Over the past twenty-five years I've made many trips from my home back to the large city I grew up in. It's a two hour drive alongside rolling pastures and fields dotted with farms. I can travel interstate highway the whole time, even around the big city and almost to my mother's front door.
When my children were little they so enjoyed coming to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Picking and munching on vegetables in the huge garden, trips to stores we didn't have, game night at the kitchen table, receiving gifts and love. As they grew, it was harder for them to leave their social lives but they appreciated family gatherings and still very much enjoyed those drives up.
Then came the years I made the drive alone. So pleasurable to go out to dinner with Mom and Dad. Work on projects around the house, watch favorite tv shows together.
But as Dad's strokes left him less able to care for himself, the drive up and back became a worrisome one. Once there time was spent caring for him and progressed to Mom and I sitting by his bedside. With each health issue the trips became ones of tears and prayer.
Now I drive up to visit with just Mom. I'm so grateful for our time together. She gets out less and less and I feel she looks forward to my company. There are boxes for me to carry, a little yard work to do, along with reminiscing and sharing family news.
Tonight as I traveled I reflected on the previous trips up. Trips with a packed car through trips asking for God's comfort and strength to now. It has been a great journey.