One of my very favorite quotes about family is “Never forget who was with you from the start.” For me it’s a reminder of how much I owe to my parents, who not only brought me into this world, but who followed through by loving me, providing for me, and teaching me how to be a good adult. That’s also why another of my favorite quotes about family is “Love like there is no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again” (Max Lucado). Although it can be applied to many situations, it speaks to me deeply as a wife and MOTHER – taking the time and intentionally loving my kids BIG every day, and also valuing and treasuring the family I started with — my parents and my siblings — and making sure they know how much I love them and am thankful for them.
Quotes About Family
So, I was a little tickled, but not surprised, when I recently saw an article about a study that proves the more time you spend with your loved ones, the longer they’ll live. (Incidentally, there’s also a study that says that the more grandparents babysit, the longer they will live as well…SCORE! This is clearly a win-win situation!) Although the study isn’t ROCKET science, it IS science, and science that confirms common sense: loneliness has a negative impact on our physical health.
The study followed 1,604 adults over 60 (average age was 71) for six years, and discovered that while 23 percent of those who reported loneliness died within the 6 years, only 14 percent who reported adequate companionship passed away within that time frame. “Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life, but also our longevity,” study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, told WebMD.
This gives me a couple different takeaways: First, I need to make it a priority to spend time with my parents as they age! My grandmother is still alive at 92, and my other grandmother lived until age 95. Both had family in and out of their houses multiple times a week for years as long as they lived at home, and my 92-year-old grandma who now has Alzheimer’s and is in an assisted living is still visited by family several times a week. If I want my parents to have long lives, and I do, I need to be there for them. (Note: Mom and dad, please move back to Ohio. That would help.) Secondly, I need to make my home one of family fun and togetherness so my kids will want to spend time with ME even after they are grown. I am so blessed because even though I am 40 years old and my siblings are all older, we still really enjoy spending time together and spending time with our parents as well. I want my kids to have their own happy family lives like this when they are grown, but also want them to have a family that they continue to ENJOY long after they have left the nest.
So, Mamas — go call yours! And start planting seeds of love and fun in your home that will keep your kids coming back just for fun when they have families of their own. It will help ALL of you have longer, more abundant lives!