Firstly, let me say that going through the loss of a teenager is brutal. People have called us strong and positive and we ARE aiming to make positive decisions and we will. But the underlying fact that we’ve lost our child will of course never go away. One major thing that is helping us however, is that we did not have many regrets about how we lived. It’s not that we didn’t have busy work lives and professional lives, but we made sure we had fun and spent a lot of time together. Take Chris’ 12th birthday. We modified his morning cereal box to include a message about a ‘free gift’.
We then inserted a ‘gift card’ telling him about a new bike waiting for him. He would be devastated to think I would ever show these pictures, but if you stick around, I’ll show you some more!
So we have a very simple act that parents have repeated thousands of times the world over…buying a bike for their kid. The only change we made was to turn a simple act into an event. It didn’t cost a lot of money. It really didn’t take that much time….but what it did do was create a memory and experience. These were the experiences that Max, Chris, Ingrid and I would laugh about and in fact during Ingrid’s birthday dinner on March 22, we laughed many times sharing stories about family activities, adventures and misadventures.
My point (yes, I’ll get there eventually) is that creating memories and experiences doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. The payoff, however, is simply priceless.