A Tribute to Our Parents
Mary G. Crossland
Dr. Clem C. Crossland
There are some debts that are so enormous that they can never be repaid in full, even in a small measure – and the devotion of one's family is one of those. In honor of our parents, we ask that each of you pay it forward by treating your own loved ones with dignity, kindness and compassionate care for as long as you have the strength and resources, for you will not regret a day that you do so.
The anniversary of my father's death is tomorrow. He was also one of "The Greatest Generation" and a man of great integrity, love, and compassion. I could never repay the debt I owe for his unconditional love, for the example he set, for the values he instilled in me and my siblings. We are a strong and loving family largely because of his example. As we approach this anniversary we are gathered in spirit at all times and in body whenever possible to support my brother who was diagnosed in early February with brain cancer. But my brother is not just the recipient of support- he and his love for us are equally integral parts of this teepee we have made by leaning on one another. We support each other as we did when we gathered following my father's death last March. Love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness - these elements heal and strengthen. They are medicine for the patient and the patient's family. They flow through us from God, wrap around us, and bind us together. May you and your family be bound together in love. Pay it forward - not because it's a debt to be paid or an obligation -pay it forward because that's what love does. Love begets love.