When my father died this year, a friend said, “Sadly we are at that age of becoming orphans.”
We Baby Boomers are laying our parents to rest, and many of us are learning to confront and finish our "business" with them before they pass. If it is possible, letting go of resentments, offering forgiveness even if unwarranted, and saying the “I love you’s” that may have for a lifetime been unspoken.
Hopefully there is time for you to spend with you parent or loved one before they pass. But it is also my personal belief that "here" or "there," it is never too late.
Recently our family gathered around my 91-year-old father, who had been experiencing strokes for a couple weeks. As he lay unresponsive, we sang his favorite old hymns in four-part harmony. We had been a musical family, and Dad had been a church choir director for years. The words and melodies came to mind easily even after for decades, lying silent in unopened hymnals.
One song, as my father lay in his last hours, roused him from his head to his toes and moves me deeply as I write of it. Late one night my husband and I sang to him:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
He was a soldier, a husband, a father, a friend, and a man who walked uprightly with God.
I would like to extend the invitation to all of us who are, or have laid loved ones to rest, to say our "thank-you’s," the "I’m sorry’s," and "I forgive you’s"; to recall the kind acts, significant or few and let our loved one’s pass from this world in peace.
We in turn will reap peace, restitution, and in turn affect our generations to come.