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Unconditional Love

I have become a savant in the art of grieving. It’s not something I had hoped to excel in; it just happened.

This has been a year. (Sigh).

First I lost my mom; then I lost my dad. And now there is a void.

My sister aptly said to me, “Our parents were the people we knew would always love us no matter what we did.” Sure your siblings, your spouse, your close friends love you, but the love your parents have for you is purely unconditional. It’s a special kind of love.

It’s unfortunate I understand my parents completely now that they’ve passed. But sometimes it takes a tragedy to make one see things clearly. If I could, I’d call them up and say, “Hey, remember all those times I thought I knew better? Well, I was wrong!”

Hindsight is always 20/20 vision.

I could spend hours talking about Mom and Dad. I could tell you that my dad was a happy man, that he was gentle and beloved by many. I could tell you that my mom was strong, that she loved with all of her being, and that she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. I could tell you how amazing my parents’ love was for each other. I could go on and on, singing their praises.

All of the sympathy cards talk about how the memories won’t die, etc., etc. It’s true; my memories of them will not fade, but you know what else lives on? Aspects of their personality, their values, who they were, these things, they live on through me. I am frugal like my dad. I am strong like my mom. My outlook on life is like my dad’s. I love like my mom. I have a sense of humor like my dad. I help others like my mom did. I believe in kindness and treating others like I want to be treated – which was a value my parents’ instilled in me.

I am currently writing a novel (which is therapeutic for grieving). I never planned to create characters like my parents, but as I write, I see minor aspects of them in my main characters. So, they live on through my word. That’s a powerful gift.

I’d like you to know that my mother and father were great people. They were honest and cared for others. They were kind-hearted and hardworking. And best of all, they loved without condition.

If your parents are still alive, call them and tell them you appreciate them. Hug them. Ask them to go out for lunch. Show them you love them. But most importantly, tell them what they mean to you.

If you’re grieving, I’m sorry. I know what you are feeling and it takes time to overcome such sorrow. Your heart will mend in time. Find what helps you cope. For me, it’s writing and helping others. Each person deals in their own way, just like our grieving process.

The photo below was the last photo I took of my parents and me. Little did I know that this would be the last time we’d go out together. I had such a special time with them on this day. We ate lunch, then ventured to get ice cream, and then hung out at their house. I cherish this memory and am thankful I had this time with them.

Time is precious. Treat it with care and appreciate each and every moment. Love with all that you have and remember, you are who you are because of who raised you.