During the month of November, sweet Rachel at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane has challenged us to not only reflect on who we are thankful for but to reach out and tell them!
For week one of "thankful on paper," I wrote my note to the two people who deserve all the thanks I can muster up and squeeze into a tiny card, my parents.
I am an only child. My birthday came with a lot of tears of happiness and a few of pain. My mom had a difficult labor and there was a point where they thought it would be just me and dad going it alone. Although I was tiny, that experience is the beginning of my parents giving their all for me. My mom almost sacrificing her life so that I could have mine, and my dad being faced with losing his one love to gain another.
From that day forward my parents have done nothing but give me everything they could and more, and no amount of notes or words can ever thank them enough.
But I guess I can try.
Of course there have been low times in our relationship (for example, all of junior high), but our little family of three is stronger for each and every slammed door, eye roll, and argument over curfew. We have managed to grow closer and tighter and more connected even though we are far apart.
My parents are my roles models. Truly. The example they have set for me as a young adult and the values they instilled early on have created in me a strong foundation, one set on honesty, kindness, open-mindedness, integrity, and responsibility.
At my house, the dinner table is sacred. I remember very few nights where we didn't sit down to dinner together, the news in the background, my dad and I debating one topic or another, my mom playing referee. Although I sometimes pretended I was too cool for all of that, there was really no other place I wanted to be at 6pm.
As I enter my second year of marriage, as we think about starting a family of our own, I once again look to my parents as guides. I am thankful that their support has never wained, there advice is always prudent, and that they are always just a phone call away.
Mom and dad, thank you for sitting in the front row at every musical, bearing the cold to see me twirl flag in the marching band, taking me to piano lessons, making sure I turn the lights off and recycle, teaching me how to use power tools, trusting me to go out-of-state for college, raising me in Alaska, being my biggest fan, reading every article I ever published, being ok when I told you I didn't really want to be a journalist, giving me the wedding of my dreams, driving 12 hours to see us, loving the man I married as your own son, listening to my crazy stories, challenging me to think bigger, and loving me unconditionally.
Instead of sending my note, I will be hand delivering it over Thanksgiving. And I am thankful for every single minute I get to spend with them this holiday.