I’ve had a good life, I know that. And although the rebellious teenager in me begs to differ, my parents are central to that.
I’m spoiled. It’s been almost 23 years now and my parents are still together, still teaching me about this world.
And just like other families, we’ve gone through it all. Name it and we’ve more than likely faced it. Health problems, financial scares and family losses.
But if there’s anything I got out of all this, it is to look to my parents. So, here are some things my ol’ Ma and Pa taught me growing up:
One of my first memories is of myself lying awake in bed waiting to hear my dad recite the Lord’s Prayer with my older sister. I eagerly followed their conversation, their prayers. My dad taught me to thirst for the Lord.
My next memory is in the same time frame. While my dad spoke with my sister, my mom would come in to tuck me in. She would say a prayer over us and sing one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard, even to this day. All she said was “Amen” over and over again, in different pitches, letting the words overflow and pour into my soul like milk and honey. My mother taught me beauty through the ordinary.
They’ve always told me, “Just do your best and you’ll be fine. As long as you tried your best, I’ll believe you.” Those words have motivated me to work harder, to learn more about myself and how much I can do.
Take care of yourself. Mom was big on that one. Exercise, eat right, dress presentably and make sure to fill your life with love.
People go back on their word. It happens because we’re humans, don’t blame them.
People will harm you, they will cut you down. Don’t harm them, forgive and move on. Kindness leads to a faster recovery.
Talk. Find trustworthy companions and talk. Don’t keep your days, months, years to yourself. Share the glory, share the pain, share everything. It makes it easier.
Make yourself look silly, sometimes. Or, in the case of my dad and I, most of the time.
There’s so much more I’ve learned, but I’ll cut it short with this last one:
Whatever happens, no matter if the day is just peachy or a dreadful thing, keep going. Life is life, death is death and everything in between is all we have. Love while you can, persevere through the pain and don’t be afraid to live while you still can.