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Your apology to your parents

Dear current day parents.  I challenge you.  Now that you have children, and you see how hard parenting is, I beg you, to write a letter to your parents.

THIS…is the day they waited for.

I will go first.

Dear Mom and Dad.

THANK YOU.  I had NO idea how hard parenting would be.  I never thought for one second that the day that I came into this world that you would never have your own life again.  It never occurred to me growing up, that you gave EVERYTHING to me.  I realize now that every day that you went to work, you did it for me.  That I would have food on the table, that I would have clothes on my back, that my teeth, hair, eyes and health would be okay at all times.  That when I made a stupid decision to take a large dose of Niacin and have a self induced hot flash, that you would rush me to the doctor, without question…and when you found out what I did, that you would not only NOT judge me….but that you would laugh it off as if you knew what I was going through.

Thank you for making me accountable for my actions.  For the time I tried to snub a classmate in your presence and you stopped me dead cold in front of everyone and told me that is NOT OKAY.  That GOD wouldn’t accept that behavior and neither should I.  I still remember the name of that classmate to this day because of you.  And I respect them.

Thank you, for understanding that I was a wayward child.  I wasn’t the compliant one.  I defied darned near EVERYTHING you tried to tell me because I KNEW BETTER at 14.  Let me tell you, I know now, that I have a 14 year old who thinks she knows everything, what you were up against and I can honestly say now…I feel your pain.  This is Karma at her finest.

Thank you for accepting every stray I brought home, be it human or animal.  You housed the horse that showed up when I was 11 and you built a fence for it, bought me a saddle and  got bucked off trying to ride it and be it’s friend.  Sorry he didn’t like you.  You were definitely worth liking.

Thank you for letting me grow…in my good times and my bad, you never turned your back on me.   I know I didn’t make the best decisions, but I always knew I could come home and get through it because even if you were mad, you always loved me.

Thank you for trying to accept who I was.  As you knew I wouldn’t conform, you tried to conform to me, hoping I would somehow find my way.  I know I wasn’t like the other kids in the family.  Their brains were beyond comparison.  I felt odd man out more than I cared to admit.  But I felt that you did take time to stand back and look at me to see who I really was.  And you did your very best to try to understand, even though I know you weren’t totally sure.

Thank you for always wanting the best for me.  When I decided college wasn’t for me, you bought me successful outfits for my job to make me look smart, and I loved every last one of them.

Thank you for always being there for me.  I never knew your sacrifices until I had children, and now I know what you did…..

You gave your everything for me.  You sacrificed your time, your patience, you gave me love and understanding.  You provided shelter, food, God, Family….  You showed us that family is everything. That taking a random drive with no destination can be an afternoon of wonder and discovery.  That God is in the sunset, the sunrise and people if you give them the chance.

That living out loud whether people like it or not, can be amazing.  That if you give people the chance, they will show you their best.  That people want to be good.  That judgement is harsh and that only God can take our lives.  We live under God and it is our duty to be our best that we can be, even if that only means we are trying in the face of what we feel is failure.

Thank you for laughing when I call and say, “if you EVER want to see your granddaughters again you will take them NOW and let me have some time to myself or I will snap!”

Thank you for Getting me.

And….I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for the times I challenged you.  The times I yelled at you out of frustration.  The times I thought you hated me and wanted me dead.

I’m sorry for the times I didn’t believe you that you loved me.

I’m sorry for not understanding that while you were working, you were putting food on the table and a roof over our heads.

Now that I am a parent, I get it.  I see SO MANY of the choices you made, because I am not making them too.

I’m struggling with the unappreciation, and the disregard and the attitude and apathy….

I see the shortsidedness in my kids….   Their inability to see two feet ahead of themselves.

I see the struggle of trying to get them to know their decisions could make or break their future lives….

I’m so grateful that you stuck it out with me.  That we talk and see each other regularly and that we love each other more deeply now than ever.

I’m so grateful for every day that I get to call you and complain about things you lived through with me and my siblings.

I’m so grateful that I get to honor and appreciate all you lived through and that you get to see me suffer it all with my kids; to laugh it all away as I shake my head wondering what the hell they are doing.  You EARNED these moments.

I’m most grateful that I get to see you have the satisfaction that you were just a parent, doing the best you could and you are one of a continuing generation who will hand down their wisdom and patience and know you were something wonderful in this world to me and your family!

I love you for all that you are.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love….your daughter…

To those who are reading this….you are next… I’d love to see what you have to say