I have been back in the states a week to visit my dad who has cancer. It was 10 days full of memories, but one memory has been on my mind the past few days. My grandmother who is around 90 lives by herself in a small apartment near where my parents live. Once or twice a day people check up on her and make sure she is eating and getting up to walk around. While we were there, we had the privilege of getting to stop in and see her. First we would sit down and talk for a bit. Dad would often take the other recliner and suddenly have a cough. Smiling he would ask one of the kids if they thought he needed some cough drops. Grandma, of course, knew what he was up to and would ask one of the kids to go check her frig for some cough drops. Of course everyone needed a cough drop which really were chocolate kisses. Then W. and I or just W. would walk with Grandma up and down her sidewalk to get her a little fresh air and exercise. After some more chatting, it would be time to go. Here is where my favorite memory comes in. Grandma would give each of us a hug good bye. Dad would usually be last. She would get fully up and wrap her arms around him, call him by name, and tell him that she loved him. As I write this tears are in my eyes. Grandma did not want Dad to forget that she loved him. She hated what he wA going through and prayed for a miracle as she sat in her chair day after day.
This week I have found myself hugging my kids a little bit tighter and whispering I love you in their ear. It is never too early or late to start this habit that I hope will last a lifetime. As we enter Easter weekend, I am reminded of a garden and a son who knew the next hours would be the hardest he would ever faced. In prayer, he fell to the ground praying so earnestly that his sweat was like drops of blood. His father sent his hug via an angel who came to encourage and strengthen him. Of course I am not sure an actual hug took place but I am sure the enouragement was just as good as a hug. (Luke 22:39-46)
Dear God, Thank you for your son. Thank you for his sacrifice and resurrection. Thank you for a simple thing like a hug that can convey feelings that words can't. May I never fail to let my family know how much I love them everyday. In Your Son's Name, Amen