A few weeks ago when I posted on violence in storytelling I mentioned how a character's death can shake your readers out of complacency. I was just thinking how much dad's hospitalization earlier this year shook me out of mine. My dad is doing great, but I'm realizing that he and mom won't be around forever. (Yeah, I know. Shocker. People aren't immortal -not even if they're parents.) It's made me realize how much I appreciate them.
Mom has been one of my best friends for most of my life. She's the one I always go to for advice. I admire her drive. Lately she's been working full time, keeping track of all dad's doctor appointments, doing a lot of the cooking, and trying to get the garden planted. (Lately I've been helping with the garden in a fit of `Mom! Don't give yourself a heart attack!') She's taught me a lot -not just about cooking, but about persistence, and about buckling down and doing whatever you have to for your family.
My dad is, in a lot of ways, mom's opposite. He has a great sense of humor. Even while going through all the uncertainty before his surgery he's joked around to keep the rest of us from getting too stressed. I think mom would go crazy without him to keep her steady and make her laugh. Dad is really laid back and hates when people argue, so he tends to be a peacemaker. He's a lot like his own dad; a very strong, steady person who it is too easy to take for granted because you know he'll always be there for you.
My parents have done a lot to shape who I am as a person. While I'd prefer if they kept the near-death experiences to a minimum, I am glad to take a moment to celebrate how fortunate I am to have both my parents in my life.