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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

gratitude: my parents

The more life experience I gain, the more I realize there is so much about my parents I take for granted.  Even all the gratitude I feel for them would leave something out that they've done for me.  As a child and adolescent I assumed everything they did for me was obligatory, that they had to cook dinner for me, provide for me, take me to school, go to my sports games, care for me, etc.  As I get older I realize that they didn't have to do any of that, but they did because of how much they love me.    

I feel grateful for having parents that I respect and look up to.  A lot of people my age fear having children because they think their lives will come to a halt if they do, that their personal development will never continue.  I have seen both my parents develop in their careers and in their personal lives, especially in the past decade.  My dad decided to become a deacon, and my mom went back to school to work on a spirituality degree.  I wouldn't be surprised if ten years from now they both tell me they have a new career or personal change planned.  They are examples that a person never has to stop changing or improving.  

My parents have also been a great example to me in their marriage.  When I was a teenager, my parents went through a very difficult time and almost separated.  They had the opportunity to walk away, (and as a naive teenager I sometimes thought they should) but they stayed committed to each other.  I learned that while it is very important to start a marriage with a strong foundation of love, trust, and shared values, it is just as important to support one another and stay committed in day to day life when things get messy and difficult.  

My parents live out their values and have taught my siblings and I the importance of dedicating your life to others.  They're two of the most generous, caring people I know.  Their support made joining JVC, pursuing a Masters degree in social justice, and choosing a low paying job in the non-profit sector much easier.  Their passion for helping others set me on the path to be "ruined for life."  

I love my parents in all their imperfections.  I couldn't be prouder of them.  So thankful for them both. 

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