Being Fully Human Tip #13: Tell them why they matter
“I’ve come to know that memories were the best things you ever had” – Ben Howard
When you’re old, and ailing, what memories will you have of your loved ones?
If you’re like me, and have a declining ability to remember things and don’t want to bank on it in old age, I suggest starting to write them down. Ever since I was young, the notion of a time capsule always appealed to me. My writing and journaling is now my way to record my life’s happenings; a way for me to remember the little moments, laughs, and unforgettable experiences I have with others.
Today, it is my dad’s birthday, so my sister and I decided to show our gratitude by making a list of 58 things we love about him for his 58th birthday.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in the day to day, that we forget to stop and ask ourselves “Why someone has mattered to us?” Even when we do, we shy away from telling ones that have mattered, that they do.
Some of the things on our list included the following:
– How he is always the life of the party
– How he always puts food on everyone else’s plate before his own
– When he used to jump through the sprinkler with us as kids
– Him never forgetting to ask us if his outfit matches before he left for work
– How he always welcomed people into our home with open arms and let them stay with us (new immigrants, family/friends, and even international students)
– How he always cracks jokes with waitresses and waiters at restaurants to make them smile
– That time he shaved all the hair off of his head just to scare us
– How much he cares for his real estate clients, treats them as family, and sees every day as an opportunity to give, serve, and uplift.
We made a card with a photo of him on it where he is showing off his dance moves and grinning ear to ear. It made his day.
More importantly, it was a great opportunity for us to pause, reflect, and reminisce about what it is about our dad that makes us love him so much.
Life is but a flurry of flickering moments, and seeing my parents grow older, makes me realize the value of the time we have together right now.
I don’t think my sister and I will ever get tired of taking every opportunity to tell my dad why he has mattered to us.
By thinking about these moments, declaring them, and sharing them with my loved ones, I expand the special place in my heart where I carry my love for them. Adding to this place with intention helps keep this love in my heart forever.