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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

While We're Here

I've always taken my parents as a constant, permanent factor in my life. I've never considered what life will be like after they're gone. I haven't always agreed with them - in fact, I rarely do - but that won't change that fact that once they're gone, I'll probably feel lost.

A parent's job is to teach their child how to become a healthy, productive member of society. Their guidance is like a lantern leading you down the dark path of life. Sure, they don't always know exactly where they're going themselves, but they've had a long head start to figure it out. For as long as they can, they lead us down the paths they know to be safe. Then their light goes out, and it's up to the child to pick up a new lantern and start leading the way themselves. Some children lose their bearings and start wandering down a different path, one that could lead to anything. Most will sadly but confidently pick up their lantern and continue bravely down the same road..

I act as if I don't need the light in front of me, but I do. I'll never really know the extent of what my parents do for me. The day their light goes out, I'll likely be scared and full of doubt. But I mustn't lose track of the path I'm on, because by then I'll have my own child. One who needs me, relies on my lantern for guidance. I'll lead the child as best I can, but then my own light will go out. If I've done my job right, the next lantern that the child picks up will be brighter than mine. And the next one will be brighter again. And so on until the whole world is lit and there's no darkness any more.

24 comments:

  1. That's a wonderful thought, Michael. I don't know what I'll do when my parents are gone.

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  2. I feel the same way about my mom. I think it's an inevitable part of life, but some people have parents who live well into their 90s, so you likely have plenty of time!

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    1. I hope we can get everything out of it that we can :)

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  3. very sweet post. My mom's been gone over 20 years and I still hear her voice in my head. So I guess she's still shining a lantern. My Dad's hanging tough at age 82 in the house I grew up in. He keeps the porch light on.

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    1. I's a nice comfort to have him there for advice.

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  4. My dad's been gone since I was 17. Mom is still young at 55, so I hope she's around for many more years. I talk to her for hours on the phone several times a week. She's the only person I like to have phone conversations with. I expect everyone else to send a text message lol. A part of me will truly be gone when she passes on, but it's a comfort to know that her light shines on through me and my girls.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, but great to hear the relationship you have with your mum. A couple of years ago I went to a funeral for someone who's son idolised him and viewed him as a saint. I looked at it as a brand new chapter in his son's life where he has to carry on the good work his father started.

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  5. This of it this way: outliving your parents is the best thing you can do for them, because no parents wants to outlive their child. Hopefully, the best of them will be in you.

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  6. Very thoughtful post, Michael. What a glorious day when there will be no more darkness at all!

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    1. It relies on us all learning from the past :)

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  7. I'd be lost without my parents. My Dad has had a few heart scares. His heart beats all over the place. They've tried controlling it with meds, but it's really bad. He's been in surgery twice. Mom had Polio when she was younger, luckily she's not in a wheel chair. She did have to get her ankle set in place as an adult. She had tons of metal in that thing. Surgeries are the closest I've gotten to loosing them.

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    1. Wow, that is scary. It's great how resilient we are as humans though, the fact your parents can keep going through all of those scares is really encouraging.

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  8. I've lost a parent and it is a void that can't be filled. But the relationship you have with them stays with you. Make as many great memories as you can right now.

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    1. I'll try. none of us have much in common, so it'll take a bit more effort. But I will try.

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  9. Love this post.
    Both of my parents are now gone and I still find myself wanting to tell them things, or ask them things...
    I suspect I always will.

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    1. That's what I figured it must be like. Sorry to hear that.

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  10. Love this post, Michael. I miss my folks every day, but I get the little happenings that often make me wonder if they're still hanging 'round. Like smelling my Mom's perfume, and there isn't any my the house.

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    1. They're the most important people in our lives by far.

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  11. Wonderful post, Michael. I miss my parents so much. Appreciate yours while you can.

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  12. I've been happier lately than I have been for a while. And I've also lately grown really afraid of death. I think the two are related.

    Thanks for this man.

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