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My Last 500 Days

BY LEANN DILBECK –

That “aha” moment… when you know your time is running out. The once tiniest human in our home is now the tallest; and the one that we all call when we can’t reach something… the one that used to rely on his daddy to lift him above his head and fly with the angel to put the finishing touch on the tree is now the one we call to put that angel on that same tree because he doesn’t require a ladder or step stool! How can it be? But there he was, in my “aha” moment, doing just that and leaving me to feel like his days were filtering through my hands like sand.

As parents we have approximately 6,574 days to raise God-fearing, loving, responsible, compassionate, productive human beings that will leave our nests in search of God’s plan for their lives amid a very complex world that competes for their attention, seeks to distract them from what is really important, tempts them with glitz, convenience, and catapults promises and lies faster than a pitching machine. Yes, I know, even after they turn 18, we are still very much parents and they still very much need our guidance, because at my age of forty “ahem” something, I certainly still seek my parents’ guidance. I understand that it will simply be a new season of life and one that I will embrace but at that particular “aha” moment, I relished in it… as if wanting to push pause… and cherished each and every one of those 6,022 days I’d had with him and yes, soon the reality of the fact that I had merely 552-plus days left… sunk in.

All I had ever dreamed of being, outside of the truck driver phase, was to be a momma. Our chances weren’t the highest in being able to have children and it tested both of our faith but in the end, through God’s grace, we ended up with two answers to very faithful prayers, however, nagging, demanding, and desperate they were, and I couldn’t be prouder of both of them.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that as parents, we spend so much of the time on the “to do” list in raising children and get absorbed with the busyness that the reality of only 6,574 days is lost, it is a blink of an eye, and regardless of their GPAs and their athletic accomplishments, it’s about their heart that really matters.

As 2017 is quickly upon us, I hope each of us will cherish each and every moment. Our family is incredibly close, to the point that we are awkward if one is missing for even the briefest moment, but I take comfort in knowing that we are each other’s safe spot, comfort in knowing that even if they didn’t keep up with those proverbial Jones kids, God and family are at their core and in the end, that’s all that really matters.

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