Probably thirty years ago, I went to a funeral for a friend’s mother; we weren’t close friends, just church friends and she was twenty years older, so my being there wasn’t expected. I still remember how surprised and pleased my friend was to see me there.
Fast forward to about five years ago. Our daughter Runner Girl’s grandfather-in-law died, and Bobby and I have a good relationship with her in-laws, so we were going to go to the funeral. Our other daughter, Shoebutton, was considering it but wasn’t sure she was going to. I told her if she was thinking about it, she ought to go ahead and go. So she did. The mother-in-law, daughter of the deceased in case I’m confusing you, was so moved that we had come; it really meant a lot to her. Afterwards, Shoebutton said she was really glad she went. I told her you’ll never regret going to a funeral. At worst, you might think it didn’t matter to anybody, but you’ll not regret it. And your presence might make a difference to someone who needs comfort.
And I’m going to tell you flat out, spend all the time you can with your kids and grandkids. When you’re a parent and busy doing life, it can be hard to have time away from them, and you do need that. But you need to remember the days are long, but the years are short. Don’t shortchange yourself or your kids when it comes to spending time together.
We’re blessed that all six grandkids live within ten minutes of us, so we’ve spent a LOT of time with them in the last fourteen years. I helped with keeping one of the kids after school for eleven years. Since I quit teaching five years ago, I’m needed for the kids one way or the other several times a week, and I’ll drop anything at a moment’s notice to help when needed. It’s not always convenient; in fact, sometimes I inconvenience myself big time just to help out. We go to every ball game (I hate baseball and the heat, but I love my grandson.), school event, or whatever it is. My sister-in-law jokes that we should call ourselves a daycare because the kids are here so much. I cook Sunday dinner every week after church for all fifteen of us. You get the picture.
Now this is way too much togetherness for some of you, and that’s ok. To each his own. My point is we did all those things because we wanted to, but we also knew that in a blink of an eye, this season of life would be over with a new season on its way. As of this school year, the oldest is a freshman in high school, and the youngest is in kindergarten. I no longer pick the oldest up after school, and after doing that since she was three years old, I really miss that. It’s hard to get all fifteen here for Sunday lunch, so I take whoever can come. The kids are older and busier; we don’t see them as much as we did, but we knew that was coming, so we soaked up all we could while we could.
The days are long, but the years are short. Do your version of togetherness.
I’m done preaching, so here’s a list of things for you to think about
You’ll never regret
- Saying I love you
- Spending time with grandparent or parents – They don’t live forever.
- Doing the right thing – You know what it is
- Following through when it’s hard
- Letting go of a grudge – It frees you
- Keeping an old friend even when it’s hard on occasion – It’s worth the effort. You can’t make an old friend overnight.
- Being kind
- Standing up for/helping someone in need
- Speaking your mind when it’s important
- Being silly with your little one
- Smiling at strangers
- Giving compliments
- Taking that family vacation
- Creating traditions – There’s soooo much in this one.