I can't believe that I am airing dirty laundry.  But, after talking to friends of my generation, I see this as an epidemic.  I think that as you read this, some of you will sigh relief to know that you are not alone. 

When I was a child, a young adult, and presently an old lady :), one thing that I have always worried about, was disappointing my mother.  I never want to disappoint her.  I know that I have  disappointed her in the past, but life is full of mistakes and regrets that we learn to get past...we seek forgiveness and move on.  Well, Cliff and I have been having conversations with the kids lately and are not very happy with some of the things that they have been telling us.  Our agnostic son is now atheist.  There is a case of infidelity taking place that we just found out about and made clear that we don't approve of.  All the while, we hear, "don't lecture us...it is our life....we will do what we want to do...we are adults."  Yeah?  Well, start acting like adults!  Now, I am not talking about all of the kids...just a few.  But, that is not to say that the others don't have secrets of their own. 

Well, I wrote a letter to the kids from us.  Aside from erasing individual names and what we wrote to those individuals, the rest of the letter stays intact.  Our child who is practicing infidelity just blocked her father off of her Face Book....he is heart broken though he tries not to show it.  I hope that this letter will speak to others as well as to our kids.  If it comes across as angry...we are.  But, we still love our kids.  Here is the letter:

Dear Children and Grandchildren,

First of all, we want to take this time to tell you that we love you.  We wish that we could be there with you for the Christmas holidays,but life isn’t allowing that to happen this year and it is what it is.

Now we want you to know something up front: No matter what life may throw your way as you get older, we still love you.  You may or may not live your life the way that your parents, or grandparents may agree with…but we will all still love you.  We may not be able to do for you all of the wonderful things that we would like to do for you…but we still love you.  Never forget that…because in the end…love is the most important thing that you can collect in your life.  If you don’t have love, then you will feel empty and will look for it in all of the wrong places.  Always look for this love within your family.  Don’t ever turn you back on them…even when you are not speaking to them…you may need them as you walk down the long, winding road of life.

In order to use the love that your family has to offer you, you need to share your experiences with them as you grow up or grow older.  If you need to hide your activities from family, then you know deep, deep down inside that what you are doing is wrong and goes against everything that you were taught as a child.  Love is something that you need to cherish and honor.  Love is something that you cannot physically touch.  It is not sex.  Sex is merely one expression love...but it isn't love. It cannot be found in the touch of another body. It is not something that can be bought with a diamond ring.  You see, love is something that you don’t collect to hoard.  It is something that you collect so that you can give it away again…in a smile when someone is down...in a simple touch of a hand on a shoulder when someone has had a bad day...in a meal when someone is hungry...or helping someone who is sick and who can't help themselves. It is respect for those who gave it to you in the first place.

Some of you may think that you can do everything on your own in life and that you don’t need anybody else.  You think that you can be totally independent..that you have always done everything alone in the past and that you don't need anybody.  That is the biggest lie that you can tell yourself.  If you reflect back...someone...somewhere...pulled you out of your doldrums.  You did not do it alone.  You were dependent on someone.  It may not have been us.  It may not have been your siblings.  It may have been someone wonderful or someone horrible...but you were dependent.  You will always be dependent for as long as you live.  Independence is a lie from satan....that he himself felt that he had...and even he is dependent on the whims of God the Father.

Here is another lesson:  It is bad to lie to others…it can damage a relationship.  But, to lie to yourself…deep down within…is the deadliest lie that you can ever tell.  We have all done it at one point or another in our lives…and if you look back, you will find that your lie to yourself was a crutch so that you could try to convince yourself that whatever it was that you were doing at the time was alright…at that point in time…"no point in dwelling on it…it will be okay"…but it never is.  Lies breed more lies.  That is not how to love or respect each other…and more importantly…it is not the way to love or respect yourself. 

You have to look in the mirror every day.  When you do, you look into your own eyes, way past what you see in your reflection…into your soul.  And the day that you stop doing this…not being able to look into your own soul…you will know that you have gone over the edge…you have gone too far.

While the rest of us may not know what your soul bears…you do.  So, if you lead a productive life, you will be able to look into your own eyes and go on with the day.  But, if you can’t bear to look into your own eyes, then you and only you know that you have a serious problem.  Lying to your family about these things doesn’t help anyone involved…it just keeps them in the dark until all of the secrets are exposed…and here is something important for all of you kids to know…secrets will ALWAYS, ALWAYS come out.  They may come out while you are alive and cause embarrassment and pain for you and your family or they may come out long after you have died…but they WILL come out and they can hurt family members whom you have left behind here on earth…those precious people who you love.

