In this single paragraph, written, apparently, minutes after his mother died and meant to remember her in the most glowing terms, he wrote:
“You didn’t spare the ruler or the bar of soap when it was required, you made us do our chores every weekend day before we could go out to play and you made us eat our vegetables (all of them!!) before we left the table ….
Now, I don’t know this man and I didn’t know his mother and I am sorry for his loss.
However, this is not how I want my kids to remember me when I am gone.
I want them to remember being loved, not being ordered about. I want them to remember the hugs and kisses and cuddles and laughter, not being smacked with a ruler. I want them to remember that I listened to them when they were angry (and even taught them about swear words), not that I shut them up by stuffing bars of soap in their mouths. I want them to remember that I inspired a love of good, healthy food and that we had happy dinners together, not that I forced them to choke down food that they hated.
I want them to remember me that way because that’s the kind of person I want to be – and, frankly, that’s the kind of people I'm hoping they become, too.