Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Walking Beside Those Growing Old Has Taught Me

We are blessed enough to be able to swim indoors at least once a week at a warm therapy pool here in our new city.  My little girls love the water and so I take them to swim for a few hours during the day in this beautiful facility.  We are, by far, the youngest swimmers present each time we go.  We usually crash the water aerobics class that takes place for senior citizens.  In addition to this class, there are also a few other stray men and women, well on in their years, who share the space with my rowdy littles.  Today there was a man there who was probably close to eighty.  This is only about the third time we have seen him here.  He seems to have had a stroke, as he has serious mobility issues, and his face is always mangled like he has been defeated by the neurological issues that plague him.  He is always stoic, always quiet, and goes about his business of walking up and down the pool which in and of itself is a true struggle.    Today, we walked up to the pool expecting the key to be hanging by the door for the class participants as it always is, but there was no key and the pool was locked.  This meant we had to trek back down to the desk to pick up a key.  My Jillian was beside herself with despair.  She thought for sure we weren't going to get to swim.  She began to cry as I scooped her up in pursuit of that key.  When we finally got back to the pool and unlocked the door, she was thrilled though you could see that she had been crying.  And that man, that man who always looked so stoic..the one who never smiles and always looks defeated and in pain..smiled at my sweet, special treasure.  He offered her his floating dumb bells and continued to interact with her throughout his swim.  When my girl swims, it is hard not to catch a bit of her exuberant joy as she jumps, drives, shouts, and laughs with decibels hardly reached by this group of seniors.  At one point, he came right up to her face and she looked him right in the eyes.  He touched her nose and she squirted him plum in the face with water.  It made us all smile.  This sweet treasure, who has known defeat herself before knowing the love of this family, touched this man so deeply that for a moment I saw a glimpse of who he once was apart from his broken body.  This moment made me think that one day in the blink of an eye my babies will be grown and my body will be aging.  I won't be chasing these wild, Chinese monkeys forever because they are going to grow up.  In the craziness of my days, I long to just remember to take a moment to look my girls in the eyes and take in a bit of the joy that having them near should stir in my heart.  For just a moment, I want to stop thinking about missing quiet or hobbies or rest and just simply desire to be the best momma I can be for them in this crazy, active season because this season will soon be over.  One day, my house will be clean, the laundry will be caught up, and I will be the one going to this pool for the water aerobics class missing my babies in my arms.  God is so good to have brought so many into my life because of these girls whom have taught me so very much!  I am thankful for each and every lesson.

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