Yesterday my mother-in-law went Home to be with the Lord. Today is the 12th anniversary of my dad going Home.
I am am filled with grief as I write this post. Thankfully, last week my husband and I were able to visit her. She and I were quite close. I miss her so much.
She was such a wonderful, kind, generous, loving, and gentle mother to my husband and his sister. When my husband and I began dating, she totally accepted me into their family. She beamed with joy on our wedding day.
My husband and his sister have all happy memories of her. She wasn’t perfect, but she was a great mom. And that is her legacy!
My dad, however, was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive to me. I hate that that is his legacy as I can’t deny what he did to me. Yes, he was often loving, but after 33 years, it’s the yucky stuff that still comes to mind when I think of him and that makes me sad. It’s especially hard on days like this to remember him because he refused to heal our relationship while he was still here.
It’s an interesting thing. The more a parent hurts a child even if the parent is loving at times, it is those harsh, abusive times that come to mind most when thinking about that parent. Yet, if a parent is loving, gentle, kind, and empathetic, THAT is what the child will also remember the most.
No matter how “lovingly” you hurt your children, they will remember those times more even if they try to deny it.
Do you want your legacy to be how you inflicted pain on your children? Or do you want your legacy to be how you loved them and positively disciplined them?
It’s up to you and until you die, it’s never too late to repair and heal the relationship with your children. I wish my dad had repaired our relationship before he died in 2003.
I’m so grateful my mother-in-law left behind a wonderful legacy for her children and to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. And even though my mom is still alive, I’m grateful her legacy is positive. She sacrificed so much for me.
What will your legacy be?