Monday, September 10, 2012

Let's get Serious....

My daughter just turned 20 in August; and already she knows 4 people close to her who have died -- only one of whom was over the age of 40.  

It's hard to watch your Daddy die.  But even at the end, he was filled with grace and love and laughter; even at the end, he gave them everything he had with a smile on his face.  He made his death a little easier for them because of the beautiful memories he left them with.

But what about when a good, kind, but slightly messed-up friend accidentally OD's on drugs and alcohol after suffering a broken heart?  What about the sweet young boy who found out too late that his new motorcycle was a little too much for him to handle?  And what about the young mother you've worked with for 3 years who gets turned away by the local hospital (It's nothing!) and goes into fatal cardiac arrest the next morning?  Harsh lessons to be learned here. Life can be a brutal teacher!  

When I was her age, no one other than one aged grandma had died.    Death was indeed something for the elderly, something that didn't usually touch the young.  But these days, it seems all too familiar to our children.  

Life is hard for today's kids:  not the hard of having a hole in your winter boot or having to wear the same dress to the dance this month or even eating only mashed potatoes and canned peas for the third night in a row.   These kids have serious hard!  They grow up surrounded by the stressors of rising divorce rates, rising unemployment rates, Mom & Dad's finances, their body image, the need to wear the right clothes, terrorism, etc, etc.  This is tough stuff.  The stresses and pressures of their lives are HUGE compared to my generation.


There's not much I can do to make life easier for my grown children.  But perhaps I equip them with slightly better coping tools than they'd have all on their own.  As I teach them to become independent and to leave the nest, I can continually tell them I love them.  I can also  remind them of their God who loves them -- on their terms, not on mine -- and how prayer can help shift a heavy load.  

I can give them opportunities where they can breathe easier; I can bring more laughter into their lives.  I can keep on listening, speaking only when asked to speak (and trying not to judge.  And when it gets just too much for them to handle on their own, I can give them a soft place to land.

Life is tough.  But it's also a precious gift to be enjoyed for however long we have here on this mostly beautiful earth.  

Let's remember to let the people we love know that we love them.  





7 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think you are right. At the age of 20 I'd lost one of my grandparents but I remember thinking it was old age, truly now I'm past that age but now we live longer. Yes, we do need to encourage them, love them and give them a soft place to land. Good thoughts today. Hope your week is off to a good start there. Take good care!

Linda said...

What a sad and heart wrenching story. Yes, our children do have it harder. But what really breaks this mother's heart is that most of their troubles they have brought upon themselves, despite all the listening, advising, and being their back-up emotionally, physically and financially. And the one Person they never think of turning to for help when all else fails...God. These are very sad times. May God always keep you close to His side.

Barb said...

Such a meaningful post today, Sandy. Though my children are grown and live independent lives, I feel they still occasionally need a parent's listening ear and a hug when times are tough. None of us can handle life without a little help sometimes.

Sharon said...

What an absolutely beautiful post about a difficult, but all too real, part of life. I just never know what I'm going to find when your posts pop up in my reader and although this one wasn't easy to read or mostly likely, for you to write, it is this very thing that makes your blog special. 20 is far too young to have experienced that many facets of death.

Bonnie said...

Sandy, Your post is wonderful! Our children do have, I think, so many more things to carry around. I love the phrase "giving them a soft place to land". Hugs to you and your daughter.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Beautifully written!

Christian George F. Acevedo said...

Hi Sandy, I coulnt agree--and LIKE!--your post any further. They're well-written straight from the heart of a mom. I'm an avid reader of your posts and I always cherish every word that comes out from your mind.