Day 361 - November Gratitude, part 25
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Today was the day my parents were supposed to drive up here from Sacramento. The decided last week that they would go to my sister's house instead, since she lives just 15 minutes away, not two hours. I wasn't disappointed; I wanted them to do what they wanted to do without worrying that I would be upset. We invited some local friends who don't have local family, and we are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration together. I am happy that my parents are doing what they want to do.
Still, I'm so grateful that they are still around. My parents aren't perfect. My dad's response to any bit of news is "I knew that!" You can't tell him anything that he doesn't already know. Mom thinks it's his way of holding on to his cognizance and intelligence, because he's terrified of becoming senile. That has been obvious to me for a few years now.
My mom has become markedly improved from the depressed, miserable person she was 6 years ago, and I'm actually very pleased that she's more mentally serene than I can remember in a very long time. Their living situation has definitely created some amazing benefits in their lives.
I am all too aware that our parents aren't with us forever. Steve's dad passed away in the passenger seat of a rental car they had picked up in Texas to go visit Steve's aunt and uncle (JT's sister and brother-in-law). They had barely driven the car off the lot. Steve was not quite 32 years old. I can't imagine going through that, but he did and was amazingly strong.
We both watched Steve's mom in her final days back in October 2008. She had been a vibrant, energetic woman up until 10 days before she died. She showed me that dying wasn't something to fear, that it could be peaceful and full of grace. She was 90, and had lived a very full, rewarding life.
I know how much Steve misses his parents, and I wish that his relationship with my parents was better so that he could enjoy them while they are still around. Sure, I get frustrated with them, but they are still my folks, and I do love them very much. I am who I am because of the values that they instilled on me when I was growing up.
So today, I'm grateful for parents. I'm grateful for my folks, and I'm grateful for all the parents that have had an influence on my life. My mom's best friend Carolyn Webb was like a second mom to me when I was younger. When I was in elementary school and would often go home with my friend Sonja, her mom Virginia was as loving to me as my own mother. I've had a lot of parental guidance throughout my years, and I'm so grateful for the gifts that every adult gave to me as I moved from childhood to adulthood. Those gifts are priceless.
I hope you have had parents, either biological or chosen, in your life that gave you joy. That helps us all to keep Sparking.