Before You Say “Goodbye”

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A few years ago, I almost lost both my parents to serious illnesses. Like most grown children, I had tended to take my parents for granted and never really thought much about losing them. That was before. When I came so close to losing them, I began to consider how limited my time might be with them in this life. It scared the dickens out of me. All at once they became so much more precious to me. It was at this time I was determined to always let them know just how much I love them. Now I never hang up the phone with either of them without saying, “I love you.” That was only the beginning.

Thank You Momma & Daddy

It’s become a lot more important to me to let my parents know just how much I appreciate all they’ve done for me. Not only did they give me an awesome childhood with lots of love and care, they continued to support me in so many ways long after I became an adult. They put the first down payment on my first home. Momma bought clothes for my kids when I couldn’t afford them. Daddy was always there to fix things I had no idea how to fix. They took me and the kids on vacations we never could have afforded and because we were together they were amazing adventures. I remind them now just how much they’ve done and how grateful I am to be their daughter.

Things I Want To Know Before It’s Too Late

I’ve always loved family stories but I just didn’t take the time to sit down with my parents and listen. Now that I’m older I realize there are so many things I want to know about them that I’ve never even asked about. So I now take the time. Not enough, but more than I ever did before — I ask, “What was it like when you were a kid?” and “What chores did you have to do?” This week I asked daddy about what foods they ate. I knew they raised cattle but didn’t realize that was just their cash crop. Daddy said he only remembers butchering one steer. The meat they ate was chicken and pork. Daddy told me all about “killing time” and how they processed their pork with the help of their neighbors and a smokehouse. Momma told me about a little calf she claimed as her own and how devastated she was when it had to be slaughtered. It’s important to know these people I come from. I want my children and grandkids to know what strong stock they come from.

Hugs & Kisses

We’ve always been a pretty affectionate family, but now I never leave my parents without a kiss and a hug. I now find myself doing the same to my kids and grandkids. You really never know if anyone in your life will be there tomorrow. Now that I have 10 grandkids, it takes a bit of time to kiss and hug all of them plus my grown kids and parents. Time very well spent I must say.

My oldest son was never big on hugs and kisses but he tolerates mine. Secretly I think he would miss my kisses should I ever forget to give him one. He’s almost 40 but he’s still my little boy. My youngest son makes no bones about it — he loves my hugs and kisses.

Things I Never Want To Forget

I think of us adult children as the guardians of our parents’ legacies. I want my kids and grandkids to always remember we never ate a meal at my parents’ house without my daddy asking grace. I want to tell them how I was tucked into bed each night until I was 16 with my teddy bear and my daddy listening to my prayers. I want my children to know how happy my parents were on the day they were born. I want them to remember — always — and tell their children and grandchildren. Each one of us can be a living legacy.

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