The first message waiting for me when I opened my e-mail this morning was from my cousin, Ruth Ann - far away from me down in Birmingham, Alabama. The message - a forward - was one that I have seen bits and pieces of before, but this morning, reading the words in it just really struck a chord with me.
The first paragraph, especially, hit me in a way a lot of these kind of messages haven't done before. Got me to thinking about my Mom and the relationship we had, which wasn't what I would have liked it to be, had I had my druthers.
It tended to be mostly confrontational. Sometimes it was on her part; often - probably more often than it needed to be - it was coming from me. The daily fights we had pretty much defined us for much of the time we had to spend together here. Sometimes, I think of that aspect and it does bring a smile, even a chuckle, as I remember how upsetting they may have been then and now, in my memory, they were so ridiculous that they are really comical to remember.
But much as I wish my relationship with my Mom had been more of a comforting type thing, a lot less stupidity on my part, a bit more openness from her perhaps, even after 27 years since her passing, I miss those stupid arguments.
But more than that, I miss the fact that I don't think either of us actually told the other, face to face, out loud, that we loved each other! And that is just plain wrong!
I think I did come to that realization early on after her death because it was around that time that my kids and I started doing a very simple thing - when we retire for the night, almost like the way they did on the Walton's, the last words we say to each other is "I love you." Rarely do we end a phone call without that being the parting words too. And, that is a good thing!
I've made probably more mistakes over the years in raising my kids than my Mom may have made with me, but this simple expression of feelings, I'm happy to say here and now that I think I've at least tried my best to correct what was missing in the relationship my Mom and I had.
For me anyway, I find it very comforting, even after a conversation with one or all my kids has been not exactly the best or nicest we've ever had, that when it is all said and done, we still say "love you" before we part or close the call. And, I hope it always stays that way.
I've often told my kids and have mentioned this to my cousin, Ruth Ann, what I remember the most, the best, about Ruth Ann's Dad - my father's brother - was how you never went past him but what he did ask for a hug and a kiss, and how he always provided that back to you too. And how comforting it was then and still is, when I think about those days long since gone. My Mom was never demonstrative, at all, in that way and I realize now how much I missed that not being there. I knew, deep inside I suppose, that she did indeed love me -warts and all - but how nice it would have been to have had her show me the way Uncle Arch always did.
Life whizzes by us so fast, even when at the time it may seem to be going at a snail's pace, it's not. But I don't want my children and now my grandchildren to ever say I didn't take the time for hugs now and then, kisses too and definitely that I didn't come right out and tell them "I love you!" And the same goes for my extended family and friends too!
I hope you read the forward I copied over here below and that the message it contains as well as my words above are adequate and convey how much I appreciate the love and friendship I have experienced through my relationship with all concerned.
Peace, joy, many, many blessings and especially LOVE - may they be yours today and always!
One day someone's mother died. And on that clear, cold morning,in the warmth of her bedroom, the daughter was struck withthe pain of learning that sometimes There isn't any more. No more hugs, no more lucky moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, No more "just one minute." Sometimes, what we care about the most goes away.never to return before we can say good-bye, Say "I Love You
So while we have it . . it's best we love it . . And care for it and fix it when it's broken . and take good care of it when it's sick. This is true for marriage .... and friendships . And children with bad report cards; And dogs with bad hips; And aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, Because we cherish them!
Some things we keep --like a best friend who moved awayor a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things thatmake us happy, No matter what
Life is important, and so are the people we know . ..And so, we keep them close
I received this from someone today who thought I was a 'KEEPER'! Then I sent It to the people I Think of in the same way! Now it's your turn to send this to all those people who Are "keepers" in your life
Thank you very much For being a special part of MY Life You are a Keeper! "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile,you could miss it."
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"