"Growing Old Ain't For Sissies!" My mom and her friends have been saying this for years. Now my friends and I are chiming in as well. The older we get, the more of our friends we are praying for due to a wide variety of health issues. That doesn't mean ALL the people we are praying for are necessarily elderly. Part of it is due to knowing more people who know more people. As a result, we often get prayer request for friends of friends, including their children and grandchildren. I am currently praying for three of my senior mom's friends who are quite ill, the children of two of my daughter's friends, each of whom have been in and out of the hospital repeatedly due to major health issues, and that doesn't even count my immediate and extended family members I'm praying for. Through it all, we are reminded of how fragile life can be at any age, and how wonderful God's promises are to all of us.
One friend of my mom's recently shared the difficult news that her cancer is progressing in spite of the treatment she is receiving. She was quite discouraged. One of the ways I love to encourage others is to share special books with them. We decided to send her the two devotional books by Randy Alcorn that I love, 50 Days of Heaven and 90 Days of God's Goodness. She called me a couple of days later to say thank you – a LOT. She really loved them and appreciated them. "They are just the right length to read as I go to bed and so encouraging." What a sweet blessing to hear her say that.
She went on to talk to my mom and thank her – and I could tell that hearing her friend sound a bit happier was a spirit lifter for her as well. Later that day, I realized that I had read both those books, but my senior mom hadn't yet done so. So I scooped them up and took them to her and encouraged her to read them as well, so she and her friend could talk about them together. I'm hoping that will give them something positive to talk about in the midst of all the frustrating information they are dealing with. It's not easy growing old personally, and it's also hard watching beloved friends getting older, dealing with pain and suffering, and wanting to help them, even when we live so far away. It does help a bit though when we can encourage each other – up close and personal, or long distance – via phone calls, mail, and sometimes even Amazon.
How about you and your Sandwich Generation family? Do you have several loved ones you are praying for? Do you have special ways of encouraging each other? We'd love to hear.