Too often sentiments of gratitude to an aging parent are left unexpressed or not expressed enough. Celebrate your parent in life, not after death. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day provide the perfect opportunities for celebration and to create what I call moments of joy, memories that will last a lifetime and can change lives forever.
Gratitude is best expressed in the smallest, most thoughtful of ways. Actions may speak louder than words, but use Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to make sure that the words are not left unspoken. It may take some forgiveness, but a little forgiveness can eliminate years of regret.
Focus on the impact your parent has had on your life. Here are some thoughts:
• Does your mother or father really know how much you love them? Don’t be asking that question upon their death. Say “I love you” and express it from the heart.
• Do you remember times when your mother or father made you feel so loved and so safe and secure? They need to know that. How can you make them feel that way now?
• Was your mother or father always there for you, no matter what? Tell them that and then let them know that you will be there for them, no matter what.
• Did your mother or father set you on the right path in life? You may be your own decision maker now, but let them know how important that foundation is. Perhaps there are ways they can still be that confidant and counselor for you now.
• Were there any specific lessons in life that you owe to your mother or father? Let them know about it, particularly if there’s a chance they think those lessons went through one ear and out the other. If you passed any of these lessons to your children, let your parents know that too.
Make the time to be with your parents or for them to be with you, but also deliver a handwritten note expressing your feelings. You’re likely to find it again among their most treasured possessions.
“May your life be filled with no regrets;
may you see the extraordinary in the ordinary; and
may someone be there to brighten your world as you age."
Reprinted with permission of Unity, publisher of Daily Word