Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hold Them Tightly!

Those precious girls you see are my daughter, Melanie, and her oldest, Ashlyn.  I have four children and seven lovely grandchildren and even two great-grandchildren.  My how has that happened when I was just 21 last week?

Sometimes it does seem that way.  It seems like only yesterday that I held my first child in my arms and looked at that tiny face and realized all the responsibility that was suddenly mine.  I have enjoyed the responsibility, the love and the joy that having children and grandchildren have given me over the years.

No, it wasn't always sunshine and roses.  There were good times and bad, ups and downs, joys and disappointments, but I wouldn't trade any of those times for anything.

This past two weeks I have been involved in the passing and homegoing of my son-in-law Aaron's Pop.  It has been a rough time for all involved.  It is never easy losing a loved one.
I share this to remind you to HOLD THEM TIGHTLY while you have them with you.  You nor I are not promised another day or even minute on this earth.  Each moment is precious.  Time passes so quickly.  My oldest son, Cliff, is now 45 years old!  How on earth did that happen?  His sister, Wendy, is 44, Melanie 35 and Charles is 33.  Wow! That is a lot of Mom time! 

I have totally loved every minute of being a grandma!  All the joy and not so much of the responsibility!  I do feel responsible however, to show my grandchildren all the love and compassion I can.  I feel responsible to share with them what it means to be kind, loving, caring people.  I feel responsible to show them exactly what unconditional love is.  I feel responsible to let them know I will ALWAYS be there for them no matter what!  I also feel responsible to share my love of God with them. 

I am pleased to say that all my children have grown up to be responsible adults, parents and citizens of the world!  As I watch those who have children and grandchildren of their own, I see them modeling behaviors which will ensure their children will also be good citizens.  Education has been foremost in their lives, and they are all learning and growing each and every day. 

As I watched the little girls deal with the death of their beloved Pop this past week, I saw the generosity of spirit in them as they loved on Nana.  I heard them sing goodbye to their Pop by standing with their parents at the gravesite and singing "You Are My Sunshine" for one last time to their Pop who sang it to them from the time they were babies.  They will not forget how much he loved them.  They will not forget the hours they spent on his lap feeling his unconditional love for them. 

Hold your loved ones close.  Tell them how much you love them at every opportunity.  Hold your criticism and give your love and comfort frequently and freely.  I grew up in a home where love and forgiveness were NOT modeled for me.  The people outside my own home...those in my Church, my extended family and my school modeled those behaviors for me.  I thank God for that every day of my life.  I thank God that my children will remember me holding them on my lap.  I thank God that my grandchildren will have the kind of unconditional love that was not present in my own growing years.

I am very proud of my children and grandchildren....I want them to know that.  I want them to know that no matter what choices they make in life, that I am always there for them....that I will always love them and not judge them. 

Today, if you haven't spoken to those who are "family" find a moment to do so.  If they are far away - call.  If they are close, throw your arms around them and hug them tightly and tell them how much they mean to you.  Time passes quickly don't waste a minute of it. 

GOD BLESS - Peace, Love and Joy!

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