<Omitted paragraph where we name each child and tell them how we are proud of them but not necessarily what they are currently doing...or that we are...depending on the situation.>

You see kids, we are proud of who you are…not who has which job, is doing what, has this or that education…or money…or who is married to whom.  Those are trivial things.  We may not always agree with what you do, or what you believe, or who you hang around with…but in the end…when the chips are down, it is simple: We love you. 

We also are well aware of the fact that you don’t like lectures...oh-h wellget over it!  <We are smiling as we write this next part>:

You wait until your kids are of an age when you will have to lecture them…and we are not talking about teenagers…we are talking about when they become adults themselves.  You will be lecturing until you turn blue in the face because you will be worried about them..and your grandchildren.  It will be your turn to feel helpless because you can’t do anything about the way that your children are raising your grandchildren.  They will hold the grandchildren in front of your face like a carrot in front of a horse.  Yeah, yeah, we can hear you saying right now…”I will never lecture my kids. They will never do that to me.”  Well, you won’t lecture them when you don’t need to…but you will when you need to…because you love them more than life itself…and by then…your own grandchildren.   You will want them to have the best in life even when you can’t give it to them. 

Things are not what they need.  They need you and wisdom.  But, you must first live life and correct your own errors in order to accrue wisdom to pass onto them.  Then, it will be their turn to make you feel like nobody will talk to you or to listen to you.  What goes around, comes around.  What do they call it?....a mother’s curse.  LOL.  So, you just wait and see…and remember this letter.  We may already be in our graves at that point in time…but you will remember this letter.  <snicker>

Another thing...and that will be it:  If you always take the attitude that you are doing what you want to do because it is your life and it makes you happy…that is a fleeting moment.  Look beyond those primal urges to what it will do to your family in the long run.  Anything less than this would be selfish on your part.

Note that we didn’t say look to what it will do to you in the long run.  You are right…it is your business when you are an adult.  We may not agree…..but it isn’t any of our business…you have all made that perfectly clear.  But, you do need to answer to your respective families for your actions and how it will affect them in the long run…and for that we would all hold you accountable.  We are not talking to any one of you in particular, though most likely, you each think that we are talking to you individually…that is your own guilt.  You see, right now, when you do things that can affect your kids, they can’t do anything about it. But one day, they will grow up…and they will hold you accountable for every mistake that you ever made in life that affected them…the same way that you secretly hold your own parents accountable for everything that they did wrong that affected you.

So, children and grandchildren, we wish you all a happy life doing whatever it is that you are called to do.  But, do not expect us to agree or to look the other way whenever you do things that are wrong.  We have both made tons of mistakes in our own individual lives when we were your age…and we had to answer to the wrath of our own individual parents. 

Our mothers used to tell us to learn from their (our mother’s) mistakes…to take the vicarious way out.  That is the beauty of life.  It allows you to learn from other people’s mistakes so that you don’t have to repeat them…not to give you permission to repeat your parent’s mistakes just because your parents did and that it must run in the family.  That is a lie and a cop-out.  

But in the end...we love you all.  God bless each and every one of you.  May God bless you, and keep you and make His Face to shine upon you.  And, may He lift your spirits when they are down and also punish you and forgive you whenever necessary so that He, your Father can protect you and guide you.  It doesn’t matter if you believe in Him or not.  One day, each and every one of you will come in contact with a situation that will be so low and forlorn that no matter how much one of us tries to comfort you, it won’t help.  God will be the only Person who will be able to Comfort you.  And when you reach out for Him…though some of you may not believe in Him right now….He WILL be there.  And if you say that HE wasn’t there in the past when you needed Him…then either you didn’t really need Him - or wanted His help on only YOUR terms…or you were being a stubborn child refusing to turn away from your childish ways.  When you finally grow up and want to change your lives for the better, He WILL be there for you.  It is all up to you and you alone.

Again…we love you…and that means that parental lectures come along with the territory.  That is what parents are supposed to do. It is our job.  It is also your job.  Do it well and keep us proud of you.

And this next paragraph is not directed to you children or grandchildren...this paragraph is directed towards satan himself:

satan...you take your hands and your legions off of our children.  They belong to us and the Kee Family belongs to the Body of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  You have no claim here.  You must leave right now and we ask the loving Holy Spirit to fill the void.  We stand on the authority of Jesus that you take your hands off of <each child named here> right here and right now...never to return to them again.  In Jesus' Mighty Name we pray....AMEN!