This morning, my dad and I visited MaMa (his mother) in her assisted living residence. Not only does my dad bring a smile to MaMa’s face, he never fails to brighten the day of her roommate, “Ms. Frances”, and the attending nurses. He purchased a variety of cards which they now play every time he visits (a few times a week) and he also set up a bird feeder for them to enjoy. It’s the little things that matter most, isn’t it? Today, we played “Old Maid” and enjoyed every minute of it. MaMa would like you to think she’s not much of a card player, but she can’t fool her family. There were many times, while playing “Set-back” years ago, that she would bid before she even picked up her hand! Zach always wanted to be on her team. I think he liked her style.

Dad provides many enjoyable moments for MaMa, but one of the most important things he brings with every visit is patience – something that “flies under the radar” and often goes unnoticed by most, and yet is so vital when those we love begin slipping away… memory by memory. Of course, the most important thing he brings is his love for her. He could do a million other things with his time now that he’s retired, but MaMa remains near the top of his priority list. Not out of duty, but love.

But thankfully, the lesson doesn’t stop there.

I’m proud of my mom for the way she has given so much of her time and energy to care for grandmother’s sister, Aunt Helen, after grandmother’s passing last December. Mom was always attentive to grandmother and now she carries out that same care for Aunt Helen, who is very feeble. She drives to Spartanburg to help take her to doctor appointments, shopping or anything else she needs, in addition to visiting her regularly. Mom is retired and she too could be doing many other things, but chooses to unselfishly give of herself to make sure Aunt Helen feels loved and cared for. She would make grandmother very proud.

Both of my parents are living out their love and respect for their parents. They are saying “I love you” not only with their lips, but more importantly, through their actions. Their sacrifices have left an indelible mark on my life. They have taught me a lesson by example and one day MANY years from now I will have the opportunity to do the same for my boys.

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.” Proverbs 17:6

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