My dad just celebrated his 80th birthday! I can’t write something in honor of my dad without including my mother because it is the combination of them that made me who I am. As they are both celebrating round birthdays and 37 years of marriage, it’s a good time to reflect on the impact they have had on all of us.
Without my parents I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have always wanted to make them proud of me, it is only recently I’ve learned that they were always proud of me simply because I was theirs.
My parents aren’t the super affectionate, American style of parents my friends were raised by. My parents did tough-love and hard lessons. My parents did strength instead of weakness. My parents did blunt truth over comfort and ignoring the elephant in the room.
My parents taught me the fine art of compromise, but also to hold my ground.
My parents taught me to believe in myself even when others didn’t.
My parents taught me about taking risks, being strong, accepting consequences with grace and to continue, always, to dream, set goals and work hard to achieve them.
My parents have taught me the art of adjusting to life’s curvier turns while staying the course.
I am a writer today because my parents always believed in me and my potential. From buying my first typewriter as a little girl, to endless trips to the library to financing my education and reading my work with constructive feedback, my parents are one of the reasons I continue to work in a field I love.
I am the mother I am today because of the lessons I learned watching them include us in their life from fancy dinners to backyard picnics. They taught us to embrace life through travel as well as enjoying what we had at home. They taught us about nutrition, fitness and the fine art of, well, art. They taught us to be thankful for our blessings, to see them everywhere and to share them with others. They taught us the importance of sitting down together to share meals, stories and each other.
I am the wife I am today because of what I learned watching my parents work through many of life’s difficulties, protecting us from their stresses and respecting each other, compromising and learning to navigate the challenges of life together. My parents have been through more than anyone I know, and have come through it all stronger, still standing, still smiling. And so do Martin and I. For that, we are thankful.
I am who I am because of my parents, personally and professionally. I will be eternally grateful to them.
I am glad they were born and wish I could be there in person to celebrate these milestone birthdays. They are, however, my internal compass, always on my heart and in my mind.
Aj ja vas!
Zivijo, zivijo, zivijo!!!