A while back we had a series on some of the difficult things that people say to us, and how we respond. Dianne has reminded me it is time to turn to some helpful things people have said or done.
After 14 years of living with Paul and almost five years with Dianne’s cancer, I have a lot of things! God has been merciful to bring people into our lives, sometimes just for a moment, and sometimes for years or decades.
But it was easy to think of who to concentrate on this morning, because in a couple of hours my family will be packing up to go celebrate a special weekend with them.
The reason: 60 years of marriage! Isn’t that something! The legacy of Harland and Pauline (Larimore) Knight includes three children, nine grandchildren and now four great-grandchildren! The stories of their faithfulness to me and to my sisters could go on a very long time.
So, they might show up a few times in this series, but I’ll give you just a taste right now:
Paul was born without eyes, the first of his disabilities we would discover. Surgeons in Minnesota could not adequately address his under-developed eye sockets, which would result, over time, in some very significant problems in his facial development. In the entire United States, there were only two doctors who had developed two different techniques to address issues like this. We chose the clinic and doctor in Indianapolis.
Since we live in Minnesota, this obviously meant traveling and finding lodging and dealing with a hundred details associated with the medical procedure for our very young boy. And we would have none of the comforts of home we had learned could be helpful for Paul in his recovery.
Grandma and Grandpa’s solution? Drop everything (that statement doesn’t have the impact that it should. Winona, MN practically stops working when they leave town, such is the number of things they do to serve people there. I’ve stopped counting the number of service awards they’ve received because I can’t count that high!), throw a rocking chair in the trunk (not as easy as it sounds), drive 500 miles one way, and spend days in the middle of an emotional storm with their son and daughter-in-law taking turns rocking their grandson.
Because they knew Paul liked to be rocked. And they knew Dianne and I would need some time alone together in that strange place to process what was happening, or just to rest. And because they simply couldn’t not do something.
So, I am a grateful son who can say of his mother:
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:26-29
And if I have learned anything in how to serve my family, it is because of my father:
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 1 Timothy 3:2-5
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
More stories to come. And I hope you will consider contributing by sharing the helpful things people have done or said to you!