The sun is shining, my dog is sunbathing on our deck, and I am doing what I do best. I’m thinking, of course. I’m thinking about my life, mostly where I came from. From the outside, my life would appear quite ordinary. I grew up in a small midwest town with my parents, my two brothers, and myself. When I look back on it, I see it as anything but ordinary. My parents gave me what many people strive to give their families. Even through their imperfections they gave me hope and a vision of what life, marriage, and family should be.
I’ve been missing them more than usual lately. The other day, Oliver said he wished he could teleport us to Florida. Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe that is what has sparked all this thinking. They deserve to be recognized and I just don’t do it often enough. So I’ll start off by saying thanks to them, but mostly to God for giving them to me.
Both my mom and dad were hard workers…do-it-yourselfers to the core. If it was broke, they’d fix it. If it was old, they’d make it new again. They used what they had before they went out and bought something new, even though they could have. Unless, it pertained to one of my dad’s hobbies. Then we’d have five. Five snakes, five guitars, five boats. You get the picture. He dove right in and was whatever it was he was passionate about.
In many ways, I am much like my dad in that aspect. I see this in my youngest son as well. We get lost in our worlds, whatever our world is at the moment. It is a strength to ourselves. To some, they see it is a weakness. It is misunderstood. It is something that needs to be changed. To us, though, it is ours. It is the only thing we have that makes our drums beat in rhythm.
I learned from my dad and my mom (in different ways) to be me. To be nothing else. I learned from watching them to love God and to trust God. They showed me to walk the walk He is leading, don’t look back, and definitely don’t look to others for approval.
Our closest friends were always drawn to our home. I had a friend who practically lived with us when I was ten-eleven years old. There was never even a question whether our not she was welcome to stay the night at our house. Many times after school on Fridays we’d walk to her house, pack her clothes for the weekend, and then go home. Our home was her home while she was there. My oldest brother had a couple friends who actually lived with us at different times. One of them I didn’t get along with. I remember demanding for my parents to tell him that he couldn’t live there. My parents pretty much told me to suck it up because life is bigger than him annoying and picking at me. His life was harder than I’d ever imagine life could be. Boy, they always had a way of humbling me in simple ways. It showed me behaviors were so much deeper than the surface showed.
My parents were a team. They were a couple God would look at and say, “Yep, that’s the way it should be.” They were not perfect, no couple is. But they were one. They made a decision early on in their marriage to put themselves and us kids before others. They did things their way. They never tried to live up to anyone’s expectations. Only their own. It made them a force. A peaceful force. A safe haven for themselves and for me and my brothers. I can see my kids feel the same when they are around them. I have a hard time with that, only because they live so far away from us. I guess that I need to pull a page from their book more often to “read” to my kids. With mine and Matt’s own twist on it, though.
That is where I came from. That force was what I knew I wanted for my life and for my future spouse and kids life. After all these years, they are still all of those things. What a lucky girl I was. What a lucky woman I am. I pray my kids can pull some of these same things from Matt and I when they are older. I really do. I know Luke and Oliver deserve it.
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