I think about it every time we open a new play, every time I do a new song, pretty much every time I walk out onto the stage at Ragtown and sit down at the piano. Mom and Dad would have loved this. And I don’t mean just because it’s their boys using our gifts in a way that I know would have made them very proud and happy. I mean, they just would have loved it.
They would have loved coming with their friends, and even more, coming with us to something like Ragtown…if something like Ragtown had existed when they were still with us.
We had a great relationship with our folks, and I’m happy that I can say I don’t have any regrets about things we should have done, things we could have done but just didn’t make the effort. None of that. We loved them and savored our time with them. So, it isn’t a regret, but I do wish there had been more things we could have done together, especially when they got to the point that getting around was more of a problem.
The Polks were, and are, a visiting family. Probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you if you’ve been to Ragtown. With Mom and Dad, we talked like magpies any time we were together, so it always felt special and important. But I’ve become a big advocate of doing things together, experiencing things with people you care about, because those are the indelible memories.
I love that Ragtown has become a place where people do that. How many things can you do with your aging parents, and your children, that you all enjoy? When we see two and even three generations of families coming to a show together, it just delights me so much, because I know how much that means. It goes far beyond the experience of the theater, the music, and the play.
From the older parent’s perspective, it makes them feel still part of things, still relevant and engaged, not a burden, but there because their kids and grandkids truly want to share this experience with them. For the kids, who may be well on their way to being grandparents themselves, if they aren’t already, it will be a time that will be even more precious in memory, because that window of time may be closing, and they will look back on those trips to Ragtown as joyful moments outside the health concerns and changes that inevitably come to every family.
I can easily relate to both the grandparents and parents. As for the grandchildren, who come with their grandparents, I have nothing but second-hand memories of my own grandparents, so I can only hope that their trips to Ragtown will be a happy ones that, in time, they will treasure.
It is one of the most fulfilling things about being part of what the Lord is doing at Ragtown. We work to be sure every concert and play is an entertaining and uplifting experience for our audiences to share, in no small measure because we know there are memories being made, precious times being captured that none of us get back.
When we have a production like Mary, Mother of the Lord, that touches everyone with such a tender message, and depicts the vulnerability and humanity of the Mother of Jesus, the first person to place her complete faith in Him as Savior and Lord, I can’t help but hope everyone will use it as an opportunity to share a truly unforgettable experience. Mom will love it. Dad will love it. And so will you.