My mom and my dad are my best friends, and I never, ever want them to die.
Halfheartedly I’ve joked about cryogenically freezing them so I can thaw them out whenever I’m in need of life advice or a ride to the airport, but the fact remains:
I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it without my parents.
I think we all feel that fear to some degree. It’s that late-night conversation in your brain you try to avoid before falling asleep and that panic that hits you when they tell you they have a cold.
I’m always slightly lecturing my parents of the importance of their health and the fact that I need them to live to be at least 150. That’s reasonable, right?
But the truth remains that no matter how many precautions or vitamins we make them take, we never know how much time we have left.
So instead of focusing on that, we just make every effort we can to make the time we have now as meaningful as possible.
It’s easy to think that, but a little harder to put into action.
As a young woman, I know my schedule is full. There’s always some birthday dinner to attend or some Tinder date that wants to meet for coffee or sometimes I just really want to lay on my couch and do nothing.
But you have to make time for the people you love. You just have to.
For me, I think the most important thing to is to have fun with my parents.
Joke around, do goofy things and take as many silly videos as I possibly can.
It’s not productive or particularly fun to always look at my relationship with them as something I have to do or something that’s eventually going to end.
So don’t. Don’t focus on the awful, unpredictable and inevitable. Focus on the good.
If you have problems with your parents, try to resolve them. Don’t let dumb fights get between you, because you will regret it. There was a time in high school where I resented my mom because she didn’t like my boyfriend, and I super regret it.
Because my boyfriend sucked and my mom rules.
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As you’re filling up your calendar and making plans, make sure you’ve got time for mom and dad. Whether it’s a phone call, a weekly dinner or even a surprise trip, do something that will make them feel like a priority in your life.
I mean, our parents gave us life. It’s the least we can do.
Emily Blackwood is a freelance writer, editor, and journalist who covers pop culture, travel, health, and wellness.