I found this picture in a stack of pictures from my grandmother’s apartment a few years ago, the day we cleaned everything out. She had gone to heaven that week and we had the bittersweet job of sorting through memories and belongings to find what was worth treasuring and keeping. I had forgotten about it until I was looking for photos a few weeks ago to create an anniversary slide show for my parents.
I love this picture. For some reason it comforts me. That little baby is me, of course, with legs so chubby the rolls could cut off my mom’s finger circulation if she didn’t watch out. I look concerned don’t I? And what am I looking at? Meanwhile my parents are both smiling and looking content. They had it rough at times those first few years of marriage with hardly enough to live on, but made it through and brought me along for the adventure. Even though I’m now grown with college and high school kids of my own, I still feel like that little one sometimes. The last few years have been fraught with ups and downs and plenty of concerns but my parents’ steady faith in God has encouraged me. I still need my mom and dad’s hugs and unconditional love. I even need their parental pats on the back now and then, to know they’re pleased with me. I know they pray faithfully for me and my family and it’s because their hearts are truly heavy when we hurt and joyful when we celebrate. They look so young in this photo. Time has changed that (thank goodness my dad doesn’t have those shorts anymore) but it hasn’t changed the impact of the role they play in my life.
This past weekend I got to spend time with them by myself – just me and my mom and dad. It was really fun, really easy, and really special. I don’t want to take one visit for granted.
When I look at this picture I feel their love still holding me, their prayers and support wrapped around me keeping me up. How could I ever tell them how much they mean to me?