Today I am grateful for my parents.
Some of you might remember when my dad had heart surgery a few years ago. It was such a scary time both because I couldn't/can't bear the thought of being without him and because we had gone through something similarly scary a few years earlier when my mom had colon cancer surgery. Since then, Mom's successfully battled breast cancer, too. With every scare, I appreciate them even more, and I sincerely hope that I have many, many more years to enjoy with them.
My father opted into my life when he married my mom. He didn't have to make me the center of his world - he certainly had plenty of other things to worry about - but he did. I was in marching band from 7th grade through my second year of college and do you know that man only missed one performance ever? (It was when the band went to Hawaii my sophomore year in high school.) He is quiet and strong and sensible and ALWAYS there for me, no matter what stupid thing I've done. From the day I met him 37 years ago until today, he has been my Daddy.
For my mom, our road has been rockier. I suppose it's normal for girls to go toe to toe with their mothers...too much estrogen, I suspect. Starting in high school and carrying on until I was well into my 30s, our conversations were contentious and far too rare. She had issues that I didn't want to deal with and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't just lose weight because didn't I know I was going to kill myself by being so overweight??? Everything changed when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was only 35 and faced with the very real prospect of losing my mother, and I prayed every night she was in the hospital that, if only God would give me more time, I'd never take her for granted again. And I have kept that promise, calling her every morning for a few minutes just to check in and let her know that I love her. She has told me how much our morning calls mean to her, but the truth is that they mean far more to me than she will ever know.
How about you? What are you grateful for today? You can let me know in the comments or write a post about it...either way, spend some time being grateful in the middle of the whirlwind holidays and I guarantee you'll find it time well spent.