This week marks the anniversaries of both my parents deaths. My mom passed away on February 7, 2009 and my dad on February 12, 2010. It seems like just yesterday and yet a lifetime ago since I last saw them.
It is a strange feeling when you no longer have parents, especially when you grew up with no siblings. There is no one that was there from the beginning (or for me since the age of 2 months, when I was adopted). Childhood memories are now mine alone. Whether they are accurate or colored by time and wishful thinking, I will never know..
They were my biggest champions and cheerleaders. They had their share of difficulties, both suffering from debilitating health issues at various times in their lives. No matter the struggle, they never lost their faith. That is one of the biggest lessons I learned from them. I hope I am instilling the same values into my children.
There are times of great loneliness without them, especially around the holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions when I wish they were here with me. And to this day, when I am sick, I still want my Mom! But, for the most part, I try to remember the good times with them and try to live in a way that would make them proud.
Although I never considered myself much like my mom in most ways, there are days when I hear her voice coming out of me or catch myself doing something exactly the way she did. My kids roll their eyes when I turn on the Irish music but so did I when she put on WADK radio in Newport when I was a growing up.
My dad was as kind hearted a soul as you could meet who always said “I love you” before he hung up the phone. He was a six foot five teddy bear whose hugs matched his stature.
Although they are never far from my thoughts, this week I will be holding them near.
“May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
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