Unconditional love


This week I had the sobering experience of attending a funeral for a young man. A friend of mine lost her son, he was just 23 years old.

As I sat at the service I thought about children and parents and the complicated relationship between these two groups. All the adults, the people in my peer group, were devastated for this family who were grieving the loss of such a young life. Perhaps thinking about each of their own children with an even greater intensity and love. I know that I was.

I looked at all the young people in the church who were equally devastated by the loss of a friend, a reality that is so hard at any age to comprehend, but even more so when you are young. You don't' think about death as something that will touch you so soon, and it is hard to make sense of. A young person, who's whole life lay ahead of him.

All of this made me reflect.

I had the opportunity throughout the years, to have had a number of conversations with my friend as her son grew. We are not best friends, or perhaps even close friends, but as mothers we shared conversation about this lovely young man, and all that he dealt with in his life. My friend and I had shared challenges we encountered in raising our children, and about our attempts to help them each find their way. I know that this mother was deeply involved with her son and all that he needed. I know that she spent a great deal of time trying to help him find his way. I know that she agonized over the right things to do for him and how to help him. I know that even when it was hard, she always tried to do what she believed was best for her son. We often ran into each other in the grocery store, which proved to be our place to have in depth conversations about our children. It is here that she would share with me all that she was doing or trying, to help her son find his way. I know that the path for this young man was harder than it is for many. Through all the times we talked, my friend always spoke about her son with such love..love that was unconditional and accepting, and never ending.

At this time of year, having to witness this tragedy, it makes me want to ask each and every one of us that is a parent to take time, pause, throughout all the busyness and cherish your children. Cherish them for who they are, not for what you may want them to be. Cherish time with them,even if they are driving you a bit batty! Notice how wonderful and special each of them are and let them know that. Don't miss an opportunity to catch them doing things right! Hug and kiss them abundantly. Tell them you love them until they roll their eyes at you!

We never know what life will present. Children are a gift to us, a gift to be celebrated, cherished and loved. They are not ours to own. They are leant to us.

Love your children well. Love them unconditionally.

Until next time,