Happy Father’s Day, Papa! Sunday, Jun 16 2013 

My father’s not perfect; that’s a lesson that took me a while to learn.  Mainly because I admire him in so many ways.  He’s intelligent, educated, well-spoken, a logical thinker, open-minded and spiritual.  He’s a wise soul that I could always seek counsel from.

Among his four girls, we used to joke that Dad had a lecture ready for every conceivable topic.  We’d start numbering them.  “Here comes lecture #67!”  He was never judgmental, only concerned for us.  Wanted us to be alert and aware of our surroundings and ready to stand our own two feet when the time came.  Since he always provided such thorough and wise counsel, I came to second guess my own decisions.  That was a self-inflicted action but one it took me a while to recognize.

My father made certain to tell us he loved us.  Gave us hugs and kisses.  Comforted us when we were sick.  Scolded us when needed and imparted wisdom even when not.  There are so many examples I could give to provide you with a fuller understanding of how wonderful my dad is, but I’ll start with the following:

  • GROWTH:  We all encounter struggles growing up; no one’s immune.  My father had his own stumbling blocks, including the death of his brother during Vietnam.  At only 16, my dad lost his best friend, comrade and trouble-making partner.  While he could’ve succumbed to a path of despair, misery and hatred, he instead choose to overcome his struggles and learn from them.  He moved forward, ultimately going to college, getting married and starting a family.  His willingness to learn and grow continuously led him to the life he leads today.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY:  My dad studies water pollution and seeks ways to improve the situation.  From the time I was small, I understood what my dad did for a living and was proud to know he was making a difference in the world in which we lived.  I even got to go to a water treatment plant with him for a Take Your Daughter to Work day.  That was so cool!  My dad imparted to us a respect for our environment.  To take care of the land we lived on for it wouldn’t sustain us forever.  Most recently, my father has been dedicated on a project to help make Levittown homes more sustainable.  He’s dedicated to the community he lives in and truly wants to give us the tools we need to make a better life for ourselves.
  • SPIRITUAL:  One of the greatest gifts my father gave me was Spirituality.  Being inquisitive by nature, Dad read up on subjects he found interesting, insightful, or perplexing.  Not only did he read the Bible multiple times, but he familiarized himself with understanding and respecting other religions.  Truthfully, I believe his spiritual base comes from the Native American heritage passed down in our family – a wise soul, indeed!

I am proud of my father.  Of his remarkable work ethic, dedication to his family, and renaissance-man spirit.  He’s someone I admire, look up to and inspire to be like.  I embrace the lessons he’s taught me and look forward to our next involved discussion.

I love you, Papa!

If it’s not one thing, it’s my mother! Saturday, May 11 2013 

**UPDATED: May 2015**

I certainly picked my mother well. She’s kind, thoughtful, caring, funny, and strong.  She wants her children to thrive and does what she can to help us achieve independence.  We don’t always agree and there are times when we don’t like one another, but love unites us. We’re related in genetic terms, but that’s not what makes her my Mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Five Reasons I Love My Mom

  1. Her smile:  My mom makes me smile, her joy for life infectious.  She does her best to lift my spirits when I’m down, tells me I’m doing a great job, and boosts my ego about my artistic endeavors.
  2. Perseverance:  By the time she was in her early thirties, my mother had lost her father, step-father, and mother.  She was raising 4 girls, all under the age of 11, without a mother or father to offer support, guidance, or advice.  She learned as she went and did it with a sense of humor, strength, and unconditional love for her daughters.
  3. Family ties:  My mother came from a tight-knit family of aunts, uncles, cousins – all living close to one another.  She grew up with her family around her and while we didn’t have many family near us she would frequently take us back to her hometown to visit her family.  I love those days: staying at my MomMom’s house, swimming at Uncle Lenny’s and Aunt Betty’s, and going to the “K” family reunions.  I think of Hazleton as my second home and that’s thanks to my mother.
  4. Role Model:  I don’t say that I have many role models,; mainly because I believe that you are your own role model.  Having stated that, I look up to my mother in many ways – her strength, her cooking skills, her natural way with kids, her passion for education.  I am proud of my mother and all that she’s achieved, both personally and professionally.  If I have half of the same qualities that I see in her, then I’m truly blessed.
  5. Unconditional love:  My mother loves her girls unconditionally; without prejudice, judgment, or bias.  She doesn’t have a favorite (unless you count the dog) and she doesn’t pit one against the other.  She doesn’t always agree with our choices and lets us know when that’s the case.  But, it’s always done with love at the center of it all.  I know my mother loves me.  I’ve always known, even when I’m frustrated, stubborn, and afraid of letting her down.

I am proud to be my mother’s daughter.  I’m proud of the woman who raised me, who stayed with me at the hospital, supported me when I struggled, and showed me the importance of family.  When she chose my dad, she created a family infused with laughter, love, and individuality.  I thank her for all she’s done for me, my sisters, my brothers-in-law, and her grandbabies – all of whom she adores with equal parts love and devotion.

%d bloggers like this: