I cannot put into words what joy it brings when the privilege arises and time is spent with my children and grandchildren. Hearing them say, “Hey Ma!….”, “Mama….”, “Grandma!….”, “Meemaw.…” these are terms of endearment in their truest form. Our youngest grand, and only granddaughter, has somewhere along the way chosen to call me “Meemaw”; she is two years old and has us all wrapped.
Children are a blessing from the Lord. They are gifted to us and we are to take the utmost care of them, training them up to live as respectful adults filled with integrity, love, and compassion. Empowering them to be leaders. Whether this is in their communities, churches, work places, at the grocery store, wherever their feet may trod. Although we may fall short sometimes this is our ultimate desire, right? Can we look back and add those shoulda, woulda, coulda’s? Sure but, we don’t need to stay there. Instead, let us live in the here and now spending as much quality time as we can with them. Whenever we do look back, let it be through the eyes of pride and joy that comes with parenting/grandparenting never looking back in regret neither downplaying or minimizing it for it is one of the greatest blessings in the world.
We now have four adult children and one caboose who is an “old soul” yet still in high school. Looking back on the years and reminiscing over our lives with these once littles brings along so many emotions but the words that ring loudest are Cherished Moments. Moments of laughter, pride, smiles, tears… every growth opportunity, every teachable moment, every learning curve, every single memory that fills our hearts with those warm fuzzies hold tight to them and share in them. Continue creating them often. We are not promised tomorrow. Live like it.
There is also the importance of flipping this around a bit to come in from a different angle. So here it is.
As children, even as grown children, it is imperative that we spend quality time with our parents. After all they have spent a lifetime loving us unconditionally. In 2004 I had to say goodbye for now to my daddy. It was one of the most difficult times of my life and although years have come and gone, the grieving remains. We lived 700 miles away so going over to see them was obviously not an option. Since his passing there have been many times when the longing to pick up the phone and talk with him, to glean from his wisdom, to simply hear his voice has filled my being. In 2013 my mom was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She was 700 miles from myself and my siblings. We encouraged her to move closer and she did. I am also thrilled to say she is cancer free (that’s another whole story) and lives on top of a mountain just one hour away. I said all of that to say this, the real issue at hand is that we also spend quality time together with our parents. In this day in which we live the opportunity is there. We have NO excuse. Technology now lends to numerous ways to communicate. Video calls are a wonderful addition to our world when distance separates us from our loved ones. If that is not an option, pick up the phone and make that call. And I add this, God forbid we live close to our parents and do not spend quality time with them. Shame on us if this is the case.
Several weeks back my mom needed to go to her eye doctor for a check-up. She needed a ride as they would be performing tests that would not allow her to drive. Even though I gladly jumped at the opportunity to be her chauffeur she questioned my volunteering asking if I was sure and offering to find someone else. Are you kidding??? “Mom! I’m not doing this because you need a driver, or because I ‘should’. I want to.” Now, don’t get me wrong, having adult children I can sympathize with this thought process and how we don’t want to inconvenience them; we know they have their own families now that need them, however, I wasn’t taking no for an answer. Guess what? We had the best day together. During this examination they discovered her eye had grown a membrane between the lens and her eyeball(placed there from cataract surgery) blurring her vision. She needed to have another surgical procedure to correct this problem. The appointment was made and you know what? Same conversation took place. Needless to say, I drove her to her procedure and spent the rest of the day with her. Since then I have also taken the time to go with her to follow-up visits. These were Cherished Moments. Take them in.
God created us to have relationships. When He created Adam and Eve He created a dad and a mom. Were their children perfect? Heck no. Were they perfect parents? No. Were/are we perfect children? Were/are our parents perfect? You get where I’m coming from? No one on this side of Heaven is perfect however, we are instructed to honor our Fathers and Mothers. Of course, we are born with free will meaning we make our own choices. With it comes the fact that either we live with rewards or we live with the consequences of our choices. Don’t leave your parents to whomever else is out there. Don’t leave your children to whomever else is out there.
Choose to make the choices that in turn create Cherished Moments. They are the best rewards.