Because of the nature of this blog, I’ve frequently written about disappointments in life – things I wish had been different. BUT there are also so many things I am thankful for, so I wanted to dedicate a post to my parents for all the good they brought into my life.
First of all, my parents gave me a home. No matter what I faced at in the world at large, no matter what inner turmoil I felt, I knew that I always had a safe place to come home to. In recent days, I’ve seen plenty of sad stories of dreadful parent responses when their kids come out. I didn’t come out to my parents until after I had already left home, but even if I had, I’m confident that it would not have made me unwelcome. They would have been sad, and worried, but not angry or nasty.
My parents taught me kindness. They were kind to me and to one another. Even though they were not wealthy, my dad took special joy in surprising my mom with special gifts and vacations. My mom loved to cook our favorite dishes. They always welcomed my friends into the home and were genuinely happy to do nice things for people.
They taught me responsibility. I remember my dad taking me to the bank when I got my first job and opening up my own checking account, and then showing me how to balance the register. When I got my first car, he helped me with oil changes, tune-ups, brake work, and other routine maintenance. They both worked hard, sometimes at multiple jobs, to provide for our family. At home they worked with us – we all worked in the garden; we all did yard work; we all did chores in the house.
My parents paid attention to me and took an interest in my life. They asked about the things I was doing in school or church or work; they came to my plays and musical performances and cheered me on. When I needed a ride, they drove me to and from my events. If I talked to them about something, they listened, and would later ask about the things I shared. They gave me the freedom to make my own choices and my own mistakes.
In short, they loved me, and they made sure I knew it. Thanks mom and dad – I miss you both!