Monday, February 09, 2004

I love you tears

Tonight I got a call from mom. I could tell she sounded sad on the phone. I never talk to just one of my parents. Its always on the speaker phone and its always the two of them together asking me how life is. This time was different. I don't know where dad was, but mom just wanted to call to tell me about how her dad was doing.

My grandfather just underwent a surgery on his leg. He is a big, strong ox of a man. But his weakness is in his hips. He has had both hips replaced over the years. He is a farmer, tough as nails. But this time they found an infection in his leg. His diabetes didn't help. So they had to take out a chunk of leg muscle to get rid of the infection. His means that his mobile, independent life may be placed on hold indefinitely.

I have been praying for my grandpa Kuhn all week. He is out of surgery now and had to be put in a nursing home for the time being. For an independent farmer, this is as good as death. But he has to undergo physical therapy and he needs to take antibiotics intravenously, which couldn't be done at home.

So my mom calls tonight to update me on all of this. I told her about life here and she updated me on her new job opportunity and how the rest of the family was doing. My mom is great. But she was so sad on the phone. After I told her that I had been praying for her and dad and for new job opportunities as well as praying for my grandfather, she was so appreciative.

By the end of the conversation, she was choked up. I told her thanks for calling and she couldn't answer. I could hear the tears streaming down her cheeks. She tried to hold them in but she couldn't. I knew she didn't want to cry on the phone, she wanted to be strong, but she couldn't hold back the flood of emotion which was welling up inside of her.

So she apologized for bothering me, as if her calls are ever a bother, and I thanked her for calling. I said, "I guess I will talk to you next week then." She said, "Ok." I said bye and she said bye, and that was it. What I wanted to say, I had not the strength to say. I wanted to say, "Mom, it will be ok. And just know that I love you mom, I love you."

We don't really say "I love you" in my family. We show it. We are there for one another. We sacrifice for one another. But we usually don't toss around the L word. I struggle saying I love you, even to the people I love the most.

My friend Chad and I had a heart to heart last night. Thanks Chad. He ended our conversation with, "I love you man." He was sincere. And I knew it. I wanted to say, "I love you too holmes." That is what I wanted to say. But what I wanted to say I had not the strength to say. So I said something like, "Alright man," or "Thanks man" or something silly like that.

Even as I write this in Common Grounds, and I think of my mom crying on the phone, tears are coming to my own eyes. I wish I could go back....I wish I could rewind and end that conversation right. "Mom, things will be alright. I love you mom, I love you."

Father, I stink at expressing love. If a Christian should be able to do one thing, it should be that. But I suck at it. Forgive me for the pride that holds me back. Father, I can say I love you to You all day long, but what good is it if I can't say it to my friends, my family. Help me to say what I cannot say on my own.


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