My Dad turned 85 yesterday (Sunday), and he's scheduled to get a pacemaker tomorrow (Tuesday). I'd say for someone with an irregular heartbeat, that apparently can get real slow sometimes nowadays, he's done a great job throughout life of keeping on keeping on and setting a good example for those who are watching, such as this daughter. And Mom's right there with him, day by day showing that life's too short not to stay active and treasure each moment.
I feel so blessed when I get to spend time with them, such as this past Saturday and Sunday. Mom had a get-together with some of the family Saturday at their house. Not all of the kids were there right then, but all had been by to visit in the past week. We all enjoy visiting each other, but it also seems good for Mom and Dad when we space out our visits rather than all come at once. Saturday was nice though. The weather was warm enough for people to sit around outside, on the north side of the house, shielded somewhat from the brisk south wind. As darkness fell, there was even a super moon to provide atmosphere! The dry weather and north Texas burn ban meant no candles on the cake, but that was OK, too.
Sunday brought worship with Mom and Dad, my brother and sister-in-law and one of their daughters, and a sister and brother-in-law and their daughter-in-law at the church we grew up in. I'd planned to be there ever since I realized Daddy's birthday was on a Sunday. I planned far enough ahead that I was able to provide special music, singing "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," filling a request for a church member who is also a relative. I may have even had a breakthrough singing there this time. It's where I grew up singing and wanting to sing, but somewhere along the way, I lost confidence. And even as I gained confidence singing other places, I'd become aware that when I sing during worship at Whaley, some of the old nervousness and doubt kicks in. But I prayed about it and really tried to just get lost in the words: Let not your heart be troubled/ His tender words I hear/ And resting in His goodness/ I lose all doubt and fear .... I sing because I'm happy/ I sing because I'm free/ His eye is on the sparrow/ And I know He watches me. I truly felt the joy and blessing of the song, and I'm grateful for that.
Besides the words of the song, I also was encouraged by another example from my pacesetter mom. She had set her mind to having Daddy's party at their house, even though it's not as roomy as some others that are pretty easily available. Even on Saturday, as the crowd grew, a comment was made that this could have been somewhere else. But Mom said she wanted to have it there, so Daddy didn't have to go anywhere. And she said she knew it would work. And it did. How I love that faith and spirit. I'm trying to hold onto it.
As for my Dad, in some ways he seemed as strong or stronger this weekend as I've seen him since his lung surgery last fall, and maybe for some time before that. The thought crossed my mind: Does he really need a pacemaker? But I do understand the need. And I appreciate that he and Mom are willing to do things to keep them as healthy as they can be. I'm still working to learn from that example for myself.
So, soon my pacesetting parents will have a pacemaker to help them out. (I say help them out because if it's good for Daddy, that's good for Mom.) Now I'll never be able to keep up! But I feel grateful and blessed for the pace they have set and my willingness to keep trying.