Unfortunately my parents live on the opposite side of this big country of Canada. They live on the West Coast and I live on the East. It is a 6.5 hour flight and a 3.5 hour drive to come and visit. But each year they make the long journey to come see their daughter and son and grand kids ( not son in-law, my Mom and Dad have made it very clear my husband is considered no less than their flesh and blood son ) Now it is no fault of theirs that we live so far apart, I'm the one that moved away, but I miss them so much everyday. It's funny in life how sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until its gone. I mean, I've always appreciated them, they are wonderful parents, but not having them around on a day to day basis is far more difficult than I anticipated it to be. That said, I talk to my Mom everyday on the phone without fail, and there is always something new to talk about. ( I talk to my sister every day too, but that's another story for another blog ) Gosh its a wonder I get anything done in a day.
Anyways, my Mom and Dad are the best parents a girl could ask for. They have been a wonderful example of how a parent should be and I have never felt less than their number one priority. They have four children, and they love each and every one of us immensely. I always know, that no matter what happens in my life, good or bad, they are there for me. Not once have they ever turned away.
I have been reminiscing a lot lately about growing up, my teenage years and all that my parents have done for me. Truly I wouldn't be where I am, or who I am, without them. And I also know that not every one is as lucky as I have been to have the gift of parents that I've been given. And my way of showing my appreciation for the life they have given me, is to try and be as good a parent to my kids as they have been to me.
When I look back to when I was young I realize now, as a parent myself, how much energy they invested in to their family. They both worked, and yet every night there was a warm, home cooked meal on the table. My father was home every night and every weekend. He never went out with the boys, he never took time to himself, we were his priority. My Mom was the same. If she wasn't working, she was home. There were no girls weekends away, or girls night out. She was present 100 percent of the time. To me then, I didn't think this was that big of a deal. I thought every one's life was like that. My friends parents were that way so it didn't really cross my mind that other peoples lives were different. But in my home, family is what was most important. Nothing else mattered. And even though in the beginning it was a struggle to make ends meet, they worked hard, and always made sure we were well dressed, fed and most importantly loved.
Now when I look at myself as a Mom, I realize I am following the example they have given me. And when I see my siblings, it is the same for them. Their kids are their number one, and everything else comes second. Someone once asked me if I didn't feel like I was sacrificing my own happiness for my kids. I was dumbfounded. Sacrifice? My kids are my joy, my happiness. I love being a Mom. And I know my husband loves being a Dad. And I hope that one day, when my kids grow up, move out, or move away, I will continue to have the relationship with them that I have today. I hope that the way they remember me is the way I remember my parents.
My Mom and Dad have been there for me every step of the way. They made sure when I became a young Mom that I still got an education. They took care of my husband and I in every way they could, even sacrificing their own time so I could go to college, while they took care of our baby. They gave me a wonderful, safe loving environment to grow up in. We had a feeling of family, and we are a strong unit as a family even today. Sure we all have our fights. We have sibling rivalry, and we can see the world differently at times. But when it counts, we come together, strong and fast.
I don't know what made me write this today. Maybe it's my appreciation that we still all have one another, for how long we don't know. But I know that when I talk to my Mom today, I'm going to thank her for all she's done for me. I'm going to thank my Dad for every day he walked to the bus and commuted an hour to and from the city to put food on the table. I'm going to thank them for all they've done to make me not only the woman I am today, but how they helped shape a family. My family. I love you Mom and Dad, with every piece of my heart. See you in a couple months.