…by Kevin McHugh
Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12
Thoughts of my parents and parents-in-law rushed through my brain and my heart while listening to Greg’s message. Three of these have long passed away, however it is our great blessing to still have Donna Rogers, my wife Robin’s mom. Considering that my parents are long passed, I appreciated that Greg mentioned early in the message that we can honor them by honoring their memory and their legacy.
My dad, Michael Joseph McHugh (Joe), was born in 1921 and died in 1970 when I was 10 years old. I did not get to know him as a man, only from the point of view of a child. He grew up in Chicago during the great depression and served in the US Navy during WW2. He did not talk about any of this that I can recall, but we did receive his military records a few years ago. At one point during the war, he served on a ship off the coast of Europe that received the wounded for treatment. He worked for a Chicago bakery driving one of those box trucks on a regular route delivering bread and rolls to restaurants. He had many qualities worthy of honor; to this day everyone in the family who remembers my dad just goes on and on about what a great guy he was. He was kind, compassionate, generous, dependable, and funny. I can honor him by trying to emulate these qualities.
My mom, Shirley McHugh, also grew up during the depression and those stories I have heard. The family was big and very poor. My mom was the oldest girl and was depended on to look after her many brothers and sisters. After my dad passed, it was essentially my mom and me – she used to sing that corny song to me “You and me against the world.” She lived into her seventies and was able to enjoy her grandchildren. She had many fine qualities that I can instill in myself in order to honor her. There is love – I always knew my mom loved me; she told me so all the time. There is also resourcefulness and determination; after my dad was gone, she had to figure out how to support us despite many obstacles.
My father-in-law, Porter William Rogers (Bill), also passed at a young age. He worked hard to support his family and loved his wife and daughters. I can honor him by taking care of his little girl and being a good husband to her.
My mother-in-law, Donna Rogers, is still with us and is an amazing woman. She loves the Lord and she really lives it out. She is constantly thinking/praying/calling/doing for other people – not sometimes, but constantly; it is remarkable. We honor her by remaining closely in touch, helping her out with things, and making sure we see her face to face almost every weekend.
Well I have to go now, I am cooking dinner for my father-in-law’s wife and his little girl. HA!