Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lessons I've Learned from My Daughter

What did my child teach me from the 27 years of her life and after her death when I also discovered from others how much she meant to them.

Marcy was an outgoing person all her life. She loved having lots of friends, and I had not had time for many friends. I was always teaching and many times even missed out on events she was involved in. Teaching was important to me; I know now nothing was as important as being with my daughter. When she died I vowed to get my priorities straight. Although, still extremely busy after retiring, I now have three godchildren and try to get to as many events in their lives as possible and see them as much as possible. Time passes too quickly not to enjoy everyone and everything. It is the same with my grandson, born less than two years ago, but who lives in a foreign country. We get there a few times a year, but thank God for Skype. We Skype at least once a week, so he doesn’t forget us in these young formative years.

Marcy was always fair with everyone. When her father and I divorced, she made sure she divided her time equally on holidays, one year coming to my home, the next year to her fathers. What a wonderful quality, to show she loved us equally. I have learned to hug those I love more often and tell them how much they mean to me whenever I see them. My godchildren have been instilled with that quality from their mother, my daughter’s best friend. My husband instilled it in his daughter, and I hope she passes it along to her son. Not a telephone call nor a day together goes by with any of these close people ending our conversation by them saying to me, “I love you.” And I smile and return the sentiment.

Marcy embraced each day and each person she was with as though they were the most important thing to her. Her friends wrote me letters after her death telling me she was the glue that held them all together. She was helpful, friendly and when any of them had a problem, she was there for them. I like to think that she got some of that from me, but I know that she discovered most of those attributes herself. I try to follow in her footsteps and am kind to most, when at other times, I might not have been. I’ve learned it does no good to have a bad attitude towards others. Life is too short to hold grudges, so I go out of my way to try to always be kind.

Marcy was a giver. Whether it was a shirt off her back, sharing her lunch with someone, giving someone a ride in her car or loaning a few dollars, it was always because she wanted others to have what she knew they couldn’t get or afford. In my own way I have tried to help others while honoring her memory by giving scholarships to students in colleges who need financial help to fulfill their dreams of a career and a better life. I am confident that if she could have, she would do the same.

I have learned what is important and what is not important in life. After Marcy’s death, I learned to stop what I am doing and enjoy a beautiful sunset, watch the quail in my backyard drinking water from the pond, see the beauty in plants and gardening, and take lots of walks. Even though we were very close, these are some other things I wish I could have made time to share with my daughter. I now share them with my husband and anyone else who is around at the time. I don’t waste the days, the hours or the minutes on trivial things that no longer have any meaning to me.

When I look back and proudly think of my daughter, I know she is there with me every day urging me on to be a good person and do good in this world. I am proud of what she was and what I hope I have become. I will be forever grateful for her love and her life.