Last July I set off with my parents to take some of their stuff to Louisiana. We had the biggest U-Haul trailer we could get and loaded it down.
My Dad was losing his eye sight before his death. But, he never quit wanting to take care of his family.
So, when it was decided I would go with them he told me that he would "help me drive." He was worried about me because he knew that I had never pulled a trailer before.
We loaded up early one Saturday morning and my Dad was going to drive "until he got too tired."
Before we were halfway to the next town, which is about 20 miles away, I was in a panic.
Dad was driving about 35 mph. He was weaving in the other lane.
And I was desperately texting everyone I knew would pray.
It wasn't long before Dad said, "You know, I think I'm going to let you drive when we get to Willacoochee."
I carelessly said, "Ok." I didn't want him to know how alarmed I was, and how relieved I was.
But I was certainly shouting in my head.
I had brought along some snacks for me in case I got sleepy, some Combos and some kind of chewy candy. I had a book on my iPod and I stuck one headphone in my ear.
After a quick stop for a biscuit we headed west.
Mom and Dad both dozed off and on. Dad would wake up occasionally and we would chit-chat and eat Combos. Mom was pretty quiet in the back seat with the dogs.
We cruised on.
I faced my first obstacle when getting gas. And I passed with no problem.
We cruised on.
About 4pm I looked at my parents. They were both quiet.
And then I looked at the clock again.
I glanced at Dad again and then looked in the mirror at Mom.
"Um, you guys want to stop and get something to eat?"
I got a resounding, in unison, YES!
And I was completely horrified!!!
How, on earth, had I managed to forget to feed my parents?? I mean, I know they had been sleeping most of the time, and I know we had a few little snacks (Mom always brought something to snack on and Dad and I had pretty much killed the Combos), but, my parents needed FOOD! They were starving, right under my nose!!
I navigated the next exit, pulled into McDonald's and ran inside to fill their order.
I felt so bad. It was just such a peaceful ride. I was having a nice time, enjoying them, feeling helpful and needed, yet I had neglected such a basic need.
My parents needed to be fed.
And I had looked at them, talked with them, laughed with them, and never noticed their hunger.
I was thinking about them, thinking about this trip and how much I would give to have one more opportunity. I would pay more attention, make sure I was more watchful. If I had the chance to take that trip again, they would have never felt the slightest hunger pang.
And in thinking about them, I thought about those around me every day of my life.
What am I missing?
Is there a hunger in someone that I have failed to see?
Am I cruising along life's highway with someone who is starving for something that I could provide for them?
Lord, open my eyes to see those around me who are in need, who are hungry for something, for You, and are waiting, hoping silently that I will recognize that hunger and provide what they need so they will never hunger again. Let me see what is right under my nose.
And thank You, THANK You, for the precious, sweet memories You have given me, for the love that I feel, even now when they are gone from me. You really are my closest Friend.