Parents are the people humans rely on and learn from the most when growing up. Sometimes, even the smallest of things they have said can make us emotional to the core.
Her Mom’s Last Words
“Well my mom was dying from cancer and had a few strokes which left her unable to talk, and only move her left arm. When I got to the hospital the last words she ever said were ‘My baby!’ So loud and audible. She won’t know the impact it has on me now, but it was probably a big deal to her.”
The Difference Between Fights And Discussions
“Our next door neighbors were going through a bitter divorce. We often heard them yelling and fighting leading up to it, so it was no surprise.
One day, I saw Mom & Dad embracing, very affectionately, and I said, ‘I sure hope that you two never become like them next door.’
Dad looked at me, and said: ‘We don’t yell, we discuss. We don’t fight, we disagree, then find a way to work it out so it’s good for both of us.’
Thanks, Dad, for words to live by – especially on Father’s Day.”
His Dad Listened, No Matter What He Believed
“Not something he said but something he did: I lost my father when I was 15 on December 16. When they were cleaning out his apartment after all his affairs were settled, they found a Christmas present with my name on it – a putting green and putter.
It may not seem like much to anyone here but at the time I was just starting to get into Golf and I never had thought my father really paid attention to what I was into. When I was handed that putting green, I instantly realized he did in fact care and had been listening to me all those times I thought he wasn’t paying attention. I cried then just like I’m crying now remembering it.
I miss him”
“I love You. But Right Now, I Don’t Like You.”
“I was NOT a good kid. Lots of rage, terrible behavior, constantly trying the patience of my parents at every turn. I do not blame my parents one bit for their frustration on a daily basis.
Probably around age 6 or 7, I did something and my mom was at the end of her rope & told me:
‘I love you. But right now, I don’t like you.’
As a kid, this made 0 sense to me because like and love with family are the same thing right? It just sort of confused me and made me a bit sad for a while.
Years and years later (late teens?) this memory came back to me and kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because my mom didn’t like me at that moment, but the realization that having a strong relationship means loving or respecting even through the more temporary moments where you’re angry and don’t particularly like the person.
This has guided every relationship I’ve had as an adult. Family. Friends. Coworkers. My wife. It really helps me keep perspective in the rough moments, and remember that the anger is temporary and will pass. And that the person will still be there at the end.”
Her Mother Cried Through The Whole Book
“When I was small, my mom and I would read together every night before bed. One night when I was maybe 5, we read a new book: I’ll Love You Forever. It’s written from the mom’s point of view as her kid grows up and does exasperating things (ruins her favorite watch, stays out late with friends, etc). Each time, the mom says, ‘I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.’ The last page is written from the adult son’s point of view as he gently takes care of his senior mother, and he says the same thing his mom always said, but says ‘mommy’ instead of ‘baby’. My mom cried reading it to me, and I didn’t understand why until I got older and realized she was imagining all the stages of life she would go through with me and my brothers. I’m an adult now, and thinking of it still makes me teary-eyed.”
His Father Knew What Was More Important Than Money
“Something my Dad told me that’s always stuck with me.
Once we were driving to pick up my stepmom, I was around eleven or twelve. (For reference my Dad used to be a bank manager before he retired) He told me about a customer he had a few year back that had immigrated to Canada and after working several different jobs he decided he wanted to open his own business. Now according to my Dad this guys credit wasn’t super stellar but it wasn’t awful but his business idea was considered high risk. My Dad told the man the bank couldn’t give him a loan and the guy was distraught. He begged and pleaded swearing up and down he would be successful and pay back the money. Now this was back before everything was done with computers and your loan was actually accepted or denied by a person. So my Dad told the man he’d do what he could. Couple days later my Dad called the man and told him he approved the loan and the man was ecstatic. Fast forward a few years and the mans business is booming, as well as several others he started up. He’s one of the banks best customers.
After telling me this story he pulls the car over and looks me in eyes and says ‘I approved that man because I saw something in him. He had what you call good character, and having good character is more important than money.'”
A Corrections Officer Brings His Work Home With Him
“When I was around 11 or so, my dad came home from work after a bad day. He worked long hours around inmates as a Corrections Officer, so sometimes it seemed like he forgot that his children weren’t prison inmates that he needed to talk down to.
Anyway, I had a snack after I got home from school, and left a paper plate on the coffee table. When my dad came in the front door and saw it, he yelled at me to throw it away, stop being lazy, and that I was ‘worthless.’
It really was a little thing, but it stuck with me for a long time and I still remember it to this day.I just want to clarify, my dad is really not a bad person. He’s even a good CO and has a good reputation at work of treating the inmates ‘firm, but fair’ and he is pretty respected. I’m not excusing the things he said (and it wasn’t just the one occurrence, that’s just the one that sticks out) but I forgive him for it. There were some marriage troubles at the time, and he was also working in the 30-House (sex offenders, child molesters, etc.) at the time and it was taxing. That was 20 years ago, and he’s calmed with age. We get along amazing now.
