Well, my parents are really doing it. After 42 years with Village Missions, they're going to move from Blodgett, where they have been for the past 14 1/2 years, and move to Moscow, ID where they'll be next door to my sister Julie and her family. So strange to think of Dad as being anything other than a full time pastor. Quite obviously that is what he has been my entire life and then some. I'm sure they'll find some way to be involved in ministry in this new phase of their lives, but as of yet none of us have any idea what that will look like.
So many people have told me that people they know, or they themselves, are even busier after they retire. In all honesty, I can't imagine my parents being any busier than they always are. I kept thinking that once they no longer had children at home that things could calm down for them, but that hasn't been the case. Now they just have to travel all over the place to visit those children. I hope they do find a way to breathe easy for a little while after they retire. They have certainly earned a chance to rest, but I can't see it being likely any time soon.
I am so thankful for the parents I have been given. What amazing people. I can't even begin to express how much they mean to me. In this world of uncertainty and broken families, I have never had to worry about my parents committments to God, each other, and me. So few people can say that.
Now, in just over a week, we're throwing them a retirement party. I've never been to a retirement party. How in the world does one go about planning such a thing? Craziness. Especially in the midst of all the other things I'm trying to take care of. We've been frantically cleaning out the basement room so there will be space for people to sleep while they are here. Julie and her family arrive tonight, Cheryl and her kids are already in Salem and are likley coming this way tomorrow. Fortunately we'll be spending most of the time at Janet's house where she has already plotted out the sleeping arrangments, but there is much to be done to make this house ready for so many guests.
For now, I'm just hoping that we'll be able to enjoy our time together as a family (I believe the last time we were all together was for my brother-in-laws funeral in 2003 so it's been a while and that wasn't under the best of circumstances obviously.) Beyond being able to have fun together, I'm hoping that the final party plans will come together smoothly, and that my parents will be blessed by the turnout of those in whose lives they have made an impact. They have done so much for all of us, I only hope they're able to realize a fraction of what they mean to those they have been important to.