Let your children see you committed to your own parents and family

My husband John’s mother is 90. We call her MiMi. MiMi lives on the ranch with us. She has her own home, but lives very close by. She is a true pioneer/rancher of the West. She grew up in the Panhandle of Oklahoma during the depression and the Dust Bowl. She grew up on a 27,000 acre ranch in the Cimarron Valley and lived out her youth rougher than any single day of my life!!!

She is a person who is ¾ angel and ¼ human being. Every day of her life she does “a small act of kindness (or many) for other people. She taught Vocational Home Economics in our local school system for 34 years and is as devoted to education, children, young people, her church, and community and family as anyone I have ever know.

Our kids were either with me, John, or MiMi as they grew up here on our ranch. People have asked me how I have done all I have done in my life—continuous education, community activities, and work, as well as raising a family and supporting John in his dental practice. I say, “I can summarize that in one word: MiMi.” If it weren’t for her, I would not have been able to do what I have done in my lifetime. ¾ angel: ¼ human being.

My daughter, Carrie, says she feels like she had two mothers—one who taught her to honor herself and her creative spirit and the other who taught her how to sew on a button and make white sauce. A pretty good combination—wouldn’t you say!! Our son, Brett, adores her. Both kids do and they make sure to see her each time they are here.

We love MiMi—and honor her. We are there for her—just as she has always been there for us. We have honored, loved, respected, and “been there” for all 4 of our parents. And, we learned from our parents—through their role modeling, words, and deeds, that they honored, loved and “were there” for their own parents. So, our children have seen this. They have grown up seeing the dedication that John and I have for our parents and grandparents. And, they have done the very same thing. They have loved their grandparents—and love us. They are “there for us” just as we have been—and are– there for them. The unity of the family is learned through actions, as well as words.

Be role models for your children. Be committed to your own grandparents, parents, and family. Make time to be with them. Call them. Drop them a note. Let your own kids see your devotion to your ancestors and they will model that in their own future. People’s lives are busy. But, when you need support the most—it will be your family who will be beside you—if you make a commitment to nurture those relationships—faithfully. Now.

Family is legacy. Let your kids see your commitment to your own parents and to your family.