I always use this memory whenever my kids start acting up and I blow up at them, watching what I say. Anytime I say something that might be hurtful, I think about this and that my kids may remember this years from now, so I want to prevent that at all costs. But yea, parents out there, your kids will remember hurtful things you said to them, so be strict, punish them, but do it right.”
What If That Is The Last Thing You Say To Someone?
“When I was little, I was mad at my mom. One morning when we were fighting for whatever stupid reason, she was dropping me off for school. She said she loved me and I told her I hated her (I was young). Then she told me I shouldn’t say that to her because she could go and get in a car accident or something and I may never see her again and ‘I hate you’ would be the last thing I had said to her.
To this day that has stuck with me and I try to never leave things on bad terms with people. You never know if it’s the last time you’ll see someone.”
Never Assume How Smart You Are — Even Aristotle Was Wrong
“My dad is a super smart dude. PhD in Classical studies and knows 5+ languages. So, naturally, I was way ahead of all the other kids in he first years of my education. Without knowing it, he kept my smart cheek in check for my whole life by saying one thing as he tucked me in one night.
He told me that you always have to be careful about anything you think you know. He said, roughly, ‘Aristotle was one of the smartest people of his time, but he was wrong about so much, because a smart person can connect the dots they see in a million ways that aren’t correct when they don’t have all the dots.'”
“Your Going To Be Just Fine When I’m Gone”
“My dad passed away from cancer a few years ago. During his battle I was his sole caretaker. At 19 I was taking care of him, making sure our bills were paid, getting groceries, cooking, cleaning, setting up appointments, and the million other tasks that come with being someone’s caretaker.
One day when I returned from running errands, my dad told me he forgot our electric bill was due that day. I casually told him that I had already run a check over while I was out and about. I remember he stopped what he was doing and just turned to look at me and said ‘You’re going to be just fine when I’m gone’. That was heartbreaking to think about, but comforting to know he saw my maturity and ability to handle everyday responsibilities. I hadn’t felt I was ready to be on my own, but he helped me realize I would be just fine. 8 years later, and I am doing okay on my own, but man do I wish he was here. Happy father day dad.”
When Lost, Remember: There Are Two Ways To Do What You Love
“I went to college about 5 hours away from where I grew up, and the first two years there I didn’t have a car. My dad, who commuted probably 2+ hours a day (I grew up in Northern Virginia) every work day for a lot of his working life, drove down 5 hours to come pick me up so that I could come home for some holiday usually. This is when we would have our talks.
At the time I was a college sophomore struggling with what direction I wanted to go in terms of major and career. I’ve always been pretty intellectually capable but never had a career that just beckoned me, or made me feel passionate. But I went to college anyway, since that’s what you’re supposed to do if you have the money and the capability. As an upper middle-class millenial I now realize this is not an unusual feeling at all. I ended up majoring in history and anthropology.
My dad is a baby boomer who grew up dirt poor and worked at a 7-11 to get himself through college and law school. I just remember coming at him with a question about what I should pursue and he put it to me like this:
‘Well, there’s two ways. First you either you find something you love to do, or second find something you love and work to support it.’
I took this in for a moment, and asked which one he did.
‘I do the second one.’
I asked what he was supporting, with the naievete only a 19-year-old can muster.
He chuckled. ‘You.’
That just flipped my perspective on everything and made me feel a lot better about being sort of lost. I knew I’d figure it out, and that life would push me where I needed to go when I needed to go there.
He’s still around. I should tell him.”
His Last Action Was To Make Them Laugh
“When my dad was on his death bed with pancreatic cancer he wasn’t allowed to talk. He fought and fought with the nurses so that they would let him say one word to my brother and I. He took off his oxygen mask, looked at us both, and said, ‘Hey.’
It was hilarious. He was the best.
He lay there dying, and fought with nurses to give my brother and I a laugh on a day where our world was falling apart.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.”
His Mom Caught Him Coloring Himself
“This is really insignificant but made a big impact on my relationship with my mother. I was about 4 (I have a surprising amount of memories from when I was little) and I was coloring on one of those art easels for kids and my mom was cleaning the house. I asked her if I could draw on myself and she surprisingly said yes. So of course I took my markers and just went to town coloring my arms and stomach and legs. She came into the room to find me and flipped out that I had done this. I thought I was in big trouble so I started crying and I said ‘But you told me I could!’ To which she responded, ‘You’re right I did. I thought you meant on the paper though. That was my fault, let’s get you cleaned up.’ And I wasn’t in trouble at all. That was the day I realized adults aren’t just there to punish you and that my mom was fair and understanding. To this day that’s one of my favorite qualities of my mom and makes for a solid relationship.”
