Everyone has a different story. Some of you were born to parents that may not have planned you, but loved you none the less. Some of you might have been born to parents who had prayed and dreamed of you for years and then held you lovingly in their wombs eagerly anticipating your arrival..
Some of you might have been born to no parents, some of you might have been born and given to parents that could not have their own and had so much love to give that they brought you home and raised you as their own… Regardless, you are here. As I type these words and you read them, you are here because two people somewhere on this earth made you, and then God in his infinite wisdom, beauty, and strength carefully crafted you within your mothers womb. Some of us where born as perfectly gorgeous healthy babies. Some of us were born with deformities, health problems, or with little strength.
You are here.
As a 36 year old woman, I have the joy and sadness of needing my parents. Thankfully they are still here, and I was born into a loving home with two older brothers and an entire family community of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc that aided in my upbringing. As a child I depended on them for not only my basic needs of survival, but also my emotional needs. I never wondered about where I might sleep at night, how I might fill my belly with nutrition, or how the monthly bills would get paid.
As we grow up, we grow into the phase of “I can do it”. You remember.. that day when hugging your parents may not have been as cool as it was before.. and suddenly YOU can drive yourself somewhere, YOU can decide what you want to eat, YOU can determine what you should and should not wear.. We establish independence. That independence makes us feel good, makes out parents proud, but also brings a sense of uncertainty… the “what-ifs” crop up. What if I can’t do this myself? What if my son or daughter gets in an accident driving to school? Suddenly we are out of the clutches of their grasp and flying on our own.. needing to find out how to fall, and knowing that with each fall we can get stronger.
I was always a “I can do it” kind of kid, adolescent, and adult. My character traits are certainly that of compassion, but also of determination, perseverance, and some genetically gifted bull headedness.. (thanks Dad).
My life was always made up of a million ways I could cram everything into one day.. and then keep it going, every day.. non stop.. More? “heck yes, Ill take it”. Work three jobs? yes! Run an organic farm? Sure! Have a canoe bike and kayak business and work a full time job while volunteering as an EMT? Why not! Take college classes while working three jobs? yes! Volunteer? YES! Train for a triathlon? Sho nuff… Take a nap?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Too much to do! Too much life to live.
Sit still for an hour yoga session? tooooooorrrtuuuuurrreeeee (thats torture spelled out slowly). The only incentive I had for yoga was having a delicious brunch with my sweet friend afterwards and then Id go home and run, or swim, or bike.. I have always loved the yoga clothing.. I do look cute in them. Sit still and read a book? oh… Lord.. I will TRY.
Sit still and watch a movie? Umm… Can I get up thirteen times and get drinks, make pop corn, fold laundry, walk the dog? Then, sure.. maybe. The bottom line is, we make up a great spectrum of all sorts of people, for me.. I was always the active child.
That being said, Ive kept my dear parents on their toes.. maybe not always physically, but certainly emotionally.. and always, every time I fell down and “scraped my adult knee” so to speak, they were there. Four months ago TODAY, I fell and scraped a whole lot… The weight of that freight truck running over my 120 pound body ripped me apart leaving me a bloody mess holding on for life.. Suddenly life stopped. I awoke 40 days later to find my husband at my side.. and my parents. I can no longer be the “always doing person”.
Over the last four months, I have felt like an infant, a toddler, and an adolescent all over again. I need help going to the bathroom, getting a shower, having my ostomy bag changed, getting into an out of bed, being held tight as I sob in pain and frustration with my new body, having my meals made, and my hand held as I tremble and scream with panic attacks… My mother even reads to me again.. My dad makes me my favorite dishes. My mother has helped with hour long wound changes, and even needed to help hold me when I can not balance on my own. They are working hard to put weight back on my frail body. This time, I found that not only were they being my protective parents but my friends. As dad held me while crying in pain, he shared how I use to play beside him after he broke his back and had to lay in bed for over a year.. My mom would share stories of her parents, her life.. I learned things that as a dependent child I never knew… now as a dependent adult, I could also be their friends.. and they could cry with me.
To all of you that read this.. no matter what your relationship is with your parents.. you are here. Life doesn’t always plan the way we want it to, but by the Grace of God it somehow works out how it is supposed to. Regardless if your mom and dad are in your life today, say “Thank you”. Maybe it is to them personally, maybe they are gone so you must utter it out in a prayer, or write it in a letter… Maybe your mom and dad are not your biological ones but the mother and father that nurtured you to who you are today.. Thank them..
We never know how each breath will unfold but we do know some certainties:
1. We each had a mom and dad
2. We will each have a last breath
3. We all have the capacity to love and be loved.
With that, I say.. “Mom, and Dad… I am here, and I’m sure glad you are too.. I love you so much.. Thank you”.
Had I woke up three months ago and you been absent, Im not sure how I would have coped.