Cherish the time you have with your Parents

A couple of weeks ago I visited the grave of my father, Thomas Michael Perna, at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona after attending the burial of my friend’s miscarried daughter and my would be goddaughter. While praying, and crying, in front of Dad’s grave, I took a picture of the headstone with one specific friend in mind. This friend does not have the best relationship with their parents, and although it has improved recently, there is still a strain to the relationship. I sent them the picture below with the caption – cherish the time you have with your parents.

There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t wish I had more time with my Dad, especially today since it would have been his 70th birthday. Dad passed away on April 22, 2015 due to complications with Crohn’s Disease, after battling the disease for forty-years.

If your parent(s) are still on this side of Heaven, and you are either in your forties, fifties, sixties, or even younger than those generations, please call your parents today and tell them that you are thinking about them and love. Don’t text – call them!! If you see them on a regular basis, drive to them today and tell them the same thing.

Dad and I at Yankee Stadium – August 2008

You can’t imagine the suffering and pain you will feel once they are gone. I often ask for intercessory prayers from St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Pope St. John Paul II. To conclude, here is a quote from Familiaris Consortio about fatherhood, written by Pope St. John Paul II –

“In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God, a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family: he will perform this task by exercising generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother, by a more solicitous commitment to education, a task he shares with his wife, by work which is never a cause of division in the family but promotes its unity and stability, and by means of the witness he gives of an adult Christian life which effectively introduces the children into the living experience of Christ and the Church.”

Happy 70th Birthday in Heaven, Dad! We love you and we miss you! 

Last picture of Dad.

3 replies »

  1. I totally agree. I lost my dad on July 24, 1999, but we were privileged to still have our mom with us until June 15 of this year. Although she was 87 and quite medically frail, her death was still a shock. We grieved then and we still do, even though we know that she is no longer suffering. I join you in encouraging your readers to contact their parents to express their love. I would give anything to be able to hug Mom just one more time.

  2. Beautiful post and a beautiful honor to your Dad. I lost my Mom two years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I do not wish I could hear her call me “Sis,” one more time. You know I took care of my Mom while she was ill, (Alzheimer’s) and the wonderful thing I have is no regrets. I know in my heart I did the best I could.

    I think that is what those who disregard their parent’s do not realize. When they are gone, they are gone, and the regrets they will have for not doing as much as they can for them, will be with that child forever. Good post and thanks for making me reflect back on Mom. God Bless, SR

  3. I can’t tell you Thomas how much I also miss my father. I miss him not in the way that you do, but in the way you miss something that you loved then went bad. You see my father deserted my family when I was a teen. Before that he was like your father, a Catholic, a good man, my mentor. It’s hard to explain but one day he stopped coming home and moved far away and started another life. The irony for me was that I had positive memories of him and then I felt cheated by him. Many years later he ended up destitute and deserted by my family and the other family he started. He tried to get both to help him in his time of need except for me. None of us did. He passed about the same time as your father. It is with a great deal of sorrow that I feel similar about him as you do about your father. I grieve for him and that I did not help him. Still, he is in my prayers each day because, in a bitter sweet, way he was and is my father.
    God bless you for the love and respect you have for your father. I wish in my heart that I could have had that for mine.

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