Her Dad Taught Her How Powerful “Yes” Can Be
“My dad chaperoned my sixth grade field trip to a local swimming area. I was painfully shy as a kid, to the point of literally not speaking out loud for months at a time. (I was later diagnosed with severe anxiety and major depressive disorder.)
So during this field trip, I was sitting alone off to the side, as I usually did. A couple girls from my class came over and asked me to go and swim with them. I shook my head no, and they left to swim. They came back after an hour and asked again. Still, no. My dad had been watching this, and after the second time, he came over and said ‘If you keep saying no, people are going to stop asking you to join in.’
When the girls came back a third time, my dad gave me a thumbs up from where he was sitting. I nodded yes, and even though I still couldn’t bring myself to speak, I went swimming and actually enjoyed it.
Now, still anxious and depressed in my mid-20’s, I find myself saying yes to new opportunities even if I inevitably feel uncomfortable. Going on a date with someone new? Yes. Taking on a new responsibility at work? Yes. Giving daily presentations to groups of 30+ people? Yes.
I still feel massively uncomfortable, but I’m able to speak and interact, and pass as a functioning adult most of the time. I’ve never told my dad about my struggles with anxiety, or my attempts at ending my life. I’m recovering (or at least trying to), but I wouldn’t have gotten this far unless I had started saying yes.
Thanks dad. Happy Father’s Day.”
She Totally Screwed Up Breakfast, But Her Dad Didn’t Get Mad
“Two incidents where the responds was the same.
I was probably twelve and tried to cook for the first time. I burned my eggs and I was expecting my dad to be angry that I had wasted food. But he casually threw it in the trash and said.
‘It’s alright, just try again.’
I learned that sometimes you have to make mistakes to succeed.
Another one was when I was probably fourteen. I was a bit hyper and heavily into martial arts. I was in the kitchen and doing kicks when I lost balance and knocked a glass of the counter. Felt really embarrassed and again thought that my dad would be upset but he just asked me if I had stepped into any splinters and then cleaned up my mess.
He doesn’t remember any of this but it’s strange how often I go back to those moments when someone messed up and I try to be calm and understanding.”
A Soldier’s Lesson On Empathy
“When I was about 8 years old my dad returned from his first deployment in Iraq. I had this story book fantasy of what war was like and that it was always the good guys beating the bad guys. I was riding in the car with my dad and I asked him if killed any bad guys and he turned and looked at me and said ‘that’s another kids dad, how would you feel if they killed me?’ And I was speechless and I knew right then that he should be the one to start telling his war stories when he was ready. It would always make me cringe when my friends would ask the have you killed anyone question.”
He Tried To Put Him Down, And It Motivated Him Forever
“When I was in middle school we had this program called upward bound, it’s for low income, first generation, minority kids who want to go to college and they help prepare you/succeed.
My dad took me to the interview and was supposed to be quizzing me on the way there. Instead he said ‘you know you’ll never get in right?’ and I thought I had heard him wrong so I asked him to explain and he said that I was immature, and not intelligent enough, that going to college was tough and I didn’t understand what I would be sacrificing in order to get into this program.
I just sat there, absolutely stunned and horrified that my dad, the person I’d always looked up to, the person who’s opinion meant so much to me, had basically told me I was a stupid piece of trash that i would amount to nothing. ON THE WAY TO THIS INTERVIEW!! I just stared out the window, a few tears fell and I never said a word about it. But I was super determined at that point to prove him wrong.
We got there, I aced my interview, spent my High school years in the program. And started college off on the right foot. I now help run a company and my dad is in a different state recovering from drug addiction (I think he might still be using.)
I never told anyone about that because it hurt, a lot. But it also pissed me off and made me extremely determined.”
She Put On A Wig Every Day Just For Him
“It wasn’t actually anything that she said.
My mom had breast cancer when I was a kid. I mean, its breast cancer though so – there was always an overlying feeling of ‘we’ll get through this, it’s success rate is so high.’ But of course it’s still scary.
When my mom started going through chemotherapy, I kept asking her how she still had so much hair, because even at ten years old I knew what was supposed to happen. She just kept brushing it off as her dads thick hair genes.
Probably a month or two through, I woke up for school one morning – which was very unusual for me. My mom always woke me up, and it was still pretty early so I decided to do something nice for her and maker her some coffee eggs and toast.
Right when I opened the door I saw her facing a mirror drawing on eyebrows and I nearly dropped everything I had because she was entirely bald. Pale. Thin. Bruised. My mom turned around shocked to see me and I couldn’t take it. I set the food down on the floor and ran away like a stupid kid, and heard my mom start crying. I ran back up and apologized and said I was just startled.
