8 Things I Want My Parents To Know Before It's Too Late

by Gigi Engle

My parents are easily the two best people I know. I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up with a father and mother who support me in everything I do.

They always makes sure that I’m safe, healthy and secure and they never forget to remind me how much they love me. I will feel forever grateful to have been raised by two people who care so profoundly about their children.

Each parent is a role model to me for different reasons. My mom is a fastidious beacon of support and my father is the person to whom I compare every single boyfriend.

I can’t imagine my life without them and I choose to ignore any notion that they may not always be around. I feel a pang of sadness every day, when I think about how I’m in NYC and they’re in Chicago; how every day I spend here is a day I’m missing with them.

Sometimes, I’m too distant and disconnected from my family to remember to tell them how much they mean to me. I don’t know how I’ll survive my parents' imminent deaths, but I certainly will crumble if I don't tell them everything I need to say before I lose them forever.

These are all the things I want my parents to know before it’s too late:

I think about you every day

Even when I get busy and caught up with everything my hectic, 20-something life affords me, I’m always thinking about you.

I know that sometimes it seems like I don't make enough of an effort to stay in touch, but I always have you on my mind. You are my blood and I feel you both in my soul.

I truly appreciate every single thing you have done for me

I know I don’t say this enough, but I am so very grateful for every single thing you have done for me.

Even the small things don’t go unnoticed, and I never forget to say a little thank you in my head, even if I forget to say it to you.

How would I have done my taxes without you, Dad? How would I have known how to mend a broken heart without you, Mama? I cherish every single act of kindness because I know you love me more than anything in the world.

I love you both more than there are stars in the sky

I do my best to tell you often, but I can't really communicate how much I love the both of you. I am so blessed to have you there for me, whatever I choose to do.

Even when you aren’t here anymore, my strength to carry on will be because of you. I love both of you — never forget that.

I know how much you’ve sacrificed for your children

And, I can’t imagine how hard those sacrifices must have been for you. Having children means putting them before yourselves; it means putting their needs ahead of yours and always making decisions based on what’s best for them.

I can’t stomach the idea that you would ever question whether or not I appreciated all you gave up to make my life better.

I am a better person because I was given the two of you as parents

I have you two to thank for the way I turned out: Strong willed and passionate. The two of you are forces to be reckoned with, and I adore your kindness, your fire and your compassion.

You taught me how to love, how to fight and how to believe in myself. Had I been given other parents, I would not be who I am today.

I know that you’re aware that I love you both and that I respect you as my parents. But, I want you to know how much I respect you as people; as citizens of the world. You are the people I look up to the most; you are my spiritual guides and my heroes.

I miss you deeply

Being far away from home takes its toll on my heart. My choice to live in NYC has nothing to do with how much I love you. I feel homesick constantly and sometimes, I consider what life would be like if I lived closer to home.

I do miss you, but I also understand that you want me to chase my dreams and make a life for myself in this fantastic city.

I have nightmares about losing you

I know that I must face the facts, that you won’t be around forever and that I will have to live a parentless life one day. I have nightmares about losing the two of you all the time.

I want you to know how much you both mean to me. When the two of you are gone, I know that the daughter you raised will be strong enough to live on, but I’ll never be the same and it's important to me that you know.

It won’t be goodbye, just see you later

Even when you’re gone, you’ll always be with me. I need to remind myself of this frequently. You may not be here with me physically, but you will always live on in my heart.

I want to always remember the little, tinniest things and hold pieces of you with me, always. It’s a slight comfort to remember this because when we lose the ones we love, they’re never really gone.

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