We all have connections. In life, relationships should be our best and most celebrated of connections. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Broken relationships are a heartache in life.
By providence I was blessed with two wonderful parents. They loved each other very much. They worked hard. They enjoyed good times with many friends. And, helped each other through the bad times. They danced really well together. Through it all they stayed together. They expected a lot of me and my brother. They had high standards with fair expectations. They were great mentors to us in our careers. But always Mom and Dad. They loved us.
Seven years ago, Mom passed away in September the month of Dad’s birthday. And, Dad departed 10 years ago, in November the month of Mom’s birthday. I miss them both.
This past week, I traveled back home to Louisville, Kentucky. It had been 7 years since I flew into Bowman field. Both Mom and Dad would meet me there. Home was not far from the airport.
Wednesday morning, I visited Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery where Mom and Dad are buried. It was before 8:00am and the gates had opened early. I entered through the main Cherokee Road entrance, instead of the Grinstead Drive with which I had some familiarity. In the early dawn light and after a number of turns I realized I was lost. The roads bend and criss cross like a maze. It was an unexpected moment which added to my feeling of being alone. A very quiet time for reflection. Circumstances had led me on this trip by myself without family.
Established in 1848, Cave Hill Cemetery is Louisville’s largest, and a botanical garden by design. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. I could see the ground crews were gathering to begin their day’s work. But I wasn’t going to ask them for directions. So, I pulled out my phone and asked Siri. Weird, she knew where I was. And, she had directions to the Grinstead Drive entrance. As my Mom would say, “there were more turns than you could shake a stick at.” From there I recognized enough landmarks to make it to their graveside.
The air in Kentucky had a fall chill upon it. It was a quiet September morning. There are times in life that are full hard stop. I reflected on the “dash” between the engraved dates. And, I know I was blessed to have Mom and Dad with me through much of my life. This moment was prescient and didn’t allow for any interruptions.
We all have connections to our past which can help us appreciate the connections we have today. To celebrate and value our family, friends and neighbors. To strengthen and support them and mend brokenness in ways we have not yet found. I know we’re living in a post Christian nation. But my hope is still in the best reconciler of relationships, Jesus Christ. The greatest connection we can have of all.
From Cave Hill Cemetery, I took Bardstown Road south back to Bowman field. It’s a short 10-minute drive. My plane was ready. I accepted the Air Devil departure and climbed west back to Houston, Texas with thankfulness to have this time to pilot a modern chariot through God’s beautiful skies. Until that – Last Day.