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Challenge: Life Changes

To my children for the day I leave you

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One day, hopefully not too soon, I will kick the bucket, buy the farm, croak.

I am completely prepared to go first. In fact, it’s a prayer I have prayed many times. Living in this world without you seems unbearable and the natural progression of life is that you will say goodbye to me.

So, I’ve come up with some guidelines. I hope you don’t mind. Control freak to the end, right? Actually I’m not at all. I’m the opposite, so whatever that’s called ... laid-back, maybe. But as your mom, I need you to understand a few things the day I leave you. I need you to be OK, as much as possible, with all of it.

First, when you came along you completely took me out of my comfort zone in a really good way. You made me stand up for you and for me. You made me touch alligators and hold snakes and go on really scary rides. For you! And I loved every second of it. Thank you for making me learn more about who I am.

Next, I didn’t always do everything right or the way you probably would with your own children. It’s OK if you feel angry or mad about my shortcomings, even at my departure. I know about them too and for that I am sorry.

You will remember lots of good times we shared but you will also remember bad ones. Times when I let you down or didn’t say the right thing. Don’t feel guilty or sad for those memories. They were teachable moments. I was chosen to be your mom, so anything you leaned along the way, both good and bad, actually learn from it. Use that to make you better and stronger. Don’t dwell or be angry.

I taught you about the Beastie Boys. You’re welcome.

When you were older and wanted to spend more time with friends, I understood. I’ve been there too! Don’t you ever feel guilty or bad for not spending more time with me. You had a life too.

You are obsessed with cats because of me. Let me take a moment to apologize to your future spouse for your crazy cat life. I’m sorry, spouse. You will get used to the hair.

I hope you will remember me as perfectly imperfect. I pray your memories are filled with more good times than bad. I hope you know how much you were loved and how I tried my very best to be everything you needed and deserved. I really tried.

And on those days when you are driving alone and something crazy happens like you see an old lady walking across the road flipping everyone off, I hope you will grab your phone to call me and tell me about it then remember I’m not here anymore. And you will smile instead of feeling sad because I was the first person you thought about because that’s just how we were. Close and loving and always up for a laugh. That matters. It really mattered a lot to me.

So, my darlings. On that day when I am no longer here to guide you or listen to you or offer my unsolicited opinion, please know how very much you were loved, soak in that feeling and then move along. Don’t you dare get stuck here. Your life continues. Your friends and family need you. So go. Go to them. To remain here, stuck in grief does not do you or me any good.

Go.

And one day when you are in a crowded room with lots and lots of people and you go to sit down but slightly miss the chair and fall on the floor, please know that was me.

That was all me!

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