This week as I have sat with my Mom in hospital, I have had a lot of time to think about relationships. My mom has been a strong presence in my life for 55 years. She and my brother have known me my entire life.
I have had the opportunity to go through many family photos from years gone by. There were many pictures of my Mom as a child with her first fancy dress holding her Mom’s hand, or a picture of a family gathering in the late 60’s. My mom, dad, brother, Auntie Irene and Grandpa Williams were all there.
My big revelation is as you live longer there are fewer people alive that have had a relationship with you since birth. My Dad, my aunts, and uncles are all gone now. There may be one or two old family friends that have known me since birth but I haven’t seen them in years.
I must confess that this “ah-ha” moment leaves me sad. A very big part of my life and my identity is slipping away from me. Who will tell me about my first day in school or when I went to South Africa and was so excited that I didn’t sleep on the plane. I treasured the stories my Mom told me about my childhood.
As painful as this is, my Mom had a picture of her and her great-grandchildren by her bed. These children are the future. They too may come to the day where their parents and grandparents have moved on. This is how life works.
All I can do is never to take any relationship for granted. Nurture them and value them. Someday, my own children will be at my bedside with the same thought. No one should ever have regrets.
Love and Treasure the people you value most.