It seems to be a rite of passage to finally realize that our parents are not perfect, but to love and appreciate them nonetheless. Most of us were fortunate enough to have parents that did the best they could with the “hand” they were dealt. And part of growing up is to accept that truth, forgive their mistakes, and love and appreciate them anyway. (Becoming a parent yourself seems to dramatically help with that great awakening!)
When a parent dies, their flaws seem to fade from perspective and we remember and miss their good qualities. We’d give anything for one more hug or one more phone call.
Often, it’s the child who gives the eulogy at a funeral...sharing with gathered friends and families the things that they most appreciated about their parent. But how many of us take the time to do that while our parents are still living?
When I talk to people about writing letters of encouragement and affirmation to those they love, the focus is often first on one’s children. Maybe their spouse. But rarely do people think about the great importance of affirming their own parents.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give. The power of saying thank you and telling your mom or dad what you most appreciate about them.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are right around the corner. If you’re fortunate enough to still have your parents, make this the year that you tell them...in writing...how much they mean to you! It’s a gift they will treasure. I promise.