Remember the important things
Written Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I’ve been deep in thought over the last couple of days, remembering my childhood and being grateful for parents that gave me a good foundation to start down the path we call life. I’ve been focusing mostly on my mom. She has always been such an amazing example of service. My whole life, she has shown me how to look for opportunities to help others make their burdens lighter. Most of the time, it’s not that hard or time consuming to smile or open a door or help lift things into the car for them. The act itself may seem small to us, but to the one being helped that may be a huge thing. It might be the thing that they have been praying for. It may be the one thing that helps them turn a corner by just feeling loved or appreciated for the first time in a long time. You may never know what a difference you make by taking the time to lend a helping hand. There are opportunities for small acts of kindness every single day…just look for them, and then act on them. The beauty of service is that it isn’t a one-way street. By helping, you get big rewards too.
That’s the type of example I received growing up from both of my parents. I’m so thankful for that.
Another thing I learned from my mom is compassion. I think compassion and service go hand in hand, though you can have compassion without necessarily serving anyone. My mother, a nurse, has a lot of compassion for everyone. She loves and cares for everyone, and anyone who knows her loves her too. You can’t help it.
As I am typing this, I have a very heavy heart. I received word today that my dear, sweet mother will not be with us much longer. Her hospice nurse anticipates no more than 48 hours. Losing my father was one of the hardest things I had ever gone through up to that point in my life. It’s been over 25 years, and I am not looking forward to going through that again.
You don’t know how much someone means to you until you want to talk to them on a simple phone call, but can’t. Until you want to give them a warm hug, but can’t. Until you long to hear them tell you how much they love you and tell them how much you love them, but can’t.
Don’t let tonight pass without telling those people in your life how much they mean to you, and how grateful you are for their example and all of the support they have offered you. You never know when it will be too late.
Mom, I will miss you more than words can express. Thank you for teaching me so much. Thank you for loving me and allowing me to love you. Your smile has always lightened my day and the memory of that smile will continue to do so forever. I love you.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I mentioned above that you never know when it will be too late. Please trust me on that point. My deadline arrived this morning at 8:48 am. I no longer have the ability to tell my mother, face to face what my feelings are for her and how important she is to me. Thankfully, I took the chance to say goodbye before it was too late. Today she graduated. I will miss her so much.
Please give those you love a big hug and tell them that you love them. Don’t put so much importance on the small things, the frustrations of everyday life, the misunderstandings that seem to crop up from time to time in relationships. None of that matters when they’re no longer with us.