Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
It’s rare that I am at a loss for words. It’s not that I don’t have words; I have too many. It is because so many thoughts are crowding my head and my heart on this Mother’s Day.

Last Tuesday was Mom and Dad’s 81st anniversary, which is comforting since I’m nearly eighty. The math works out okay.

Tomorrow, the 10th, would be Dad’s 106th birthday. On May 17th, baby sister Cathy celebrates her __th, (I’m not telling,) my anniversary is on the 25th, so May is a great month for our family.

I can’t think of Mom today without automatically thinking of Dad. They had six more children after me (to prove to the world they could do better,) so they definitely were linked together.

Our family came to Florida from New York in 1949 because Dr. Julien told Mom she would not last long in the climate that saw her contract viral pneumonia at least once a winter. There were five kids at that point. So off we came to the wild lands of North Miami.

Four kids came by car with our aunt and uncle. Mom came a month later with 13-month-old Peter in her arms on her first flight. Then we all waited for Dad to sell the house and come to us some months later. Mom kept her five children in a small trailer, while we waited for Dad.

I’m sure that many of you have similar tales about things your parents went through. I hope you have good memories. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for the very good memories I have.

Mom and Dad are at the very heart of those memories. If I’m not thinking about them direct¬ly, then I’m pretty sure that the other things I am doing in my life are certainly influenced by the values my parents taught, as much by action as by word... in fact, far more by action than word.

Now as I look back on it all, I realize just so much more clearly what our parents really meant in our lives. My heart aches for people who don’t have those kinds of blessed recollections.

On this Mother’s Day I hope you can join me in being grateful for the good times. Perhaps we can also pray with you for the kind of healing you may need when those memories are not so good.

Trust me. I know that walking away from long-standing hurts is not easy. How often have you heard me say, “Remember: forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling.” How do you decide to forgive? You say, “God don’t let there be anything be between you and ‘Harry’ as a result of anything that happened between me and ‘Harry.’” (Sometimes, I want to add, “Personally Lord, I don’t know why you’d want to have anything to do with “Harry’ but that’s your problem, not mine.” Amazingly, He continues to forgive me unconditionally, anyway!)

Once you decide to forgive, it doesn’t mean that you won’t experience unhappy feelings. Don’t ever let that make you think that your decision to forgive didn’t work. Somehow people think their feelings will change when they forgive. That takes a lot long¬er. Meanwhile, the Lord knows your heart.

I’ve spoken about forgiveness and its difficulties before, but maybe it comes to me today because hurts about parents can be so monumental. It’s an albatross that can keep you from living today, rather than wallowing in yesterday.

Today we start the Novena for our moms, and we will do it again in June for our fathers. I hope that you grandparents remember to include your daughters who have little kids in the novena. Help their kids to include their moms or do it for them.

Thank you, Lord, for Mom and Dad. Bless them for all they gave us.

In Jesus our brother and Lord,
sign frjim

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