During my childhood, I tried desperately to live my own life. I always felt that my parents told me no more times than need be, and that I never got to do what I wanted. Of course, that wasn't completely true, but as a child, it was life-crushing not to be able to make my own choices.
As I grew up, I tried to maintain my independence from my mom and dad, letting them know that I could in fact do things on my own. They knew I was strong-willed when I would take all of the items out from under the kitchen cabinet, climb in and shut the door, even after they told me no. Or, the many times when I would take all of my toys out of my toy box and climb in. They would tell me to put my toys away, but I just wanted to play inside the box. And although they were well aware of my independence, it never stopped them from loving, worrying, or caring about me.
I have to admit that I was (and still am) hard to deal with at times. But one day out of the blue, I began to realize that my mom and dad were smarter than me (although I don't like to admit it, haha), and that they really do worry because they love and care about me, my two brothers and my sister.
The one thing that makes my heart happy is when I need something they are there. Last year when I had problems with my sciatic nerve, my parents dropped what they were doing to come stay with me. And anytime I have a doctor's appointment, no matter where it is, they are willing to go with me. They keep me calm when I want to run and hide.
I remember when I was little and I had to get my blood work drawn I would always hide behind the door of the waiting room of the hospital, as if they or no one else could see me. I was always so scared to death. One time while I was getting my blood work drawn, one of the many times the nurses had to hold me down, I kicked someone. My mother was upset with me, but she explained that I couldn't do things like that.
Now, when I have a medical issue and don't want to do something, she tells me, "You have been through a lot worse than this. You will be okay." And somehow I always am.
It's funny how parents always know what's best for us, even when we don't. I, like many children, never liked hearing either one of them say, "because I said so." It was affirmative that the answer was no, and we were to never ask again.
Back when I was in college, my dad needed to have surgery during his bout with cancer. He asked the doctor how soon he needed it done, and was it possible to wait because he needed to drive me back to school.
It is true, parents do sacrifice a lot to give their children a good life. Many times we don't see it until we're older, but they really do have our best interest at heart, even if it means that they don't get to do what they need to.
Each year after Thanksgiving my mom, sister, niece and I have a cookie day. It's a day full of baking, laughter and of course eating. My sister and I both love baking cookies, which is something we definitely got from our mom. That is one of our favorite days, because we get to spend time with our mom, and our dad gets to spend time with my brother-in-law.
My dad may not bake, but he is always full of knowledge. He has helped me many times through spiritual battles, and tries to fix whatever he can. Between him and my mom, I know that our whole family is always covered in prayer.
Like all families, we have had our ups and downs, but through it all, my mom and dad remain the ones who hold us all together when any one of us is falling apart. They may not always have all of the answers, but they will defend and protect their children anytime they can.
So today, I want to say a very happy 55th anniversary to my mom and dad. Thank you for all you do for our family.