“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
~Clarence Budington Kelland
We are spread out in bed with our eyes about to close, legs a pile of mush and skin is a bit on the red side… but our hearts? Happy and full. This weekend meant 24 hours on the track at our local high school for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, walking, talking, and handing out waters freely with the amazing people of Faith City. And it was über amazing.
We were there to celebrate the strong and fighting survivors, to honor those that have passed and to raise funds to aid the ones that so need it. I would venture to say this local event was a success since as a community we raised just shy of $100,000.00. I know, right?!
My girl collecting money to get “bailed” out of jail… and when I gave it to her, she paid and went right back in… Asking for more. So I told her she was on her own, I already bailed her out once, and she raised the $3 on her own! (Much needed blog disclosure here: of course I would have given the $3 if I needed to, but I’m so proud of her!)
And though I don’t want to shed any sliver of a shadow on what was accomplished this weekend in terms of helping others, but as a mother, I can’t help but look at my own seed and wonder what has been sprouting in their hearts and minds as we walk, silently and carefully holding a candle, during the luminari ceremony or cheer the purple shirts along with tears as they proudly march their own special lap around the track. Do they understand what is happening? Do they know why we decorate a pretty little white bag in honor of my grandmother, fill it with sand and light a candle? Do they wonder why mommy’s eyes fill with tears when I see a little boy, just a couple of years older than my eldest running laps around the rest of his fellow survivors when the track is cleared just for them?
Maybe not. Maybe they don’t understand it all, but they still enjoyed every minute of it. My girl still held a candle proud and tall (and carefully) and she held her tongue for an entire loop around the track. She still colored her best flowers on a luminari bag in honor of her great-grandma… and in doing so, she’s learning along with us just how important these moments with loved ones really are, and just how special it really is for to have both sets of grandparents in her life. We are blessed.
Just like my daddy said to me today, “We don’t dumb it down for them (our kids), we share with them what we’ve learned and the little bit that they do grasp and understand will make them grow far more than if we weren’t to share with them for fear of not understanding.”
I think the last couple of days were times of sharing, times of growth, for us as parents just as much as it was for our littles.
And topping on this already rich and decadent slice of life? My heart skips a beat when I see the passion my husband has for helping others spread to my little ones. With his sacrifice, namely this being his 30-something hour of no sleep, he’s showing, really showing how to live life in service to others. That fertile ground of their minds soaked up what it meant to live outside of self as they asked, “Why isn’t daddy sleeping tonight?” And we get to explain. They get to feel that little spark of exhilaration when they stand out in the sun and ask sweaty speed walkers if they’d like water, and receive and smiling “Yes” and “Thank you” in return.
So today, I want to wish a very Happy Father’s day to my father who shared with me his life, and didn’t try to dumb it down, but helped me grow by helping me understand. And to my husband, who lives fatherhood with passion, thank you for living and letting our children watch you do it. And to those who’ve been blessed with little ones to care for, whether blood or not, Happy Father’s Day!
You make life Happy and Full.
My life is my message. – Mahatma Gandhi