Three of my greatest friends lost their moms and another lost his dad. All from cancer, suicide or cardiac arrest. It’s absolutely terrifying and I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is to lose one of your parents.
Moms and dads make sacrifices and exhaustingly do whatever it takes to give you the best life possible. We often take that for granted or won’t realize this until we’re older in age. We all should feel lucky, grateful and fortunate for how our parents raised us. Yes you may have had one or two crazy helicopter parents, constantly buzzing above your head in paranoia. Yes your mom may have made you wear the geekiest clothes possible to your sixth-grade school picture day. Yes your dad may not have bought you the coolest car when you turned that sweet sixteen. But they placed you as their number one priority in life and never once looked back and second-guessed that decision to do so.
Let’s face it; our parents don’t have a clue on how to use any kind of social media platform, whether it be Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You might need to explain that Instagram is not a type of healthy grain cereal you can buy at the store or that tweeting is not just a sound a bird makes. They’ll add you as a friend, follow and re-tweet you or maybe even poke or like one of your photos. Yes it’s going to seem insanely awkward and creepy, but realize you’re mom or dad just want to know what’s going on in their child’s life. This can be so helpful and useful if you’re off away at college in another state, relocating for a new job or on a month-long adventure somewhere. Don’t be ashamed to be social media buddies with your parents, just, be ready for some hilarious consequences.
Parents embarrass you, make you laugh, make you cry and make you feel like you belong on this planet for a reason. From graduations, proms, outside in the car after a job interview or at your wedding; they’re going to be there for you. They’ll help you tie your shoes, rent your first apartment, apply for colleges, iron your shirts in the morning, change a flat tire on your car and give you novels-worth of advice about just about anything. They won’t lie to you and you should never lie to them.
Parents know you’ll make mistakes, do stupid things and say things that you probably shouldn’t have. They might get upset, but you’ll always be forgiven and continue to be loved.
Not on good terms with one or both of your parents? Snap out of it, grow up and fix the issue; regardless of how long or how hard it takes. It baffles me when people I know sternly tell me that they hate their mother or never talk to their father for whatever reason. Contrary to belief, you can always, always make mends with someone. It is possible and even easier to do in a child-parent relationship.
The problem is that people our age don’t tell their parents they love them as much as they should. Every phone call, every face-to-face conversation, even every Skype conversation should end with those three words: “I love you.” We get distracted mid-conversation or get too worried we’re going to get laughed at or snickered at for telling our parents we love them in front of our friends or strangers. Who cares, just do it. Even if you’re having an argument or heated battle over the phone, if one of you on the line hangs up, call back, apologize and end the chat with an “I love you.” It’s a simple, quick yet powerful phrase that re-confirms your appreciation and caring towards the ones who raised you from birth until now.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner with Father’s Day quickly approaching. They’re not just a cheesy Hallmark holiday, but a day in which you should go out of your way to treasure the relationship you’ve made with your parents. Take them out for lunch, cook up a sweet BBQ, go for a hike at a nearby park, catch a new movie or make them a photo album with some of their favorite family pictures. Smile, tell them you love them, and give lots of hugs. There’s nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with giving your parents a tiny kiss on the cheek either. If you’re away, have a lengthy quality conversation over the phone or video chat. Just make that effort to say “I love you,” to them.
But let’s not allow both of these upcoming holidays to be labeled as an excuse to show love and reach out to our parents. We all should do this on a daily basis. Everyday of the year should be treated as a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.