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Two Sets of Parents

The Home to Heather Creek editor shares why she finds comfort in her parents’ quality time.

This holiday weekend, my parents are heading off on a cruise to Alaska. This trip has been my mom’s dream for as long as I can remember—she’s wanted to see the glaciers and the Northern Lights for a long, long time.

They never quite managed to swing it, though, between two busy jobs and three kids and a mortgage and expensive college tuitions. My parents always put us first, and their own dreams got put on hold while they made sure we were taken care of.

Now, for their 35th anniversary, they’re finally doing it. They deserve it, and I couldn’t be more excited for them. My brothers and I had fun coming up with just the right gift to have sent ahead for them to find in their stateroom, and we’re looking forward to hear all about their trip of a lifetime.

I, on the other hand, will be spending this holiday weekend with my husband’s family in Michigan. It will be great to see them, and I can’t wait to catch up with nieces and nephews, but it won’t be a cruise by any stretch of the imagination.

My father-in-law has Alzheimer’s, and has been in a nursing home for the past few years, while my mother-in-law is wrestling with breast cancer and got her last chemo treatment yesterday.

I’ll be glad to be there to support her, but I’m also trying to brace myself, and my husband, to find her changed. I’m trying to keep in mind that she probably won’t feel or act as active as she normally is. She’s fighting for her life, and we can only pray that God will help her beat this thing.

I’m thankful for the good health my parents have enjoyed, and I pray they will have many, many more cruises ahead of them, but thinking about what I’ll see this weekend makes me even more thankful they’ve finally decided to enjoy the time they have and to make the most of the time they have together.

I know my mother-in-law would give anything to take another vacation with her husband, or even just to sit in the church pew with him again. I know that someday my own parents won’t be as healthy as they are now. But they’re finally making it a point to enjoy their time together, and I couldn’t be happier for them—and for all of us. 

Beth Adams is the creator and editor of GUIDEPOSTS’ Home to Heather Creek fiction series.

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