Tonight we said goodbye to our nephew and his wife as the two of them are moving back east to start a new job. My nephew’s been living out here in Utah since 2012 when he first moved out to attend college and because his parents lived back East my husband and I became his parents away from his parents for what’s now been eight years.
When he first came to college and was single he would come over and tell us about girls he was dating and seek our advice about things. He’d come over to stay with us on the weekends and he and my husband would work on projects in the garage and he and I would spend time talking about his interest in entrepreneurship and batting around his ideas. We spent so much time with him talking about life, talking about love, playing games, watching movies, eating meals together. He was with us when we renovated and moved into my REES Capital office, he was there to help the night of our company launch and open house, he was there as we built our new home and he helped us move into it – in fact he ate our first dinner in our new home with us. He has been with us for holidays and he has been there whenever we needed help with something. I remember the night he came up to tell me about this new girl he’d been dating and I knew the instant he talked about her and I watched his face light up that this girl would be the one he’d marry. He’d bring his sweetheart over to spend time with my husband and I during their courtship and we were there the day they married.
Over the last eight years he’s become our other son and we’ve become his other parents…and we got used to thinking he’d always be around….which made having to say goodbye to he and his wife today heart wrenching.
As we stood on the porch waving as he and his wife drove away all I could think of is how much family truly is everything… Back in the house my husband shared that he’d been thinking that same thought about family being everything….
It’s so easy to get distracted and caught up in things that don’t truly matter, and its so easy to take the time we have with our families for granted thinking there will always be more time available to us…I’ve been guilty of that more times than I care to remember … But the older I get the more I’ve come to see that time isn’t always going to be available and when that time is gone we will be left wishing like crazy that we’d taken full advantage of every moment we’d had while we had it…that we’d always been fully present for the people we love…because times together are the most precious thing we have.
I’ve loved every moment we’ve had with our nephew these last eight years, and his wife these last two. My only regret is not spending more time together.
And that is life’s great lesson…we will never regret the time we spent together with our families, we will only regret that we didn’t spend more.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )