Friday, August 26, 2011
Old Friends, New Friends, Changes
The past couple weeks have been full of changes for our family, with neighbors and friends moving, new neighbors (hopefully soon to be friends) moving in, old friends reappearing in our lives, and old friends passing on. It's been good to renew and reminisce, hug and commiserate, encourage and laugh. The grieving has been harder.
It's been good for our kids to see and hear about these life passages, but hard as well. Death and change are just another part of life, and dealing with them a facet of growing up, but sometimes it's not easy. (Sometimes it stinks beyond words.) It's not easy at any age, really, if you love and care for the people you know. It's only "easy come, easy go" if you don't form any real, lasting attachments; if you don't care enough to mind when someone leaves, if you don't love enough to hurt at partings.
My parents are understandably upset and sad. From their group of longstanding friends, a handful of couples they've know for decades, Mom is the only one who isn't a widow now. Dad has seen many of his friends pass on in the last few years (one just a month ago), and my Uncle Chris had a scare with Guillane-Barre Syndrome recently. I wish I could help them more, but I haven't walked their path yet. I can offer support and love, but not understanding. It will be my generation's turn soon enough.
The kids have been a bit unnerved by all the deaths and illnesses around them this summer. A friend's father whose cancer has returned, a little girl murdered in a town nearby, Uncle Chris' illness, their cousin's heart surgery, Uncle Bill, and the list goes on. I've tried to comfort them and explain things to them without scaring them, but sometimes life is very scary even though we have hope in Christ. I hope and pray we don't lose anyone else any time soon. Sometimes life seems so short.
I have to go hug my kids now. . . .