One year ago, Richard Pringle suffered the terrible loss of his 3-year-old son, Hughie. The little boy's sudden death was due to a brain hemorrhage caused by a rare brain condition he was born with. "There was a five percent chance of bleeding," Pringle told Us Weekly. "Unfortunately that five percent happened last summer."
Now reflecting on the loss of his son, and focusing on cherishing his two other children, the dad from Hastings, England, has written a list of the most important lessons the tragedy has taught him—and it's a heartbreaking but beautiful reminder to all parents to treasure the time you have with your children. Read his full Facebook post below:
"My Facebook post was written to help others realize what's important in life and what's not," he told Us Weekly about the post that has since gone viral, gaining over 14,000 reactions. "Parents need to stop and appreciate everything. Even the simplest things. There's beauty in simplicity but quite often we let it pass by us unnoticed."
Number one on his list of the 10 "most important" lessons he's learned since losing his son, Pringle writes, "You can never ever kiss and love too much. You always have time. Stop what you're doing and play, even if it's just for a minute. Nothing's that important that it can't wait."
Pringle goes on to remind everyone to take photos and record memories because "one day that might be all you have." And Pringle encourages parents to spend time, not money, on their children, as he can't remember anything he bought Hughie, only the memories they made. He writes that "memories are created in music," so you should sing songs with your children, and "cherish the simplest of times," like bedtime, reading stories together, and lazy Sundays. "They are what I miss the most," he wrote, "Don't let those special times pass you by unnoticed."
His next lessons are ones that we probably can all do a better job of when it comes to our families:
"Always kiss those you love goodbye and if you forget. Go back and kiss them. You never know if it's the last time you'll get the chance."
"Make boring things fun. Shopping trips, car journeys, walking to the shops. Be silly, tell jokes, laugh, smile and enjoy yourselves. They're only chores if you treat them like that. Life is too short not to have fun."
"Keep a journal. Write down everything your little ones do that lights up your world. The funny things they say, the cute things they do. We only started doing this after we lost Hughie. We wanted to remember everything. Now we do it for Hettie and we will for Hennie too. You'll have these memories written down forever and when your older you can look back and cherish every moment."
Of course, living in the present and being grateful for our blessings isn't always easy, but it is the most important thing we can do as parents, children, siblings, and friends. Pringle ends the list with an evocative and heart-wrenching message: "If you have your children with you. To kiss goodnight. To have breakfast with. To walk to school. To take to university. To watch get married. You are blessed. Never ever forget that."
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