Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I miss my kids

I miss my kids. The screen saver on the computer in my home office shows thousands of photos of wonderful moments from the past. I sometimes can’t bring myself to stop watching the pictures and do the work I know I need to do. I find myself watching for just a few more pictures. And then, a few more.

Becky on our trip to Las Vegas
My kids are no longer kids, they are all adults near 30 years of age. I am blessed that I get to see them regularly. I love them and am proud of who they have grown up to be. 

But, my kids are gone. The girl who sat in my lap watching the Sound of Music over and over again, the boy describing in excruciating detail the features of the F16 fighter, and the boy curled up asleep under my chair while I'm working from home are all gone. They are memories that photos can conjure, but they are gone. I miss them the way they were. 

I’ve been thinking about this for some time but have been at a loss for what to conclude. Every time I tried to draw a scriptural or general principle, I failed. 

Nathan at the Colosseum
When I looked in the Bible for references to remembering, most of them were intended to exhort people to remember what God had done for them in the past. While I agree with that, it did not seem to apply to what I had been pondering. So, I was stuck with musings and no resolution.  

Recently, however, I went to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. (As an aside, it was a great concert with Third Day also performing.) Chapman told the story of trying to get his two young daughters to bed so he could work and they wanted to play. Once he put them down, without reading a story, he regretted the whole incident. Based on that and his experiences with his adult daughter, he wrote the hit song Cinderella. If you've never heard it, or it has been awhile, it is worth listening to. It tells about how fast childhood goes by and concludes with dancing at a daughter's wedding. It is a wonderfully insightful song that errs on the side of sappy, but will bring a tear to the eye of anyone with children. 

Davey on a camping trip to the beach
What made the story he told especially poignant was that one of those daughters died a few months later in a tragic accident in the driveway of his home. For years, he was unable to sing the song knowing that he would never get to dance with her at her wedding. Eventually, he felt he needed to start singing the song as a message of hope for others. He spoke knowingly of cherishing the moments he did have with her, but with the knowledge that they are gone. He then sang the song and tears ensued. 

I feel especially blessed that, unlike Chapman, I was able to be at all of my children's weddings. There is, of course, a danger that as when I can't pull away from the pictures on my computer screen, the past can prevent us from doing what we need to do.

I did find a couple Bible verses that caution against dwelling too much on the past:
  • Isaiah 43:18 - Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things from the past.
  • Ecclesiastes 7:10 - Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?"
I need to find that balance to remembering, even cherishing, the past while not dwelling on it; to being thankful for the many ways that God has blessed me, while straining forward toward the future that awaits.

I think I need to spend some time with my grandsons!


  1. Well done, my friend. You nailed it. I miss my kids, too, so very much, and I regret not having given them more time when they were young and living here. Your words and that song brought tears to my eyes, which few things do. It's too late to call my kids, so I wrote them both an apology and a reaffirmation of my love. Thank you.