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Children Need to Know There are No Strings Attached

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On my fifty-second birthday I said goodbye to my granny. But in the hours...days...weeks...and months that have passed, I am still a little girl when it comes to missing her. She was ninety-six and suffering from Alzheimer's, so for her it was a happy day. And even though I was truly happy knowing she would no longer be suffering and was on her way to an eternity in heaven, I was not happy for me.

I was by her side when she took her last breath and when she did, part of me died, as well. A big part. It was the part that gave me the assurance that there was someone on this earth that loved me no matter what. No strings attached. No conditions. Just pure, all-out, genuine love-the kind of love every child needs to know is theirs. But was it? Was it really gone?

No one asks to be born, so it is only right that the ones who bring a child into the world gives them the unconditional love that says, "I made you, I brought you into this world and I'm going to make sure you live each and every day knowing I am beyond thankful that you are mine."

As the mother of four grown children, I know I made a few mistakes along the way, but one mistake I did not make was to ever give my children a reason to doubt my love. They know that there is nothing they could ever say or do that would make me un-love them. It's just not an option because I know what it is to be loved unconditionally. So I know that other than teaching them the value of having a relationship with God, there's nothing more precious I could give them.

Granny has been gone for over a year, now. I still ache to hug her, hear her voice and feel the confidence that came from knowing I had her in my corner. But then I realize that even though she is physically gone, I am who I am largely because of her unconditional love and that in my giving the gift of that same kind of love to my children, Granny will never be truly gone.

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