A week before Thanksgiving, my husband, Jerome and I drove 12 hours south to have a pre-Thanksgiving celebration with my mother-in-law, 80-year-old Estelle and our family. Estelle lives in a nursing home and she is battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Jerome’s family travelled from Jackson, Gulfport and Louisianna for the
Thanksgiving meal, graciously hosted by Betty and Monroe Sago. We had a blast visiting with Estelle and God surprised us with another connection – Jerome’s aunts, 99-year-old Ida and 75-year-old Gertrude.
When Jerome was 2-years-old, his father, Alfred, was killed in a car accident. We never knew that the same day his dad died, so did Alfred’s brother. Ida was Estelle’s roommate and a connection from God for Jerome.
Alfred was a family mystery for Jerome. When we met Alfred’s sisters and their children, God broke walls down. Ida and Gertrude are the only survivors out of 12 siblings. God restored Jerome’s dad’s family to him.
We made the effort to bring the family together for pre-Thanksgiving
dinner because we don’t know how long we have with Estelle. But I’ve
thought, why didn’t we make that same effort when she was living in her own home, healthy and spunky? Why did we wait until she was living in a nursing home?
Then I thought of all the people I’ve suddenly paid attention to because
they were sick, dying or dead. Why don’t I give them the same attention
when they are alive and well? This holiday season I’m going to try to send a gift to my family instead of the customary e-gift card.
I want to pay attention to the people that matter to me while they are
healthy and well instead of being moved by an emergency. I don’t want to wait for a tragedy or an emergency. I want my family and loved ones to know that I love them now.