Monday, December 1, 2008

An Ironic Reflection on Exaltation

My oldest son attends college on the East Coast, over 500 miles away. Chances are very good that he will end up remaining somewhere in that area after he graduates. My next son almost surely will study hundreds of miles away and, if his plans come to fruition, will live even further away than his older brother. My oldest daughter will attend BYU (over 1,500 miles from home). I suspect within two years, our immediate family will resemble that of my parents - with half of our kids at home and the other half far away. Once the younger ones graduate from high school, I'm not sure any of them will live near us.

As for myself, I have lived on the other side of the continent (and world on my mission) from my parents for more than 20 years. Of 8 children, I am the only one that is the spitting image of my father physically. As the oldest son, I feel a particular responsibility for the welfare of my parents and siblings, but I live many hundreds of miles from all of them. (Half of us live in Utah, within 100 miles of my parents.) Anyone who read my Father's Day tribute to my father will understand how deeply I love and admire that man - but I almost never get to see him, and I'm not there to share his burdens as his health slowly deteriorates. I would give almost anything to be nearer to Dad and Mom, except the one thing I cannot give - the life my wife and I have created for my own family.

Ironic, yes, but I think both my heavenly and earthly parents understand, just as I understand that my own family will leave us soon - since that is how I picture the eternities, as well.


Stephen said...

Interesting how family, time and distance all interact.

Anonymous said...

We've had a similar experience,life can be cruelly ironic,we rarely get to live the life we choose.It's a great joy to me to know that we were able to make it possible for my husband to simply lie down with his father for a day shortly before his father died.It was an enormous comfort to my husband,and hope it was some comfort to his father.I'm not sure I could bare to see my husband and son separated,and would consider moving to be close to at least one of my children as they become settled,but when might that be?We've continued to live in an urban environment in the hope that this will give them options of not moving prohibitively far from us,and that is what happened to us whilst we were making other plans.