Many of us have books and boxes filled with family pictures stashed in closets. Pictures of the generations before us, as well as baby pictures of our own children as they grew up. It is so much fun just to sit at a table and look through them and relive the memories.
What has happened in our country over the last three generations is that many of those pictures are no longer applicable because of the large amount of divorces. The smiles on the faces in those wedding pages have faded, older family members have passed on and what remains of memories of happier times in our families.
For others of us, these pictures bring tears for a different reason; memories of loved ones and marriages that have produced generations of love and great joy. I still have pictures of my grandparents’ wedding pictures as well as pictures of my parents’ wedding. Those pictures precede pictures of my own wedding and the weddings of our children. In our family, we have few divorces, so marriage throughout the generations in our family is strong.
My grandparents and parents are all with the Lord now, but the pictures remain. I remember how difficult it was to watch them age and eventually die. I would look at their aging hands and see their white hair and I remember feeling sad at this natural progression of life. I also remember my grandmother moving in to live with my mom and dad as they cared for her until she went to be with the Lord. My parents were a strong example of “honor your father and your mother.”
This generation in America is different now. Aging parents can become a burden and it is just easier to “put them in a home” and keep on with our busy lives. This generation of “selfie sticks” and “self-help” has overshadowed caring for the generation before. How do we care for our aging parents well and meet their growing needs, while living our own lives and learning to let go of them as they pass? Emotionally overwhelming, at the very least.
Our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio, Michele Howe, will be addressing all of this on Tuesday, September 27 at 2pm ET at www.toginet.com. Her topic will be: “Caring For Our Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss, and Letting Go”, which is the title of her latest book. Tune in as we discuss this emotional topic and learn how to do this well in our families.
Now, I look at my hands and see myself aging and wonder…..”honor your father and your mother.” What will our kids remember someday when I am gone and they open their photo albums?