“There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Most of us do not have the luxury and the privilege of having our parents with us throughout our entire lives. Nevertheless, many of us place lower value on this precious time with our parents than we should. Their sacred presence is not forever! As children we need to do everything possible to spend the time we have with them wisely.

I certainly understand that this may not be so simple. Our parents are often very busy. We are very busy with our own lives. Our careers, hobbies, and lifestyles sometimes place us apart geographically. In some cases, parents and children are not even close. Whatever the case may be, you must do what you can to get closer, spend more time, enjoy the relationship with your parents to its fullest.

I did not understand this clearly until my mother fell victim to cancer last year. During that very difficult emotional time, I realized how short our lives are. It became clear that the time we have with our parents is limited. I regretted how consumed I had become by other less important priorities. Sure we all want to succeed in life (whatever success means to you), but the time you spend in your various roles should be balanced. In this balance you must find the time and the initiative (the harder one of the two) to be with your parents.

You should do what you can to enjoy them while you have them because they will not be around forever. Ask them questions, learn from them, have fun with them, and let your children spend time with them. In short, invite them to participate fully in your life.

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