As we begin this week of Thanksgiving and I pondered the subject of my blog for the week, I realized that bloggers everywhere would probably have the same thought that I did:
Write about what you are thankful for, of course!
I thought to myself, “That is going to be what everyone else writes about, it is going to be redundant, that will be boring…”
But then I took a trip to visit my parents and began to remember just how thankful I am for them. We DID NOT, by any mean, have the perfect Ozzie and Harriett home & family life style! We had many problems and many flaws as a family. I will not talk about those in this context, as my main objective is to say that regardless of the many difficulties and dysfluential ways we had, my parents taught me the three most important lessons I needed to know to begin my life and be successful through it; in my opinion anyway. And here they are…
- Above all be honest. I believe this is probably the most valuable lesson my parents taught me. Honesty has several different faces; it can be literal such as truths concerning concrete facts, events, or occurrences. Or honesty can be in the form of expressing thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Regardless of how uncomfortable it is or how much it can even hurt you emotionally, it is invaluable to always be honest with yourself and with others. I believe truth always reveals itself sooner or later, so one can avoid much heartache and confusion by being up front in a peaceful and loving way from the very beginning to eliminate compounding conditions down the road.
- Have a strong work ethic. My dad was a successful business man but also a very hard worker; my mom was too. Although she did not work “outside the home”, my mom was always busy preparing fresh meals, canning her own vegetables, and doing all the things that busy moms do. And they taught us to work too. I always say that my dad did not see gender in the way he taught us to work. My sister and I cut grass, drove trucks out in the pasture to feed the cows, and worked in the garden until sundown just like my brother did. Our parents taught us that there was nothing we could not do if we put our minds to it. Sure we had fun and were rewarded with recreational play. But the first order of business was work and then play.
- Serve others. One of the things I remember the most about my childhood is my parents’ giving spirit. My parents were always involved with community projects, fund raising events, civic groups, and reaching out to help those in need. Every year my dad would plant this great big garden full of corn, peas, tomatoes, watermelons, you name it…it was planted. All of us, parents and kids alike, worked until after dark many nights watering, pruning, picking, or whatever needed doing.
Then people would come over and my dad would take them out to the garden and say, “Let’s pick you some good ole’ corn to take home with you.”
I would ask him sometimes if he thought he needed to plant enough for the whole county. After all, we were doing all the work. He would just reply, “Honey we are just helping our neighbor.” That was my dad.
And Then There is Now
Of course there were many more, but I think these are the things I appreciate being taught by my parents the most. There are many things I wish I could have changed about my childhood…some things I wish I could forget. But as I have considered the principles my parents taught me over the years, I have often reflected on my life and realized that childhood was not perfect but my parents equipped me and made me into the person I am today.
And my flaws – oh, there are many. But I do try my best to hold on to honesty, a hard work ethic, and a spirit of joy in serving others. Thank you mom and dad for all you taught me, all you did for me, and all you sacrificed to ensure I had the best life you knew how to offer me.
For this is what I am thankful for this holiday season!
Thankful to have had Avent & Lanier Gross as my parents!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my following friends,
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