Now, after both are gone, I really have started to appreciate them more. It's interesting to me that when they were alive, there were things or words (mostly my mom), that they said or did that would really bother me or even make me feel bad about myself. Now, although I haven't forgotten them, I look back on those things and I've learn from them.
My mother was a mix of sternness and kindness. Sometimes she would say things that just tore right through me (ouch!), and would make me feel really bad, and other times she could say or do something that was so loving. She could do that to some people too, but mostly she had a kind and helpful heart to many people in her life. She would visit people less fortunate often bringing them something fresh-baked or gave them a bouquet of flowers or vegetables from her garden. She would plan her own birthday parties inviting friends over to celebrate! She also was a passionate woman. I'm mean passionate in the way that she approached most anything she wanted to do. "No" was not in her vocabulary! She was going to do what she wanted. She had this determination until she passed away. Even in her later years, suffering intense pain from severe arthritis, that didn't stop her from doing what she wanted. When she had her stroke near the end of her life, and was mostly wheelchair bound, she would still tell us she had walked around the house three times (she didn't). The point here is that she still believed she could. What a lesson for me.
I could go on and on about their full and interesting life, but here are the few things I have learned. Always keep going, no matter how old you are or how much you hurt. Don't complain. Look at the good. Learn what was good about your parents and teach those good things to your kids so they can teach them to their kids. Change the negative things, revise them, don't do them, don't repeat them. Change them so the next generation will be better. Enjoy your family and your kids. Laugh with them and share the joy. Share the good in your life and with your kids. I hope that when I pass away they will look back someday thinking some good thoughts of me like I do of my parents.
I'm going to celebrate today! I'll be in my studio creating something new!