My niece’s friend lost her dad in a car accident today. My reaction came quickly and hit with force. I grabbed my daughter standing near me after I hung up the phone and held her to cry. I told her how much I love her and how great she is. I felt almost panicked to get important stuff told to my kids.
I yell a lot. I scold, I have high expectations and could use more patience. My kids are well acquainted with all of my flaws. I don’t want those flaws to stay with them after I have gone and speak more loudly than my love for them. After a day of school and games and cleaning and a puppy who seems to’ve regressed to the first days of her life, I gathered my kids to my heart in bed. Before reading our advent story of Tabitha’s Travels I told them again what had happened to my niece’s friend.
I told them that we have never been promised any number of days together. While I would love to never have to discipline again, the truth is that I have to live as though we will continue living for decades more. I have to train them in housekeeping and history and manners. When they slip, I will remind them, if only for the sake of my own relationship with my future children-in-law!
But none of those things matter at all compared to the big truths. I want my kids to know those big truths with such assurances that nothing shakes them. So I went through everything I could think of that I would want them to know if I were to die in my sleep. I wanted to let them know how much I love them, that they are good looking, beautifully stubborn and that God is right. I told them that chasing after right was far more important than being right. I asked them to follow God’s path as closely as possible and to never let doubt separate them.
And finally I told them to stick together no matter what. “Be ready to drop everything for one another,” is what I said.
I hope I get to stick around to see my kids to adulthood for their sakes. I don’t want their childhood to be marked by the loss of a parent. For my sake, I hope to stick around to meet my grandkids. But if that is not within God’s will, I pray I have done enough to at least point them in the direction they need to go.