We all get busy. That’s a fact of life. We have to go to work to pay the bills. We have to run the kids around to their various activities to ensure they stay busy, stay out of trouble, and gain a culture that they can’t get by sitting in front of the TV at home. We have to pay bills, go shopping, do laundry, and clean the house (all of which I despise). We have the unexpected expenses and trips, like when one of your parents becomes ill and you need to drop in for an unexpected visit because you miss them and you want to make sure their okay. We have our ups and downs throughout life, especially when it comes to relationships, love, and our kids. We have to deal with the terrible two’s and teenage attitudes (luckily for me, not at the same time!). We have to deal with horrible teachers, too much homework, overcrowded schools, not enough funding for school programs – this is where we, as parents, have to pick up the slack for the government on top of everything else. We have to deal with rising gas, food, housing, etc. prices – all while our paychecks don’t reflect more money.
Through all of this, what is it that we will remember most as we grow older? Will we remember the bills, the terrible twos and teenage attitudes, the overcrowded school systems? Probably not. We won’t remember the price of the fancy dinners, how much Disneyland cost 10 years ago, how much we had to pay to take that long trip out of town. Instead, we will remember the time we spent with our loved ones. We’ll remember how we laughed, cried, joked around, and did things we never thought we’d do in a million years.
We’ll remember the pain we feel when we see a loved one suffering, but we’ll also remember the smile on their face and in their eyes when we show up unexpectedly and surprise them. We’ll remember the time we spent with them when we could, the love that surrounds us from our family, and the wonderful feeling of meeting other members of our family for the first time. We’ll remember the stories our parents and grandparents tell us – how it ‘used to be’. After all, we’ll be telling those stories someday if we aren’t already. We’ll remember just sitting and talking with someone that we haven’t seen in a while, even if we don’t recall what the conversation was about. We’ll remember the sadness we felt when we had to leave because we really wanted just one more day, or even just one more hour to spend with them.
I have been truly blessed with parents who love, support, and encourage me. For as long as I can remember my parents have been there for me, pushing me to push my own limits and barriers, encouraging me to do my best, supporting me in my decisions (no matter how wrong or horrible!), and loving me through my faults. My drive, ambition, and love for life come from my parents. In my youth I watched them as they made the best of bad situations, loved us unconditionally, and fought for what they believed was right. These are all characteristics that I have developed over time. While I obviously haven’t mastered life, relationships, how to be the perfect parent, or how to be the perfect person, I have learned so much from my parents and I strive everyday to be a little better. My parents have huge hearts, they help and support their children when and how they can, and family is essential in their lives. Even when they shouldn’t help because of their health, they do, because it’s what they know they’re supposed to do as parents and grandparents. I am so grateful to my mom and dad for everything they’ve done for me throughout my life. I wish they could live forever so I can call them whenever I want just to say hi, to laugh, to cry, to vent, or for whatever reason. I know that they won’t be around forever, though, and I doubt they’d want to live forever. So, for now, I will cherish the memories I have of my parents, I will learn from them, and I will make them proud to call me their daughter.
So, take the time to stop, smell the roses, call just to say hi, and remember the little things. These are the things we’ll remember as we grow older. If we don’t, we’ll suffer with the regret of not doing so, of not reaching out, of not doing everything we can for someone else. Don’t let it become ‘too late’. Start now and show the one’s you love that you love them.
I love you Mom and Dad!