Today's blog is not so much about being a parent as it is about being a child. Or a grandchild. The way you are a child to your parents, though, can be an example to your children. I recently moved back to my hometown. I'm blessed to have both of my parents alive, still married to each other, and still here in the same place where I grew up. One of my sisters lives here, too. God provided opportunities for my husband and me to get good jobs, and for us to get a nice house. Everything fell together at this time for me to return home.
The aspect of moving I have always dreaded is the unpacking part. This week I tackled the rest of the boxes -- sorting, placing, moving. While I was going through some boxes I found the program to my grandfather's funeral. I also found a note that my grandmother had written to me. I had amazing grandparents. I loved them so much, and I still do. I lived in Amarillo when they passed away, and I wasn't able to help out as much toward the end of their lives as I would have liked.


So seeing those notes, about them, from them, made me incredibly sad. I cried. A lot. Even though my grandfather has been gone for more than 10 years and my grandmother passed away two years ago, the sadness that I felt was real and fresh. I've struggled with the guilt of not moving back earlier, of not being able to spend more time here with them while they were alive. I have played a lot of "if onlys" in my head as I've tried to deal with the feelings I have over not being more present for them in their final days.

The thing is, there is never enough time. Even if I had lived with them, in their house, there would not have been enough time. I've noticed that when people lose someone they love there is always that feeling of not having enough time. So the moral of all of this is that you have to enjoy the people you love while you have them. I know everyone has heard these words before, but they bear repeating. If you are lucky enough to have parents or grandparents around, take time to call them, or visit with them. Showing your kids that making parents and grandparents a priority may ensure that you don't miss out on their lives when they leave the nest. As in all aspects of your child's life, you are their example. So model the behavior for them that you want in the future. Call your mom. Go see your grandparents. Your time may seem precious, but I can promise you that it's an investment in your piece of mind in the future. Plus, it'll make someone's day brighter.

I think the crying last night was good and cathartic. I still miss my grandparents, but I don't feel the guilt anymore. I was blessed to have them in my life as long as I did. And I will continue to spend time with my parents while I have them, and hope that my example will carry through to my children.