On Aug. 18, 2016, Richard Pringle's world was turned upside down following the sudden death of his 3-year-old son, Hughie, due to a hemorrhage caused by a rare brain condition the boy had. Now a year later, the dad of three is reflecting on all of the things he's learned since losing Hughie, and his list will bring you to tears, remind you to enjoy the little things, and encourage you to hug your own children tighter than you ever have before.
"You can never ever kiss and love too much," Richard begins the list of his 10 "most important" learnings. "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."
The dad continues, reminding fellow parents to take as many photos and videos as possible because "one day that might be all you have," and he encourages moms and dads to spend time, not money, on their kids, as he can't remember a single thing he bought Hughie, just the things they did together. He hits the midpoint on his list asking parents to sing with their little ones because "memories are created in music" and goes on, listing a few more lessons the devastating loss of his toddler has taught him:
Cherish the simplest of things. Night times, bedtimes, reading stories. Dinners together. Lazy Sundays. Cherish the simplest of times. They are what I miss the most. Don't let those special times pass you by unnoticed.
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.
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.
The dad closes out his gut-wrenching post with a simple reminder for all parents: "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."