Have you ever known someone whose life you look at and go "WOW"? For me that feeling comes every time I look back at my own life and consider my parents.
Neither of my parents graduated from high school, neither works for big corporations, neither wears fancy clothes or owns anything with a name brand, but both have lived lives of examples. As I look back over my life, the first things I think of are not the second hand clothes, the bologna sandwiches or even the countless Ramen Noodle nights. What I do remember most are these:
My parents loved each other, even when they disagreed.
I remember Dad building things from wood scraps and the smell of the sawdust that shook from his boots and hair.
I remember a spring day and Mom watching me and my sister through the kitchen window. She was washing dishes while we had a tea party picnic in our front yard.
Sunday morning pot roast meant we would have missionaries or teenagers over for lunch. My parents could not afford much but what they had they willingly shared. To this day, my parents are this way. "Blessed to be a blessing", is what they say, and to them it is more than words, it's a way of life.
I remember sitting on the edge of our car handing Dad tools as he made repairs or just did maintenance checks. I do not remember the parts of the car, or the tools he used or even how hot or cold it was outside when we worked; but I do remember that he let me ramble on and on and he listened intently with genuine interest to what I had to say.
I remember Sunday services sitting between my parents and watching my mom. I remember trying to sit just like her.
I remember at prayer times, my dad would hold out his hand and I would hold it. I remember how big his hands were and how rough yet gentle. It felt safe.
I have newer memories of my parents, pouring themselves into the lives of my children and my sisters boys. I know that they will also grow up seeing the examples of kindness and love set forth by my parents. I know that example will strengthen their lives. I also know it will be a long time before they really appreciate and understand the treasure they will find in these two precious people.
Mom and Dad, in case I haven't said it lately,
I love you so much.