Several days ago, we watched The Spiderwick Chronicles with our grandson. At one point in the movie, the three children find themselves in a situation they are not sure they will get out of alive…and the one who has fought most against changes in the family and who has given his mother the most grief has an epiphany. His last words to his mother that morning had been “I hate you!” And he now realizes that he might not have an opportunity to leave her with an expression of the love he really feels.
That’s gotten me thinking… Whenever I leave family members–whether husband, child, grandchild, parent–am I leaving them with words I would want them to remember if I didn’t have a chance to change them?
There have been times when I have been really frustrated…stomped out the door, shutting it just hard enough–but not hard enough to break glass–and gotten in the car to run an errand or go somewhere. When I calm down, I find myself wondering if that’s really how I would want to leave the person I was angry at…
So, I’m trying to change. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still be irritated or angry at times…or that I won’t say things I might regret later.
But what it does mean is that I’m trying to watch my words so that if something happens, my last words won’t be something I would regret leaving with a loved one. I want them to remember me with joy, not with regret over harshness that masks the way we really feel toward each other.