“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
I remember a gold flecked crystal bowl, a painting that hung on our dining room wall forever, the Barbie I received in elementary school, the first time I was allowed to drive the one and only family car, a giant pumpkin costume Mom crafted for me and my first flute, but beyond the tangible, there are so many other gifts that I understand now were left for me by my parents. The stable home, the home cooked meals, the family walks all roll back to me. Since they are no longer here for me to hug and whisper thank you, I share these gifts they left for me with you.
In order of the importance they bring to me now:
- Piano lessons-at age 5 I walked before school one day a week to take piano lessons with Mrs. Sikorski. I loved her handwritten notes on my music and the colored stars attached to each piece mastered. I still treasure those piano books and am so grateful my parents afforded me lessons through sixth grade! That gift led to high school band, college choirs and immeasurable friendships ever after. Music is with and in me everyday!
- Sharing affection– a hug, a kiss, a squeeze, a nod, a wink, a compliment…we are never too old to receive and reciprocate. They gave, as do I. (Yes, they were also tough and often said “No!” )
- Never give up– Dad kept a sign I made him on his workbench, WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING. I guess I had heard that so many times it got immortalized. Whether the Scotch-Irish roots or tough parents, it resounds with me when all seems lost. Mom always said we were MISS AMERICA women and could succeed at anything!
- Challenge-take the extra steps, push the extra mile, tryout for the next seat, attend the camps and practices, take on a new role, do better than the person next to you. Don’t dwell on past laurel,. move on and make new ones. If you don’t know how, figure it out! Maybe that’s where the sense of lifelong learning now springs forth in me.
- When a Job is Started, “Finish it!“- whether washing dishes, cleaning up after hedge cutting, washing inside AND outside of a car, practicing a piano piece and on and on…
- Spirituality-while I remember lots of grumblings about being rousted out of bed for early Sunday church services, the power of believing in a world larger than myself, in seeking prayers as solace, in love and faith greater than ourselves is with me daily. My faith makes holidays more special and memories of meals, laughter and family even more special.
- Dancing–could my parents dance so elegantly and gracefully with one another! Once my dad took me in his arms to dance around the living room floor, I grew up and tried to keep up! I miss those dances.
I am curious if my brother and sister, or son, have similar or different gifts from these my parents left for me. It is never too late to say thank you for those gifts, for they make me who I am today, for better or worse. Leave a comment about gifts you treasure from your parents.