Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What Really Matters

In a conversation with me this morning, someone disclosed that today was his only daughter's birthday. She died several years ago, unmarried and without children. Can you imagine the heartache this gentleman feels, every time someone asks him if he has any children or grandchildren? Can you imagine how he might give up everything in his life, everything he owns, everything he has accomplished, just to have his daughter back again?

I can.

I was very angry with my son yesterday. The reason seemed important at the time, but this morning's conversation with the distraught father put everything in perspective. I have only one son, only one child. I would be devastated if I lost him. We need to appreciate what we have, especially our children and our parents, while we can. If they pass on, or even just move away, we can't reach out to them, to tell them we love them, to enjoy their company.

I thought of my parents. My dad would be 102, were he alive today, my mom 92. They are gone, but they live on in me and in my son. I miss them. The photograph above was taken around 1975 or so. My parents' indulged me as I mimicked the American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. Their good humour and constancy helped me many a time in my life. I hope I can be as good a parent to my son as my mother and father were to me.

Give your kids an extra hug today. I sure will.

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