I watched a sappy romance on Saturday night while waiting up for Bray. I rarely get to see movies in this post-kid era even though I love them. I have a list of award winners I want to see at some point. But on Saturday night I didn’t want to engage in critical thinking and deep subject matter so I opted for a new release sap-fest.
The movie was fine. But one scene impacted me. The leading man had lost his wife to cancer and they had a son and a daughter before she passed away. He kept a stack of letters she wrote in her old desk drawer. They were written to her son on his graduation day or her daughter on her wedding day and so forth and so on with letters for each of the big moments in her children’s life she would never experience. As a mom of three, it was that scene that hit me. What would be running through my head if I had to impart words to these little loves of my life knowing I wouldn’t be there to celebrate with them? What would I tell them? Is that what I’m telling them now? Because we all know there are no guarantees.
This idea of what values and emotions and love I want to leave with my family was still running in my head when I went Sunday afternoon to help my mom clean out an old storage unit. She’s kept things from my grandparents for nearly a decade and now that she’s retiring she can’t afford to keep the unit nor do we need to. This clean out exercise is long overdue. We worked through about a third of the boxes and stumbled on some precious items. An anniversary card from my Grandaddy to my Mimi telling her how much he loved her after all the years. My Grandaddy loved cards. He spent hours picking out the perfect cards for people and then writing them a message in his beautiful handwriting. I even found a Bible he gave her on her 17th birthday. They met in elementary school and he used to put her pigtails in the inkwells in the desk behind her. They dated through high school and married in college. They died in their mid-70s. Here was this card he had written to her over 50 years in the making. And he still just as in love with her. What am I saying to Bray? And are my words backed up by the way I act in our home every day?
I felt so commanded to reevaluate what I do in my day-to-day words and actions in my home. Do my words and deeds reflect the message I would want my children to know on their graduation day? Their wedding day? The day their first child is born? Do my letters, or lack thereof now, and actions show Bray what I would want him to know decades from now? How much, after knowing him these 10 years, I still love him and treasure our marriage like it was the grandest prize on Earth?
We spend so little time remembering that the gift of time is just that, a gift. That it is not a guarantee. We must impart now what we want those we love to know in the way we act, and react, the way we cuddle and kiss, the way we honor and encourage.
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