I will always hear him singing it in my mind..Have you Ever Seen the Rain