I decided again this month to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, trying to write each day in January. I attempted to do this in October and was not at all successful, so we'll see how this month will go. I'm not making any promises to succeed, but I will promise to make a conscious effort!
When I got the blog challenge email this morning, I immediately started formulating my post in my head. It's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. Who do you admire and why?
The answer came quickly...my parents.
I have 2 younger brothers, and when we were little, they worked opposite shifts so that someone was home with us before and after school. As we got older and became more self-sufficient, they both worked day shifts. We took family vacations together, to the Jersey shore, rented cabins on Lake Champlain, took a trip to Boston. They never took a vacation without us. They made sacrifices for us, as many parents do. They never drove new cars. When we were old enough to play sports, they were always in attendance at our games, both home and away. In high school, when I decided that I was interested in Speech Pathology, my dad used his connections at the hospital to get me an internship so that I could really see what the job entailed.
Money was put away to help with our college educations. We were encouraged to find a college that fit, whether it be close to home or far away. I remember several road trips with them, in search of the perfect school. While living 4 hours away from home during college, my parents made sure that I knew they were thinking about me. We'd have long, rambling phone conversations every Sunday night. I'd get cards and care packages for no reason. They made it easier to be away from home.
I've lived away from "home" since 1996, but my parents have continued to there for me. When I had back surgery several years ago, my mom offered to come stay for a few weeks until I was feeling better. When I was put in the hospital and labor was induced 4 weeks before my due date, my mom packed a bag and was there the entire time.
The past few years have been rough for my mom and dad, but through it all, my admiration for them has grown. When my dad had kidney problems several years ago, my mom was by his side the whole time, adjusting her diet to meet his needs. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer last March, dad slept in her room at the hospital the entire time.
They've taken care of 3 kids, taken care of their ailing parents, and taken care of each other. They are my heroes, my support system, my cheerleaders. But most of all, they are my parents, and I admire them more than words could ever say!!!