Sticks and Moves

Before his death, the old man went on a nostalgic road trip to Memphis with his thirty-something son to show him where he had grown up before it was too late. They drove with the windows down and talked of days gone by. The trip was risky as the father had only weeks, maybe days to live.

Knocking on the door of his father’s childhood home, the son greets the owners: “My father grew up in this house, and we’re wondering if we could take a quick look around.”

The somewhat surprised homeowner nods a nervous yes, and the father walks straight to the fireplace and removes one of the old bricks.

As though discovering a long forgotten time capsule, the old man finds a few small items hidden behind the brick that he’d placed there decades before. He says to his son, “My treasure—a few toys and three quarters! I put them here once, and after all these years later, they’re still here. Isn’t that something! Isn’t it strange how the world sticks and moves like that?”

While watching that scene from my favorite television show This Is Us, I couldn’t help but be wistful for such a road trip with my own father, now housebound and no longer able to travel.

Many of us Baby Boomers are facing that “sticks and moves” time of life. It’s harder than we thought it would be, yet more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

My husband, Rick, and I are in that season of life where our fathers are nearing the end of their earthly lives—both more nostalgic about days gone by—while our first grandson, Liam, is just beginning his days.

While his great-grandfathers are negotiating walkers or wheelchairs for the first time, Liam will soon pull up to a standing position in his crib for the first time. While I wonder how much longer I’ll hear my father’s voice . . . first words will soon be spoken by my new grandson.

The groaning of the aging process in this life—mixed with the beginning of a new life—is how it should be. Both are beautiful and sacred journeys for the people we love the most.

The lyrical Psalm 139 comes to mind. I memorized those stunning words when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Christie, now Liam’s mama. And I love how those same words resonate just as beautifully with my father’s journey . . . even as he nears his 90th birthday.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s
womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

_______________

Photo by Hugo Villegas on Unsplash

 

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20 Responses

  1. What a sweet reminder of this journey called life filled with new beginnings and precious endings of lives well-lived! Praising our Heavenly Father!!

    Thanks for sharing Judy!!!

  2. Beautiful, Judy! I shared that Psalm with Eliana’s birth mother before she was born. What a remarkable legacy of faith your father has passed on to you, and you are now passing on to Liam- and through every stage we behold the wonderful works of God!

  3. This I so beautiful Judy. Uncle Mark will always have a special place in my heart. I give out his Spirirtual warfare pamphlet often! Much love to my favorite cousin.

  4. Judy, I love the way you write! You always draw me in. I remember when my mom was still in Assisted Living, and she said, “I want to go home one more time.” So, after getting the doctor’s ok, we took a six-hour road trip to Plain Dealing, Louisiana for mom to see her home, her sisters and family, and other nostalgic places one last time. There were lots of smiles and tears that weekend. At the end of our time there, she said, “I’m ready to go home.” And I told her, “mom, we’re going back to Memphis in the morning.” “No, I mean HOME, HOME. I want to go to Jesus.” That season of the final years of my mom’s earthly life was truly one of the hardest seasons I’ve gone through, but God used it greatly in my life. I am praying for you as you navigate this season with your father (and as you enjoy Liam). Love you,

    1. Oh, Crickett, what a beautiful journey you had with your mom. So grateful you were able to take her home before she went Home! I’m sure you made memories on that trip you won’t ever forget. And, thank you for your kind words about my writing. Means a lot coming from gifted YOU! : )

  5. So beautiful, Judy. I can relate as the elder of my family. And now watching my daughters grieve over the recent loss of their Dad, yet with the joy that he is with Jesus,..it’s all so real. I pray for you and your Dad. LOVE this blog, thank you for your heart.

  6. This is so beautiful Judy! It’s so true, one young life and one old one, how they mirror one another. Wonderfully worded truth, enjoy the journey.

  7. Lovely words! I so feel your heart, Judy, and have experienced this kind of sacred wonder, standing at the intersection of the saddest and sweetest passages. The view from there is like no other, so revealing of God’s beauty and tenderness. Thank you for reminding me.

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