When I was a child, my parents would take me with them to visit elderly church members and I did not like it. They would ask me fifteen times, “How old are you, Baby?” My parents' conversation would drag on for what seemed like hours. The conversation was slow, loud and often repeated. My mom would offer to do random things—wash dishes, change bed linens., check their blood pressure. All I could think of was, ’can we please just go!’ I thought it; I didn't say it.
About three weeks ago, I realized that I had not seen my aunts since Easter. I have three aunts who live in the same city, two hours away, and I had not visited them in months. It became urgent for me to take the short trip. Of course, the boys came, too. At our first stop, there were hugs and compliments, some small talk, some catching up. About ten minutes into the visit I received a text, from my son sitting right there in the room. “Can we go now?”
Psalm 71:9 says, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.” It took me some time to realize it myself, but I explained to my children, that we don't visit our aging relatives for our own benefit. We don't visit out of convenience, and we don’t visit to fulfill our own needs. We visit for their benefit. As we age, our mobility becomes more limited and we don't travel as much. Our hearing may not be as strong making conversation difficult. Our short-term memory may suffer causing us to ask repeat questions. And we may set the thermostat a little higher than others prefer. It is during this time, these years, when we need our family even more.
The hug from my oldest aunt was priceless. She was so excited to have us visit with her. She was too excited to even sit down! She showed us pictures, she talked, she touched our faces, and hugged us each again. It warmed my heart and I’m sure we warmed hers, too. Hopefully, as we continue our visits, the boys will continue the tradition when they are adults or when it’s me who needs a visit.
Pay someone a visit!
Have a blessed week!
Copyright 2018 Kimberly Griffith Anderson
If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.