I was on my way home from babysitting my grand kids and had a good 2 hour ride to just sit and listen to the radio, sing, think, pray, think some more, pray some more-all of that thinking gets you worrying sometimes so you need to pray after that! It was then that I was moved to stop in to see my parents and grandparents; something was urging me to visit them.
It was a beautiful late afternoon spring day, with a nice breeze blowing through the trees with the sun peaking between the branches when I walked over to my parents headstones. I stopped first and said hello to my Grandpa and Grandma and tears immediately welled up in my eyes as I tried to clean off some moss on their engraved names. I talked out loud to them as if they were sitting there; it just seemed like the right thing to do. I told them how much I missed them, and how shocked they would be to know all the things going on in the world now! I re-read the dates of birth; they were only one year apart, and their dates of death; 18 years apart.
Right behind their headstone are my parents, with a grey concrete bench near by to sit on. I suddenly felt very weary as I plopped down. It was as though I had a need to unburden all those thoughts I was having. It was like being a child again hoping that they could make all my concerns better. I actually asked them if they had any "pull" up there to try get some of my prayers answered! Of course I had to smile when I said that, but you know God has a great sense of humor too or he wouldn't love me like I know he does:)
After a while I went behind their headstones to my Great Grandparents and thanked them for their part in my life here on earth. I wondered out loud how they managed to make it through years of trials and stress; knowing well that it was a strong faith in God that carried them through.
The last one I visited was my brother, and it just was so hard to actually grip that he really wasn't here on earth anymore; somehow it still doesn't seem real. So with that, I told them all goodbye and promised I would stop again when I could. My drive home was quiet and once again I was left to my thoughts and prayers.
It was during that time that the word "wisdom" popped into my head and I knew immediately where that thought came from and what it meant. The older we get the wiser we become; we have experienced so many things, either ourselves or by knowing others. The worry and stress we feel for our children comes from knowing what will happen when they make certain decisions in their lives. They often think it is a control issue on our part, but it isn't--it is the" knowing" that causes worry and hurts so much.
Having the need to stop at the cemetery was no coincident; I was being led to those who had lived before me and had gained so much experience and knowledge during their lifetime. They may no longer be able to verbally tell me the things I have yet to learn, but if I look back at my memories and stories of their lives, I find a wealth of information and guidance through their examples (good and bad) of how to be and how to live a good life.
Hopefully we can learn these lessons so we can be good examples to the generations yet to come.