Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mom and Dad

The last few months for my parents have been laced with medical problems and stress. My dad fell and broke both knee caps and after surgery was in a rehab facility for several weeks. During that time my mother ended up in the hospital with some heart problems. once my dad came home from rehab, he started having major problems with his blood sugar and ended up back in the hospital for a day.

Almost losing both of my parents in a month wasn't easy. I wanted to take the time to write down some of the things about my parents. First of all my dad. My dad may not have my biological father, but he chose to love my sisters and I and he has loved us as his one. He gave up so much to raise us after he had already raised his family. He lovingly took in and cared for us, giving us all he could. I got the opportunity to live alone with my dad for awhile while our family had to be geographically separated because of work while I was in elementary school. I remember laying on his bed with him watching tv at night and him playing his old country records like Patsy Cline. My dad has always loved what he calls "shoot 'em up westerns" and especially John Wayne. He did a great job caring for me (and for part of the time my sister) until our family could be reunited again. Most weekends we would drive the 4 hours to St. George where my mom and sister lived. Even then my dad liked to drive slow!

While we lived on the reservation I remember piling in the back of the pickup and driving around, sometimes with the camper shell on and sometimes without. My dad loved to take us out to a cafe (I think at 3rd Mesa) that served monstrous Navajo tacos that were amazing. Since he was a high school teacher, he would often get invited to some of the different celebrations on his students. I remember going to some of the different Navajo/Hopi villages so see the different dances.

My dad has such a love for science and would often take us out rock hunting through out Arizona. We would go look at petrified wood and go on picnics in the desert. My dad also built us several radios, in fact I think I was in high school before I had a radio that wasn't built by my dad. My dad loves to tease as well. He constantly has a joke to tell. My kids have come to rely on his suckers that he always has on hand to give them when we visit. My dad now loves to build things with rocks. He has his little rock shop in back of their house and he is always giving us little gifts he has made.

When Robert was in Korea and Colorado with the Army, we bought a house that was across the alley from my parents. My dad was always helping me out, fixing up the house and the yard when I needed it. If he couldn't physically handle the work, he would walk me through what I needed to do. He has always been there for us and I love you so much dad!!

My mom is an amazing woman. She divorced my birth father when I was very little and raised my sisters and I until she married my dad. She was never one to sit around, but was always working to better our lives. She went back to school a few years after marrying my dad to get a degree in accounting. At the time she worked for a law firm. We lived in a beautiful home my father built for us in St. George. After we all had reunited and were living in Arizona she again went back to school to finish her education. At that time she changed her major to education and had to work hard to get her degree as my dad's health was failing. We once again had to live apart while she went to school and my dad worked to support us. this time we were only and hour and a half away though and my dad came home each weekend. My mom graduated from college when I was a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA (this while raising 5 kids). She never gave up and went above and beyond what was necessary to get her degree. We then moved to where my mom got a teaching job which allowed my dad to retire. My mom continues to work hard teaching and supporting her family and has touching many hundreds of students lives.

My mom is also a wonderful musician. She plays the piano and organ. She tried to get us girls to play, although we didn't cooperate. There were many times when my mother accompanied me singing for different music festivals, in church, and for my auditions in college. She has also accompanied my sister in all her music. Even with all her skill, she decided a few years ago to go back to taking piano and organ lessons to improve her talents she was blessed with. In all she does she tries to be an example to her children of how to overcome trials and be better. She was the one who encouraged me to go back to school when Robert went overseas and to get my masters (she even found the program that was perfect for my situation)

One of the things that has been the most special for me has been the relationship we have had as adults. My mom is one of my very dear friends. We talk often on the phone and can share our deepest frustrations and successes. She has also raised a child with special needs and understands what I am going through. So many times we have comforted each other in our trials as mothers. I could not make it through all that I do with out my mother! I love you mom!!!