The story of families who could not come and see their elderly parents during this Covid-19 Pandemic has been in the news since the beginning of our shutdown. It is a heartbroken story for some because of their loved ones suffer from serious physical and emotional loneliness. As the separation is getting longer and with Mother’s Day is coming, we begin to see the rise of emotion from folks because they don’t think it is right for their mothers or grandmothers to be in total isolation during such a time.
The urge to blame someone is a great temptation even though we might be aware that certain things just have to be done for the well-being of many others. “Why don’t they just give us a straight answer?” A daughter exasperatedly told a news reporter recently when she learned that she is not able to see her mom this coming weekend. Sometimes I wonder that physical separation has given us time to reflect over our relationships with our loved ones and maybe that comes along with both regret and longing. Together they trigger some intense emotion.
Maybe it is time for us to cherish all that we have had with our elderly parents as we miss not being able to see them in person. It is not just their sacrificial care and commitments to us as parents. We need to give thanks to God for who they are and the lessons they have taught us in their perseverance, kindness and simplicity. As we give thanks, we also reclaim these values for ourselves so they can be passed on to future generations. More time doesn’t always lead to a deeper appreciation.
This note has been written with my father in mind. He is 98 years old and has been diagnosed with Covid-19 positive in Montreal. We have been blessed with the opportunities to see him via WebEx video chats. We are thankful to the staff at his nursing home for their effort to grant us that privilege. My father is an amazing man and even more at this moment in his life. He is always gracious and gentle. My wife says it best: “He has the kindest smile”. Kindness will be his landmark in life. Personally, I am not asking for time. I simply ask for more insight into who God is in his life as I learn to give thanks.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3: 17)