The other day I visited my son and his family. I actually felt strong enough to watch my grandson for awhile. Before I drove back home, my son and I sat and talked awhile. We spoke among other things, about how much we both miss my dad. It's hard to believe he's been gone over 8 months now. We talked about how we are both like him in some ways and how neither of us can bring ourselves to delete his number from our phone contacts. We agreed that Sam Elliot's character on The Ranch reminds us of my dad; the veteran, the cowboy, the legend.
What I wouldn't give for 5 more minutes with my dad and mom. They were married over 32 years when mom died. I can't wait to be with her again. She was so amazing!
It seems like they did everything well. Cooking, gardening, fishing, and a million other things. They made the best homemade blackberry jam ever, and Sunday morning breakfasts were the best. They went all out. Biscuits and gravy, sausage or bacon, waffles and fresh fruit. It was "Here's the funny papers, girls." and "Kmart is having a sale on fishing lures." Sometimes we'd go on over to Kmart and he'd buy me a large bag of popcorn for a dime that I didn't have to share with my big sisters.
Sometimes we'd go fishing on the weekends and God knows with four daughters it's a miracle he caught any fish at all with all the chatter. He'd always offer a dollar for whomever caught the first fish. Then we'd buy 100 pieces of penny candy. Great googly moogly, the sugar rush!
These memories are so sweet they make me cry. Partly with gratitude and part with longing for just one more day with Mom and Dad.
I wonder what they're doing up there in Heaven tonight. I wonder what they saw the first 5 minutes they were there. I wonder when I'll see them again.
For those who have perfect health and for those who don't, take it from someone who has experienced a great deal of loss: Choose love. Choose it every time. It doesn't mean you have to allow toxic people into your world but...
Remember to hold tight to your loved ones. Forget petty offenses. Forgive. Love big. Be mushy. Say words of celebration and appreciation for who they are. Don't shy away from the words "I love you." Always hug hello and goodbye.
Cherish every moment.