Last month our son Timothy graduated from Mount Carmel Bible College. It’s a small school with a family atmosphere. It wasn’t surprising, then, when a staff member who addressed the graduates gave a two-word description for each one. Some were obvious, like “Kim’s melody”, for everyone knew how she loved to sing, and would do so in meetings and ministry. But most of them were inside jokes that only the graduates and their own families knew. I waited, breathless, for what she’d say about our son.
On one of their trips during the school year, Timothy had a mishap, resulting in a badly sprained ankle. When he came home the following weekend, Ian took him to the drug store to get a cane to help him walk. For the next couple of weeks he hobbled around the school leaning on his cane. He took his teasing good-naturedly. He actually looked rather dapper when he wore his grey tweed cap. All he needed was a trench coat and he’d look like a young gentleman from decades past.
Timothy’s cane. It reminds me of another “graduation”… that of our eldest daughter at the end of first grade. It too was a small school… only 12 students from Gr. 1-12. They made a big deal of the end of the school year, with a program for parents, awards for good behaviour and academic achievement. They seemed to be scrambling for a unique award for our little girl, because what they came up with was an “art” award for spending her lunch hour one day drawing pictures on the wall of the washroom stall!
Our eldest daughter is remembered for something else too. She was in the last few weeks of training as a nursing assistant. She was doing her practicum at the local hospital. She left early one morning, only to return home an hour later, drop her jacket on the bed, and announce, “I have the chicken pox!” Two weeks later (to the day!!!), ALL SIX of her younger siblings broke out in spots. By that time she was feeling considerably better, but we had wall-to-wall makeshift beds in the living room for all the others, who either didn’t want to suffer alone, or who were too fatigued to make the climb up the stairs from the basement every time they needed anything. No one in our family will ever forget that experience.
Obviously, these were not the only things our kids were remembered for, but we remember these, because they stand out as being funny or dramatic.
I have several friends younger than I am who are great-grandmothers already. I’m 62, and I don’t even have grandchildren. Sometimes I panic as I wonder where the years went, and what I have to show for it. Then I think of our kids and what a great bunch they are — and that I still have a 15-year-old homeschooling son at home — and that every weekend one or both of our next youngest are here. No empty nest for us yet!
The time is still coming that my days will be my own. How will I spend those days? What do I want to be remembered for?
Food for thought…..
© Willena Flewelling