Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thoughts on a Merry-Go-'Round, Revisited

Today I reread the posts I shared with you two years ago while my parents visited us for 17 days. And this post, below, made me cry... I'd forgotten about the ride I'd taken with them on the merry-go-'round...


Yesterday on a cloudy, cool afternoon I rode a 1916 wooden merry-go-round with my parents. I chose a 'safe seat,' a little carriage with two benches, and I chose the back bench because you had to step over a little part and left the front bench for my parents.

But they each chose a horse to ride. I was surprised! Especially that my dad would pull himself up on a high wooden horse--all week we have been taking the easy route wherever we go because of his arthritis. But he, and my mom, each climbed up on a horse just fine.

So as the old-fashioned caliope music played (was it Meet Me In St. Louis?) we whirled around and around amongst the horses and colored lights and then I looked up in front of me at the back of my parents and felt my eyes sting. "They are here today, but they'll not be here forever. Someday they will both be gone. But right now they are here and we are making another memory." Those were my thoughts.

Yes, those were my thoughts and I had to look away, had to gaze at all the brightly-painted horses around us. The bittersweetness was choking me.

My dad is nearly 70 and he is like a different person. Much more relaxed than he was his first sixty years. More laid-back. If only he'd been that way while my sister, brother and I were young. Part of it, just part of it, is because his doctor told him he must avoid stress or the arthritis will creep over him. He must view everything differently.

Many people, especially men, I've noticed, become much nicer, more pleasant people in their old age. I wonder if they see the difference. I wonder if they have regrets which haunt them when they lay down to sleep at night.

I want something better. I want to relax now while I'm only in my forties. I want to see the world through God's eyes--and I cannot imagine Him all stressed-out, shakey and irate in Heaven. I cannot see Him scared about the future, worried sick about His kids or fearful of what others will think if He does things differently than everyone else.

I want to have His heart and His eyes and His courage. And if someday my own daughter sits behind me on a merry-go-round, I want all of her memories of me to be sweet.


jar said...

By finding this post again it's like someone was sending you an unexpected present.

Thanks for sharing it.

elizabeth said...

Very nice post, Debra! Thanks for sharing is all true!

Ronnie Brown said...

Truly touching. I feel the same way about my parents now. It seems to me we might be better off if we try to gain the wisdom of old age while we're still young enough to enjoy the rest of our lives. Why live life in perpetuation of the "small stuff" when it won't end up mattering down the road? And with our children now, why not show them the wisdom most of our grandparents showed us, instead of waiting until we're grandparents to do it?

Laurie said...

I can so realte to your post. When my mom was dying of cancer I whispered those same words to myself everytime we were together...."We're making a memory..." God taught me to savor the present and live each moment to the fullest.

The pain from your loss will subside. It takes a while but there does come a time when the memories are accompanied by smiles instead of tears.

And oh the joy that keeps us going - knowing that we will see our loved ones again!

Jennelle said...

Dear Debra,

I just want to say that not only are your posts thought-provoking but also they make me feel good when I read them.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us!