So often, I have sat and wondered if I am the only one dealing with pain on this level. Forget the fact that I am one of five that lost the same father - I still fall into the trap of believing the self-narrative that attempts to segregate me from the rest of the world by truly thinking that I am the most misunderstood person walking this earth.
In the middle of that pain, I came across an old friend’s photo with him and his father. My heart swelled with joy, and it was there that I realized - the only gift I ever want from you is to show me how much you love your parents.
Doing this reminds me that love continues - a life and a love that will not be taken for granted, and a way for me to realize that I will never be alone in loving so deeply, it hurts..
The truth of the matter is, I am not special in the sheer fact that I lost and miss someone.
Yes, there are details regarding the last moments that I search to find those that even understand what it is like to see, considering only ⅔ of its victims experience - however, my first step is to acknowledge that every person on this earth will lose their parents, at some point.
And what is my job, in this?
To sit back and stew in that pain, knowing that my gift to world is to share my words?
It’s to live boldly and vulnerable.
To tell everyone, hold on to your alive and well parents and to show them off to the world.
Let them know just how much you love them.
There are special circumstances that will make you walk away from their presence, yes.
I understand that very well with my addict mother, as I am only able to love her from a distance.
However, if you’ve got them...flaunt them!
You will never regret the time you told them that you loved them because you will only regret not telling them enough.
In the end, there will never be enough I love you’s.
So, when you do hear it from their lips today, cherish it.
I lived in fear, every day, that my father was going to die. There are truly bad patterns that I formed because I did. But long before he was sick, I always took the time to really listen to him say, “Love you, Canni”.
And when the day came for him to stop telling me, I knew I was unequivocally loved.
So much so, that I am thoroughly convinced that my father’s job in heaven is to love his children harder and deeper than he was able to in his earthly body - forging our paths greater than he ever could if he was alive.
I think about the tables being turned and myself being the one to die first, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that because of my father’s fierce love, he would be by my side the entire time, without thought of his own emotions.
In the same spirit of that love, I plead that you know that you are adored by your parents (if they are capable of selflessly adoring you). That is not to say that they deserve passes for broken parenting.
But decipher what is non-malicious and desperate love, allowing them to fiercely love you.
That love should not go unreturned.
So, when you’re annoyed by a text or complaining because your boundaries are being pushed slightly, think about where you will be in your parent’s last days. If that is with them, just let it go.
I promise you won’t remember those moments when they’re telling you for the last time how much they love you.
I know I didn’t.