It took me a bit to realize that she was going out of her way each morning getting up an hour before she normally had to just to protect me from what the cancer was doing to her. She didn’t want me to see that side.
After that realization, I can’t help but love my mother so much more.
I love you mom. I’m gonna go call my mom now. She’s awesome.”
She Looks At The Stars The Way He Taught Her Too
“Astronomer here! When I was ten years old, one night my dad was abuzz at dinner because the great comet Hyakutake was out in the sky and after dinner we were going to drive out into the country to see it. So I remember the excitement of doing something so different on a school, then seeing this fuzzy thing in the sky, which was neat but not mind shattering.
The next part was though. My dad was still describing what a comet was to us, and how they had crazy orbits where they spend most of their time past Pluto, and this one in fact would take 70,000 years before it passed Earth again. ‘Think of me when you see it,’ he joked, and that left me in awe. As a kid I guess you think you’ll see live forever, or at least long enough to do everything again you want, but this was the first time I truly realized something would outlast me even if I lived a really long time, and I’d never see Hyakutake again.
That memory stayed with me a long time. I’m not sure I would be an astronomer without it. And I feel very lucky to be the daughter of a man who would get excited enough about stuff like a comet to take us out to see one.”
“The People In Support Roles Are Just As Important As The CEO”
When I was 12 or so I went to a ‘take your daughter to work day’ with my dad. His company had a lottery for who you’d spend the day shadowing. I got the head mailroom clerk. I was disappointed and my dad told me ‘just wait, he knows everyone and everything that’s going on. You should always get to know assistants and people in support roles, they are just as important as the CEO’. Turns out he was right, I saw the whole company, met everyone and knew everything going on.
More importantly my dad very nicely taught me to value everyone and that no one was beneath me. Or him. Or anyone. Best lesson I ever got.”
His Mother Taught Him How Good A Man His Father Was
“My parents were absolutely ridiculous, in a good way, not a bad way. I never once heard my parents fight. I mean, I’m sure they did, but I never heard it. I got spanked as a kid, but it was always as respectful as it could be, and was always handled with patience, respect, and calm. My parents never insulted me, they never spoke overly harshly to me, and were, literally, the best parents I’ve ever seen, be it in real life or even in a movie or tv show. My mom was the understanding one that I could always talk to. She didn’t handle punishment, so if I had something to talk about, I could talk to her in private, no matter what it was about. One day, my dad had been giving me a hard time about going to college, and what was expected of me and how I should handle it.
Now for a little bit of background, my dad was a gas man. He worked for 30 years as the guy who would crawl under people’s houses, go out if people thought there was a gas leak, and would get called to travel if there was a disaster and they needed extra hands (like with Hurricane Hugo and Andrew in Charleston). He had a job in which he worked very hard, and was the quintessential blue collar man. He never went to college, while my mom was a pharmacist.
When my dad was talking with me about what college I should go to, and how I should plan my life out, I made some off hand remark about how he wouldn’t understand because HE didn’t go to college.
I could tell right when I said it I had hurt his feelings, but I didn’t get the chance to feel one way or the other about it because my mom grabbed me and pushed me away from him. She got in my face and said, ‘Cpritch2, how dare you say that to your father? You selfish little brat. You don’t think he could’ve gone to college? That man works every single day, 8 hours a day, to better be able to afford YOUR college. He works 8 hours a day at a job he gets off at 4 so that he can have dinner every night with his family. He CHOSE not to go to college so that he could raise you, and he chose his family over a high powered job that would take him away from us. I don’t ever want to hear you disrespect him again, you would be lucky if you turned out to be half the man he is.’
I was a smart kid. I got the highest SAT score in my entire school, I graduated salutatorian (because the valedictorian cheated, but that’s a story for another day.) I got early admission to every college I applied to. School was easy, and I was easily the smartest kid there. I viewed myself as smarter and, quite frankly, above everyone else in my school. And it occurred to me in that moment that I had viewed myself above my father as well.
My mom’s words completely changed how I lived my life. I have never again held the view that I was above anyone else because of education, and I learned to respect and understand other people’s choices. My dad is the best man I’ve ever known, and someone I aspire every day to be like. My mom was absolutely right, I’d be lucky to turn out to be half the man he is. I will never forget that.”
Look At Your Hands — They Can Do Anything
When I was a little kid, my dad, himself a hard-working engineer (bridges/dams) and farmer (cattle) who grew up dirt-poor in rural Oklahoma in the 1930-40’s as the youngest of 11, took me by my hands and commented how soft my hands were, which started to make me sad (I was eight or so..) before he concluded with,
‘These hands are going to grow up to do whatever you want. With these hands, son, you can do anything.’