Thanksgiving is an opportunity to slow down and focus on what we are grateful for. So often the holiday season tends to speed us up and we become too busy to enjoy it. What we don’t realize is if we don’t model slowing down to make room for people and things we truly care about, our children will not know how to do that.
One truth in life is that we do not know how long we or our loved ones will be here. Keeping that in mind, know that the dishes in the sink will wait for you. The items in your inbox or on your to-do list will always be there. You will never be “done” with tasks.
This Thanksgiving what I am grateful for is my brother Craig. He passed away on September 22nd without warning. Sometimes a loved one is gone in the blink of an eye.
Preparing his eulogy and listening to friends speak at his service, it became clear to me that my brother had priorities in life figured out: people. It truly is about the relationships you build, the memories you create and what you leave behind in the hearts of the people you love. I have not seen a more authentic, loving service.
As I go through my process of grief, it’s almost as if I’m moving in slow motion sometimes. I bounce between surreal, unreal and too real when I stop and realize he’s actually permanently gone.
This is another reminder that nothing is more important than people and love. We over-fill our plates regularly, often times with great things and the best of intentions. We have dreams and goals for things to accumulate and to share with our loved ones. Yet, when I look at the sobering reality, my brother didn’t take any of his things with him. He didn’t take his money. He didn’t take his friends or family. It was all left behind. What he did take was love, memories and experiences. And that’s what he left behind for us as well. That’s what we will leave behind.
This Thanksgiving, this is my parenting advice to you ~ Seize the Moment.
- Slow down
- Lean into love
Teach your children how to be free from extra stress, anxiety and burden by modeling those three things; not just in November, but all year long. Deepen your relationship with them in this season of parenting. It is an amazing opportunity to influence their entire life!
Thank you to my dear brother Craig who I have loved so deeply and always will. I am grateful for the time we had, grateful to be touched by your loving heart and grateful for every memory. “Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.
Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She provides parenting classes, teen programs and individual coaching. She is known for her practical parenting style and can be reached directly at 951-240-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.