The night before my father’s surgery, I could tell there was so much on his mind that he couldn’t put into words. It was late, we were all tired, and he stood up and announced he had to go to bed. As we made our way down to the kitchen, he looked at my sister, my mom, and me and said: “I need you to help me write a will.”
We sat down together at the kitchen table, and my sister wrote as he expressed his wishes. We understood that this was something that he needed to do as he was about to go into surgery and there are always risks with any surgery. He wondered aloud just how detailed he should get.
But it brought forward some important reminders as I watched him struggle with what to include in his last will and testament. I stood up and walked to the kitchen and pulled off a small little bear that sits by my windowsill. I showed him the bear and told him this was my memory of Grandma Perkins.
It’s not the bear itself that holds value, but rather the memory of my Grandma within it. When I look at it, I can remember where it sat in her kitchen and the entire picture of her kitchen floods my mind…building detail the longer I hold onto that memory. It’s where she spent most of her time: cooking Sunday dinners of Roast Beef, potatoes, peas, the best brown gravy, and a Cherry or an Apple Pie for dessert. I can remember her washing dishes with this little bear hanging off to the side of the sink. I can remember playing card games with her at the kitchen table. I can remember the progression of her smile when she looked at us Grandkids, a small glint of joy that transformed into an all out grin that held so much love and pride.
The bear is meaningful to me, because my Grandmother created that memory for me. She told me it was special, and would let me hold it once and awhile, but it always had to be returned to its home above the sink. Now the bear lives above my sink and I tell my kids the same thing.
I was reminded of how important it is to create unique memories for my kids. I need to slow down. I need to focus on relationships.
What I value and hold dear about my father lives within summer holidays where we sit around a fire. It’s within the hour before the sun sets when we raid his raspberry patch. It’s within the conversations we have while doing rounds in the combine at Harvest. It lives within his laughter when he gets a kick out of something.
Sometimes I lose track of what is truly important in life. A big part of Reclaiming my life means finding balance within the mind, body, and soul so I can be the very best Mom I can be. When you love yourself, it is then that you can truly love others and you can give without expectations of anything in return. Life is about giving, loving, dreaming, growing, sharing, and moving forward.
It’s true that the important things in life aren’t things at all.
This was something that was on my heart this morning, so I thought I would share it with you. Life is good. My focus for this year will be on those I love, and I pray that I always remember to give more than I take.
From my heart to yours,