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and then my brother said...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
... that he heard his father-in-law make a comment that made a huge impression on him. Something that really struck home, and caused him to look at the past forty years differently. After growing up in south GA, finishing an education in east AL and finding work in NC, they ended up in VA. He has worked for several different large corporations over his career, but in eastern VA for most of that time.

His wife had been trying for years to persuade her parents to relocate to be closer when they would need care. Parents began to have assorted health problems that come with aging: we were not designed to live forever, and parts will wear out. They went through some crises, and finally, when they were pretty much past the point of trying to move: they moved. Would not consider a condo, or assisted living or retirement center or apartments. But instead, bought a very large house. Her mom had dementia, and various health issues, died after they had relocated. So now her dad is in that big house - alone.

He goes to church with them, and recently decided he wanted to become a member. A requirement is that prospects go to classes that help them to better understand philosophy, theology and the workings of that particular congregation. My brother offered to attend classes with him, just to go along as a companion and encourager. The question that was asked as the potential members sat around and introduced themselves to fellow prospects: 'If you had your life to live over, what would you change?' He said 'Nothing'. That everything in his life had been part of the experience that lead him to the place where he was. Which was right where he knew he was supposed to be

My brother reported being astounded! He had been sitting there mentally preparing his answer to the question, then realized that what he just heard was so thought-y and profound, that it was his answer too! He had thought for years, likely looking back with regret, that he should have made the decision to move. Been willing to search, find a different job or ask for a transfer, get closer to family as his kids grew and parents aged.

But  in that instant he saw moving away, leaving where they were, would have changed the course of his life. And he would not have the sweet daughter-in-law who married the son, and created a new family, with precious grandchildren the grandparents adore. Blessings. And now there is another new family, with a second son who just got married to another sweet girl to create another happy couple.

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