My family has recently been dealing with the heartbreaking loss of my father. While I could go on and on about what an amazing gift he was to our family, I won’t (not today at least), but I would like to share with you some of the truly unexpected emotions and lessons I have experienced throughout this journey. Naturally, there were many tears, but I found myself actually crying tears of joy at times. I would have never thought that possible but, as I would think about Dad, I would find myself over-flowing with such happiness that I was blessed to have him as my father.
The day of his service, a day I had dreaded, ended up being one of the best days. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. He did not want everyone standing around in dark suits crying, so we planned the day with casual attire, one of his favorite bluegrass songs and a beautiful slideshow of his life. We spent the whole day and into the night surrounded by family and friends all sharing stories and laughing… A LOT! What stood out to me most was that when they talked of Dad, it was never about any major accomplishments or achievements, but how Dad made them feel. People would go on about how nice and kind and funny he was, and how he would always ask people how they were doing or ask about their family. He loved people, in general, and it showed.
After the craziness of the last year and a half, all of this really put things into perspective for me. Life is not about the big moments, but the little moments shared with friends, family, and even strangers. Because when these little moments are strung together, they really do make a beautiful story. It is the everyday “I love you” when you get off the phone, the silly memes to friends, the smile to the stranger in the grocery store, the text to say “I am here for you”. These shared moments are the things that make life beautiful.
I feel so blessed to get to share these everyday parenting moments in life with all of you. While we may not actually be sitting down to a cup of coffee swapping stories and sharing life together, I do feel like we are all sharing in the big, crazy life of parenthood. Some days we talk potty training, some days we talk about our dating teens (yikes!). While we may not recognize one another, we see each other at community events that we attend after perusing the Family Calendar and we celebrate the holidays together through the events in our Holiday Happenings Guide. We cheer for each other’s kids and teachers when reading school news and we support local charities from Bits N Pieces. We laugh together at the parenting memes posted on Facebook and read that article about children and chores on the magazine website, while in car line, because we left our hard copy on the coffee table. I know it sounds weird, but I really do feel like we are all in this together… sharing, supporting, and encouraging one another.
All that said, I do hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have loved putting it together for you. This month, you will find a ton of fun seasonal activities in the Holiday Happenings Guide with more events in the Family Calendar. Also, in keeping with the theme of being grateful, Sandi Schwartz has provided an insightful article on The Science of Giving and How It Can Help Your Kids. And, of course, there is so much more… so pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and let’s share life together.