Today I’m thankful for my parents and everything they taught me.
I had a really great childhood. It was happy and secure and I never questioned whether or not my folks loved me and my sisters. I was never worried they would divorce and always knew there was nothing I could do to make them hate me or throw me out of the house (though I never tested this principle). In this way they taught me about unconditional love.
Mom and Dad were the first to teach me about God. I learned that God is involved in everything and in every day, not just church on Sunday mornings. I was instructed that I could pray to him at anytime, anywhere and for any reason. I watched my father study his bible and commentaries in preparation to lead a Sunday School class or fill in for the minister on a Sunday morning or maybe just because he wanted to.
They taught me that church wasn’t a building you go to on Sunday mornings, but rather an assembly of people who love God and who love each other. This teaching included a lesson on serving others -whether at church or in the community – and was taught by example, not lecture.
My parents taught me respect. Respect for myself and respect for others, regardless of who they were. I was never made to feel less than anyone else, but neither was I ever made to feel that I was better than anyone else.
My father taught me an appreciation for music and especially a fondness for classical, bluegrass and Dixieland jazz. My mother taught me that singing (or whistling) while you work really does make housework better. She also taught me the joy of laughter.
They taught me that marriage is a serious commitment and not something to be taken lightly. Next April will mark their 60th anniversary. I learned that you enjoy the good times and work through the not as good times and that giving up is not an option. I observed my dad’s grins at my mother’s mischievousness and her smiles at his dry humor and realized the importance of “inside jokes”.
Mom and Dad taught me how to be a parent. Everything they did was done in love and for my best interest, even when I didn’t like it. I learned about gentleness and discipline and the importance of family.
I am who I am today in large part because of these two people who taught me so much just by the way they conducted their lives.
And that makes me very thankful!