“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which thy Lord thy God giveth thee.”
Dad took me to work with him one Saturday. It was just the two of us and we were pretty far from home so we spent the night at a motel. I was probably 10 years old and was really not much help to Dad. He was operating heavy equipment doing dirt work and I was allowed to roam free.
He told me that people found arrowheads in this area and that I could look for them. I walked around picking up anything that remotely looked like an arrowhead putting each of them in a bucket. When the day was over I showed them to dad and there in the bucket was the prettiest and the most perfect arrowhead you have ever seen. I have no idea why I did not recognize it when I was picking them up but I didn’t. Finding it was a once-in-a-lifetime event for me.
I took it to school and showed it off. Later it broke and I have no idea where it went. I wish I had it now as I would treasure it.
Isn’t it true that sometimes we do not recognize the treasures that we have even when we are looking for them. At some point we recognize them and treasure them and maybe even show them off. Then once again they are replaced by other things that interest us and they gradually just disappear from our lives.
I have seen this happen with parents as they age and as their children grow up and start their own families. Those who were once their protector and provider now are replaced by the demands of the next generation. Life goes on… prioritities change. There are different seasons and needs that change but the love for our parents and attention to them especially as they grow older is timeless.
It is a tragedy when a parent or parents reach a stage in their lives where they seem broken and no longer part of the quick paced race of everyday living. They may seem misplaced or forgotten much like my arrowhead that I treasured so much at one time in my life. Our parents are a once-in-a-lifetime event and we should treasure them as such.
One important activity you could do would be to sit down one day with a video camera and a list of questions about their lives. You will hear stories that you had forgotten or never even heard before. What were their parents like? When did they have their first kiss? What was it like to live through a war. Reliving some of these experiences and sharing them with you on video will help ensure their memories are with the family for generations to come.
Make sure you HighFive Your Life by recognizing and keeping fresh in your mind the treasures of your life that you have been fortunate to receive. I doubt I will ever find another arrowhead in my life. I should have taken better care of it. The same goes for family and friends but most especially for aging parents. They are a once-in-a-lifetime event.
HighFive Your Life Principle: Honor your parents and cherish and care for them especially as they grow older.