January 27, 2008
It’s the weekend after the second anniversary of my father’s passing. I made it through, but honestly thought that I would never make it past that painful time. As I reflect on all that has happened over the last several years, I realize with more and more tenacity how important it is to get past the pain of losing my parents, to respect and honor them for who they were and the deep impact they have made on my life and the lives of my daughters, and let mom and dad have their places of honor in our lives while we continue to live on and do the things that they would have wanted us to do – to live their vision for us and to build on it with our own hopes and dreams. Even though I seem to begin each anniversary of my moms and my dads individual passings with sadness, I strive to remind myself how vitally important it is to think of them fondly, bid them my deepest honor and respect on their individual days, let them know how deeply I miss them and wish they could see the girls and I and all the wonderful things happening in our lives, and then allow them the peace and honor they deserve now that they are no longer here on the earth with us. I know on some level that they know we have suffered greatly by losing them – who wouldn’t, for the other side of grief is love. However, love perserveres and helps us to become stronger to remember all of the wonderful lessons that my parents taught my girls and I over the many years that they were here with us. We were so lucky to have them with us for decades and to learn from them the true meaning of life. They taught us the importance of morals and values and never to go to bed at night angry or to leave a place without saying “I Love You” no matter if you were upset over something trivial. You simply agreed to disagree and continued to express your deepest feelings, knowing that the trivial matter would soon resolve itself and by keeping love in your heart for your family members, you would never have to face a situation where you would experience regret, should you never see your loved one again.
For the past several months, I have often thought about what I want for my parents to know now – what things do I want to share with them that would make them proud. What things would they have expected of me that I was able to achieve? What things am I still working on? What things had they expressed to me as their wishes while they were still very much alive or during what I would find out later, were our last conversations? There are so many wonderful things just in the last year and more recently in the last seven months. So, mom and dad, this is my letter to you – one that I wish I could convey in a phone call or visit. For now, my writing will have to suffice and I hope that in some way, you will know these things and you will smile down and be eternally proud.