Social media is full of photos, celebrating a Mom on this day. Next month, it will be celebrating a Dad. For some of us whose parents are no longer here with us, these days are bittersweet. Ten years ago today, my siblings and I lost both our parents twenty days apart. But, you know what? It was just the way it was supposed to be. Our parents knew where they were going.
I won’t sugar coat it, our parents were strict. They were Spanish Catholics whose goal for us kids were to be good Americans. Our parents were hard working and very proud to ensure we had the best education available. They did not have a great deal of money and yet made sacrifices a to send us to parochial school. Being first generation Americans was an honor for our Mom and my Dad made sure to give us what he did not have as a child.
Dad was from Texas: his family immigrated from Europe and landed in the eastern part of Mexico before ending up in Texas. After WWII, Dad stayed in Long Beach for opportunities that were not available in the small country town he grew up in. Mom’s family immigrated from Europe and landed in South America. Mama was from Quito, Ecuador and left a traditional culture for Los Angeles to try a new way of life. Looking back, I never realized the implications of such a move until much later.
Our parents did what they could, and they did what they thought they were supposed to do. They did their best even though at times – to us – it seemed over the top with their strict values. Keep in mind we grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when the world was changing and America changed from an industrialized nation to an evolving nation. But you know what? The standards they instilled in us framed my siblings and I in to adults with morals and values that guaranteed our success.
Both parents had qualities that made us who we are today. Our Dad always found a way to make us laugh and appreciate the smaller things in life. Our Mom always found ways of giving, whether it was to us or volunteering at church. Even though they were strict, my brothers and sister all ended up to be the adults we are now.
When our parents were dying, we rallied together. After our parents died, we worked together to sort things out. No conflicts. If anything, we laughed together recalling Mom or Dad stories.
I am a very fortunate person to have siblings that love each other, get along with each other and stay in touch. This is all because of who our parents were, who our parents are. After all, they still are alive in us.
#lifelesson #MothersDay #FathersDay #grateful