A Blessing for our Children

Thanksgiving 1982

Our first Thanksgiving together, at my parents’ home in 1982

It was Thanksgiving Day, 1982. Candice and I were spending our first married Thanksgiving with my parents. After the meal, Dad gathered us all together and gave the following blessing to his children, daughters-in-law and son-in-law.  (He later expanded it to include his grandchildren.) The blessing was read at his funeral last Wednesday, and it was hand-written in my father’s Bible that we brought home with us. It says all you need to know about how my parents thought about their responsibility in raising children and their release of us as adults to find our own path to grow into the people we are.

Blessing for our Children

Your mother and I give you:

Unconditional love, and to each one of you we give all our love.  Love expands to meet the need.

Unconditional acceptance based on who you are – our sons and our daughters – our sons-in-law and our daughters-in-law and our grandchildren. Not on what you do or don’t do.

Release to be the person God intends for you to be.  Release to do what you think God would have you do – to try and to do and to be free to fail and try again.

We give you our affirmation and support as you work out your understanding of God’s purposes in your life.

We love each of you and thank God for you.

Dad took the emotional risk to express this blessing to our family.  However, my parents not only said this one time, they lived it everyday.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

The knowledge that we were loved and accepted unconditionally certainly shaped the person I’ve become and – I hope – the way I approach my life with Claire and Andrew.  Of course I’ve fallen short, but I’ve had the freedom to fail and try again.

I can’t begin to express my thanks.

More to come…


5 Responses

  1.    David, thank you so much for sharing your parents’ blessing with us.  I had seen it before, probably in 1982, but have wished many times since to see it again because it expresses so well my own and your own feelings about  parenting.  Seeing Claire and Andrew this week revealed that they deserve Tom’s blessing, too.  I’m sure you are very proud of them.  You and Candice are worthy recipients of Tom and Helen’s legacy. And that is saying a lot, isn’t it?    In spite of the sad occasion,  Gene and I enjoyed seeing you and your family.With love, Jean Cotey

    • Dear Mrs. Cotey, Thank you so much for this very kind comment. I think of all that Mom and Dad did for us, and I find myself well short of that mark, but we can only keep trying. Candice and I are so proud of Andrew and Claire but – more than that – we try very hard to love them unconditionally and accept them unconditionally. I am so glad that Dr. Cotey was able to participate in both Mom and Dad’s funerals, as you both meant so much to them with your spirit and leadership. It was great to see Sara and Bill – what a treat! And Jim is just a spitting image of a Cotey. Take care, thanks for reading, and I hope to see you again soon at a happier occasion. All the best, and with our love. David

  2. How blessed you all were to have such loving godly parents, in- law parents and grandparents. Thank you for sharing this deeply moving blessing with us.

  3. […] had to say about Daddy in the days we gathered to celebrate a life well lived.  A few days later, A Blessing For Our Children, taken from notes in my father’s Bible, spoke to the blessing of unconditional […]

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