This week has been a week of happiness, grief and reflection. September the 9th was my oldest daughters birthday, but September 11th was my dad’s birthday. So often through the years they enjoyed celebrating their birthdays today with my dad joking in earlier years that he didn’t get as many toys as Casey.
I am so thankful that my children got a chance to know and spend so much time with their grandparents. We had our issues and our family was nowhere near perfect, but my parents took active roles in the lives of their grandchildren.
Mom made many blankets, sewed dresses, helped with costumes, school projects and many other things. Dad tutored both kids on math on a few occasions. Both of them transported my kids to and from school or daycare many times. As a single parent, I honestly don’t know how I would have made it without their help.
Mom made sure we celebrated birthday on the day each time, and didn’t just put things off until the weekend or when it was convenient. We might gather with the rest of the family later, but we celebrated with mom and dad on the actual birthday.
Each year when the first day of fall rolled around, mom would gather the kids and I together to take our annual trip to Burlington Coat Factory or the mall to buy winter coats and maybe some sweaters. This was a tradition my parents started when my brother and I were small. Dad always made sure we all went and bought coats and new shoes for winter. It’s a small thing, but it’s a tradition we will keep this year as well.
It’s been a real trip down memory lane this week, realizing that last year on the 11th of September, I took a Boston creme cake to my dad, we bought him a new razor, socks, a few movies, a new CD and some funny cards. He waved his hand and said, “aw, you didn’t have to do that,” while we sang happy birthday, but smiled all the while. I have thought a lot of that moment this last week. I am thankful we have it to remember as it was 10 days later when dad passed away.
Traditions, no matter how big are small play an important part in each of our lives. Take the time to celebrate when you have the chance and if at all possible keep the dates sacred. You never know when life will interrupt your plans, treasure each and every moment, take advantage of every opportunity, and love the people in your life.
Cherry Coley (c)