I can go days at a time, but then at the most unusual moments, I think of them. Mom and Dad. I think, “It’s not fair!” Why is it always too late when you have something really important that you want to tell Mom and Dad. Things you ought to have said when they were having a bad day, but didn’t.
Like, “Mom, all of those things you made me, the sweaters and afghans and clothes. I might not have appreciated them when you gave them to me, but I treasure them now. How many hours you must have spent, yarn and needles and tenderness in the late hours so that I might be surprised by your creation. I am ashamed to say that I wanted something store bought and ordinary. Now I know what you sacrificed, so that I might be clothed in love.” or “Thank you Daddy, for working those long hours to feed and clothe me. You gave me the many things that made up my life. I don’t think I ever told you thank you for that.”
It was my little Mommy that taught me that I can do anything I can dream. She showed me through example. And my Father passed to me the his passion for play. Tennis, Hide and Seek, Kick the Can and Badminton in the back yard. He gave his children his time, and the games we would play! The silly songs he would teach us. These memories keep me smiling, but still…how I would love to tell them to go on a trip or buy something for themselves, instead of scrimping and saving so that we could have more. Why didn’t I see it before it was too late?
I still want to call my Mother when something wonderful has just happened. And I want to feel my Daddy’s long arms tight around me when I am upset. I never felt so safe as when he held me. But they never knew these things when I could have – should have told them. Mom I miss your pumpkin bread and watching as you tatted, your fingers moving around the thread so nimbly. And I miss the sound of your laughter, Dad. Who would have known that I would miss this so much? I loved to watch you swim, Dad, your long arms reaching and pulling the water and the graceful path you cut. I love the water and always think of you and how you taught me to cup my hands and kick my feet.
All these snippets of love you have left me with. Memories and smiles and too many regrets. If I could just look into your eyes now…I wouldn’t have to say anything. I know that you would know — that I finally know…what you have done for me.
Isn’t it strange how powerful the memories of childhood are? How they bless us and taunt us at the same time? Making us wonder what memories we are building for our children and grandchildren. How will they remember me?
My children, do not regret the words that were not spoken. This is what my parents would say…because this is what I would say to you. Cherish your memories, darlings, because this is all you will have in your old age — sitting in the sun, warming your old bones and thinking of days past. Lovely days with Mom and Dad.
May you make many memories…