Do you ever wonder what it would be like had those we loved so dearly hadn’t passed away when they did and were still around?  Don’t give me this whole “let their memory soothe you” or “hold on to the memories” or “don’t live in the past”.  The past is sometimes the best place to be.  It is warmer, safer, secure, loving and happier for some.  Present-day is or can be the same way.

However, for those of us with dysfunctional families, if our matriarch or patriarch has passed, would things be different if they were still here?  I believe so.  My mother passed on something to me that I continue to share with Abby and that I truly believe in.  This is it: I can understand if you come home with a C or a bad grade like that or worse on a report card, test or paper.  Some of us don’t learn like others.  However, I’ve taught you how to act; don’t EVER come into my home with a NI or U in conduct.  You know how to act and how to treat others.

Don’t get me wrong-she was in the first National Honor Society of her high school.  Graduated in 1961 at the top 1% of her class.  But she understood that we cannot all get the math/algebra/fractions right.  That not all of us can recall the 7 continents or 9 planets.  Or that we don’t know the atomic number for plutonium or helium.  However, smart off to a teacher and that was it.

I’ve found as I get older I try to tell my oldest child the same thing. The unfortunate thing is I myself do NOT always practice it.  I get fed up.  I get disgusted.  I get pissed at incompetent people, service providers, repair folks, etc.  And I speak my mind.  I have no filter my wife tells me.  And that goes for just about anything.

If my momma were here, I have a feeling I’d be tongue lashed on a weekly basis.  I sure as hell would have NEVER been divorced in the first place.  She’d have put my ass in gear and set me straight.  My dysfunctional family wouldn’t be that way either.  She’d have smacked some sense into people’s heads.

Beyond that, my kids would have a biological grandmother.  My oldest reminded us last night that she will never get to meet either biological grandmothers and only met one biological grandfather and more than likely will never meet the other one.  It stopped me last night and made me think.

Would she be visiting us in our new town?  Would she still be making all the candies and baked stuff she did when I was a kid?  What would Christmas be like for the kids?  Would she come and stay over the holidays?  Would she have Sunday Dinner after church like my nanny-her mom- did?  Would she have a coming to Jesus with some people?  Would life be different?

I once had a person tell me that he never wishes he could go back and do things over.  His reason?  Because we learn from every single thing we experience in life and if we did it over or could have a do-over, then we wouldn’t learn from it.  Some lessons in life shouldn’t have to be learned.

So, as fall starts and Halloween is around the corner, I sit here and wonder-would my mom like the kid’s Halloween costumes?  What can I do to make life better for my kids and wife like my mom did for me?  God knows-right now I am failing at that, but I am still working on it.