Lessons From the Trash Can and TP Roll

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I unlock the door and let myself into Mom and Dad’s.  I hear Mom hollering from the bedroom and find that Dad has just finished helping her change.

I put away the things I had bought at Dad’s request, clean up a few plops and puddles, and then we sit down in the living room.  Mom is across the room and I say, “Hi Mama.  I love you.”

“You do?” she asks, as if she is seriously questioning my comment.

“Yes,” I answer.  “I really, really love you.”

“Okay,” she says, calmly accepting my love now.  “Do you want me to sit by you?”

“Yes, I do!”

“Okay.”  She gets us and shuffles over and plops down on the love seat a little crooked and with a thud.  “Shut up!” she yells.  She doesn’t mean it, that’s just the thing she says now days.  She looks at Dad, “Who is that?”

“That’s my daddy.”

“Oh, that’s your daddy.”

Then Dad starts talking to me.  He tells me he noticed the grate was off one of the burners on the gas stove. (He’s had the whole oven disconnected for years now, because Mom would play with the buttons and turn the burners on.)  He noticed the wastebasket was heavy and he’d found the grate in there.

And I think how odd and interesting that Mom would throw a stove grate away. She’s also thrown tools and clothes in the wastebasket and even her own precious baby doll. But she throws tissues and food on the floor.

We eat lunch together and then Dad has me call his sister, a favorite aunt of mine. We have a nice chat, and she asks about Mom and my brothers.  I tell her how my kids are graduating and getting married.  She asks how old I am and when I tell her fifty three she says, “Holy cow!”

And then she says, “You know from the time I was in my little house (when she first got married and had kids) to now when I’m in this assisted living home– feels like about two weeks.  Life goes that fast.”

As I was talking to Dad later, I told him what she said.  And he added, “Yep.  The older you get the faster life goes.” I remembered an analogy he’d told me years ago.  He said, “When you get older life goes faster, just like toilet paper at the end of a roll.”

It all makes me think that life is a gift and I want to be sure I’m living it to please the One who has given it to me. I want to throw out the garbage and the things that distract me from my purpose. And I want to make sure I hold firmly onto the meaningful, important things so that they don’t somehow slip away.


And as life whirls away faster and faster, I pray I’ll walk the path God has for me, holding His hand securely and faithfully loving the people He has put in my world until the end…when eternity with Jesus begins.

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