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Throwin' Grandma Under the Sea Doo

Belated Happy Mother's Day to one and all!

Didja do anything nice for ma? Maybe you bought a card, some flowers or chocolates. A nice potted plant perhaps? Did you actually take the time to go over there and just sit and talk?

I'm freakish in many ways. Of my idiosyncrasies, putting my family first is a fault of mine. I must phrase it that way, because it seems I am in such a minority.

My wife, my kids and myself visit the grandparents every weekend. We don't fit our visits in when it's convenient for us, or only go over on special occasions. If we can't make it, I call and apologize. Just because their old doesn't mean that their time is any less valuable. It's quite the opposite.

My dad is now in an assisted living facility. There are probably 150 residents that live in his modest three story complex. When we visit, every Sunday after church, there are usually 6 to 10 cars in the parking lot. Of those, at least five or six belong to the people that work there. I see all those empty parking spaces, and all those windows facing the parking lot. I think of all those residents, alone in their rooms. I say 'hi' to a few of them in the common areas as we walk to my father's room. I smile, although inside my heart aches.

There are many, many reasons why most people don't go and visit their elderly parents. When I say 'reasons', I mean lousy, selfish excuses.

It's like these people who claim to 'have faith', and go to church on Easter and Christmas. What are you doing the other 363 days a year? Do you think that sending your mom a card is 'enough'? Or seeing her on her birthday, or Mother's Day, that's plenty? We know the truth, the dirty little secret, don't we? The weather is nice, and being cooped-up with granny on a sunny Sunday afternoon is no fun. So you make excuses. "I'll make it up next week." But then, something else comes up. Maybe, you finally send flowers to assuage your guilt. Your flowers stink.

If you're trying, really trying to make the time for your parents, God bless you. Many in this crummy economy have to work two jobs, and commute longer. I get it.
Then, there are those of you that can't walk by the ATV or watercraft in the garage without salivating in anticipation. A very small, quiet voice reminds you of a commitment you have. An unconditional love that simply asks to be acknowledged, remembered. You hush that voice, and try to remember when grandparents day is this year. You'll make time then. Yep.

I didn't see my mom this Mother's Day. She passed on just over a year ago. I spent as much time as I could when she was living. I have no regrets. I challenge you to say the same.


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