aging.jpg Aging image by jarrington_2006

Today….I hate to say this, but I have reached that age…the double “f” word age. F i F t y!  Ouch. 

I lived with Mom and Dad until I was 21 years old…So now I have lived over half my life out of their nest. As I sit here trying not to feel way too old, I am reflecting on just how much the time I spent in the Cook nest has affected me….or warped me. Just kidding. I have two boy-men of my own. Both are out of the house now and I have given up control…but now that I think about how much “control” my parents have over me still to this date, it makes me reconsider some things I thought I knew.

Jehovah is our father, right?  He has given us guide lines, principles and some very succinct commands about how he expects us to live our lives in order to benefit ourselves. When we ignore him, we suffer the consequences…and yet he takes no delight in our pain; rather, patiently forgives and gives us a hand to lift ourselves out of the muck we land in. As parents, we also want only the best for our children. We try to lead them, guide them, push them and sometimes pull them to do what is best for them and it is VERY frustrating when they do not listen….and we have just a few kids…imagine how Jehovah must feel.  When our children succeed, we stand and cheer. We stand by with proud, beaming smiles as they make wise decisions that enhance their lives and take a little credit for teaching them well. All is peachy keen with the world.  But when they make mistakes or get on a path that might lead to mistakes, small ones and some big ones; we are forced to watch them stumble and we gasp when they fall and get heartbroken when we see their pain. We blame ourselves and feel guilty, because surely we could have, should have, done something, anything, to prevent them from making bad decisions. We want to run in and save them, wipe away their tears and make it all better. Yet we are left with our hands tied, unable to fix what hurts and we hope and pray that they will be okay…and somehow, they usually weather the storm and are just fine.  They go through all this, living their lives as they will, not knowing or caring just how much their parents are affected by everything that happens to them. Everything! …the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think of this now, knowing that my parents have gone through this and continue to go through this, five-fold.  We, their children, have drug our parents through some pretty heavy drama over the years…and if it’s not enough that they worry about just us, we had to go and have kids, and some of our kids have kids. So now they worry about their own five, and then the grandkids and great-grandkids too. We must be killing them. They probably wish they could put us all in time capsules until Jehovah steps in an ends this insanity.

So I hereby, and very publicly apologize in behalf of myself and my siblings for all the trouble we have and continue to throw your way Mom and Dad.

Now on the bright side, and I personally know this to be true…my parents have done a darn good job weathering the storms and have even managed to provide us with some pretty stong anchors to get us through the ups and downs. There is a very strong core-a tough fiber that runs in the Cook clan. We have been genetically programmed to have a stubborn streak that keeps us on our feet. We also have the humor factor that keeps us laughing in the face of adversity. We have also been trained by our parents to know how to pick really good friends…and I boast with gratitude, that I have some of the best friends possible. We choose friends that bring out the best in us and incite us to be better people.  We chose you..the people who read this post…you are our friends, our support, our backbone and our joy. We are thankful for your love and your devotion…we value your friendship so much. Truly.

So I am now another day older and a teensy bit wiser and proud to still be under the control of those awfully mean (wink, wink) Cook parents who I love so dearly. So welcome year 50…keep them coming! Keep them coming for all of us….for an eternity.