2018-10-04 / Editorial Page

Word of elderly couple’s divorce brings their children home for visit

Words of Encouragement
By ROGER ALFORD columnist

An elderly woman called her daughter who lives out-of-state and delivered the news: “I hate to interrupt your day, but I need to tell you that your Dad and I are getting a divorce. After 51 years, I’ve had all I can take, and I can’t take no more.”

“But, Mom,” the daughter began. “No ‘buts’ about it,” Mom said. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your brother and tell him.”

The daughter called her brother, who totally freaked out. He in turn called his mother and told her in no uncertain terms: “You are NOT getting a divorce. Do you hear me? Don’t do a thing before we get there. We’re flying in tomorrow to deal with this.”

When the son hung up, the elderly woman turned to her husband, and said with a big beaming smile: “OK. They’re coming to visit. And they’re buying their own tickets.”

There’s nothing as grand as visits from family. There’s anticipation before they arrive, hugs when they show up, and hugs again when they leave. And, because God created people to be social creatures, we tend to miss our loved ones when they’re away, especially our children.

‘Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them’ (Psalm 127:3-5).

Then, they grow up, move away, and get very busy living their own lives. In the hustle and bustle of earning livings, taking care of chores and caring for children, it’s easy not to carve out time for our own parents.

That’s sad, considering we couldn’t possibly have gotten along without them when we were young.

Perhaps you’ve heard the story about the teacher who once showed her second graders a magnet and explained how it worked. In a quiz the next day, she asked this question: ‘My full name has six letters. The first one is M. I pick up things. What am I?’

When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost 50 percent of the students answered the question with the word ‘Mother.’

We grew with a deep need for our mothers and fathers. Then the day comes when they need us.

When that day arrives, they shouldn’t have to contrive a story about a divorce to get us to come for a visit.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.

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