It was challenging for me to not see my son, Luke, as he began attending Purdue University a few years ago which is about two hours away from where we live. I found that I really had to communicate so much more and more clearly to continue to influence him.
Last night, my mother-in-law talked with me about the loss of her husband and about all the "stuff" that he accumulated like tools, notes from his Bible studies, knick-knacks and other things—they really don't matter now. When we go through his stuff, we throw most of it out. It was a numbing thought, but then we talked about what did matter. There were a few physical items that mattered only because they help us remember my father-in-law when he was here with us, but as we discussed what really mattered, it was obvious that it was the relationship that we had with him. The memories of him, of his face at certain moments, in times of pain and in times of immense joy. The times in the truck with him when he would let me drive. The times when I would do something well and he would pat me on the back and give me a word of encouragement.