To Drive the Shadows Away

I’ve been watching my parents sing their way home. And I have a stage-front seat. Grab bars are going up in the showers, pill boxes line the mantle, and, if you don’t watch your step, you could well stumble over a walker or a couch-side tray or a sock-puller-upper.

Likely not in their last days, my parents know they are in their last years, and they’ve made a choice, each of them—that though their audiences have narrowed, they will keep on singing.

And so my mother sends her great-grandchildren to deliver hand-written notes to her backyard neighbor and her next-door neighbor and her across-the-street neighbor. She journals with her Bible for hours in the early morning when she can’t sleep anyway. And though her energy is waning, she has idea after idea, each one as urgent as the last—a theme for a drama that should be produced, a group of people who could gather for a party, a book to be written, a class to be taught.

My father writes birthday and anniversary cards for all of his seven children and their spouses, 19 grandchildren, and 27 great-grandchildren, often including an original poem. He reads two side-by-side Bibles each morning, one German and the other English. And he researches and chronicles the history of the Casselman Valley Mennonite Church, knowing that what he doesn’t write may well be lost to following generations.

They’re not singing the same song. But they are both following the lyrics of the old children’s ditty—to brighten the road and lighten the load, to drive the shadows away, sing your way home at the close of the day.

2 Replies to “To Drive the Shadows Away”

  1. I would love to read his history of tge Casselman Valley Mennonite Church. I went there as a young child. I would probably hear his distinct voice in my head as I read it, because I worked for him fir a year in VS in 1982.

    Liked by 1 person

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