The VOICE of Inspiration
By Don Lindsey
I’ve mentioned over the last couple of months about my father’s recent health scares. While I’m happy to announce that he’s getting better by the day, I’ve also learned a lot about how much I’ve taken my parents presence for granted throughout my life. Seeing my father’s struggle with medical issues makes me face moments that I’d rather not think about.
A life without my parents in it.
For the last two months or so, I’ve been consumed with that fear. However, I’m starting to see things a little differently, and it’s helping me to enjoy my time with them more.
For instance, I’ve been thinking about how they became the wonderful people that they are. My mother, a farm girl from Xenia, Ohio, understood the concept of hard work early. She would wake up every morning and get right to helping my grandparents around the farm. After graduating high school, she went into nurses training in Columbus, Ohio. Later in life, after having my brothers and one of my sisters, her first marriage ended, and she met my father resulting in me. She did not continue with nursing but instead found a secure job at the University of Dayton in food service management a few years after I was born. I can still remember as a kid watching the students and her employees interact with her, and you could tell how happy they were just talking to her. My mother has always had that presence that people are drawn to and still does to this day.
My father understood the value of working hard at an early age as well. His father died in a car accident when my dad was nine months old. Along with my three aunts, he set out early earning money where ever he could and still talks about the paper route he had and how it helped him secure his first bicycle. He also served in the Navy and received his high school diploma after enlisting. After his first four years were up, he left with an honorable discharge and went back home to Dayton, Ohio eventually finding work as a police officer for 15 years. He has always had a desire to help those around him, and that may be the most significant thing that I admire about him.
Right after my mother’s 42nd birthday, she had me. My father would turn 42 in April of that year, and while I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about having a newborn at that age, they didn’t miss a beat. With all the wonderful things I can think of about being their son, I think the best thing about having these two people as parents were that they taught me the values that I teach my children today. I learned how to keep my kids informed of the many conversations my parents would have with me when I was growing up. They made me earn things and help around the house and did so many other things that helped me see what they had to learn the hard way when they were young. They taught me to put others first, a lesson I learned later in life. They also showed me the importance of education. With so many horrendous things happening around the world these days, the importance of passing on what my parents taught me is critical.
These moments of their mortality that I experience when they are sick may be hard to process, but they also make me appreciate how lucky I am to have them as the examples of how to be a parent. When I put it all into this perspective, I’m not fearful of how much time I have left with them but find myself looking to enjoy every second of that time while appreciating all of the little moments.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.