It is almost Labor Day and I am thinking of my father-in-law. Labor Day was always a time when he fired up the grill making ribs or pork steaks. Christmas brought his famous fudge, chocolate chip cookies by the dozen and the best Chex mix on the planet. (He used the expensive mixed nuts and real butter!) We miss Dad but most often I miss him on these barbecue holidays. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. So in his memory, some words from a Springtime sermon.
Two years ago, my father-in-law died of cancer. He had stubbornly stayed away from the doctor and by the time he started to feel really sick, it was too late to do anything.
He spent the last month of his life in the hospital. And my sister-in-law worried about him being by himself. And it was hard to imagine Dad in a lonely hospital room.
But she needn’t have worried. His pastor came to visit every day. His buddies from the church bowling team came by. Old friends and family sent cards and letters. Customers from his handy man business, called my mother-in-law to check on her and Dad.
There were times when he was alone in his room, but he wasn’t lost or forlorn. Dad knew that his family, his friends and his church loved him dearly. He had their prayers and their support.
A friend of mine used to say that when times are tough, we need to lean to the middle. That way we prop each other up even when we are our most weary selves. We lean to the middle and nobody falls.