Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Post Series "An Ode To..." #1: An Ode To My Parents

I am someone who has a lot on his mind, all the time. As such, I never really know when inspiration is going to hit me. I will be commencing a monthly (on the 15th of each month) blog post series called "An Ode To..." where I will write letters to people who have impacted my life in some way and what it has meant to me. I will post every Wednesday along with my regular blog posting(s). The 'Ode' is just for esthetics's in title; these will be more like letters. I could think of no better place to begin than with this:

An Ode To My Parents

Mom and Dad,

Where do I start? Too often have I heard over time people who complain and criticize their parents and accuse them of undue hardship. I too was once guilty of this as well; but I learned my lesson in regards to this long ago. 
I want to say thank you for starters. Thank you for teaching me the proper way to treat others. Thank you for teaching me love, respect, kindness, forgiveness. Thank you for teaching me patience, control, compassion, empathy. Thank you for so much more than any words could ever quantify. You were always just; you were always open; you were always there. I am more grateful each day for the valuable ideals you taught me.
Next, I want to say I'm sorry. As parents, you have endured unnecessary hardships at the hands of your own child. My selfishness convinced my rationality that the only person I was hurting was myself. I was wrong. That you have stood by my side, knowing what you knew and what you now know, is by far one of the greatest examples of paternal love one could ever experience. I know it means little, but it was of no fault of your own. As parents, you were exemplary.
I cannot express how much you truly mean to me. I think of all that I have endured and all that I have put my own self through and I wonder why you have supported me all this time. At every decision you have stood behind me with confidence in my ability to succeed regardless of what I was doing. Your support and encouragement, though misunderstood in my youth, has been invaluable to any successes I have found in life. I dare say that I may never have developed the courage to be the person I am without you. Your openness and understanding have given me the strength to face great challenges where otherwise I might have been dissuaded by fear or persecution.
Mom, Dad...you mean the world to me. Many times over my life should have followed a dark and terrible course and if not for you I surely would have succumbed to an untimely end long ago. You have been a light when darkness is all I could see. There is nothing I could ever hope to accomplish to honor the way you have fulfilled your role as parents. If I ever become just the smallest fraction of a parental figure as you have been to me, I will have considered my life a success.
I just want you to know this all now. I don't want to be a person who regrets the things unsaid. That's why I tell you these things, though never quite like this or to this length. Sometimes my phone calls are but excuses just to talk to you or hear your voices. And though I dread to even let the thought enter my head, I know that one day you will be gone and of that day I am frightened more than the day of my own death. So I just want to make sure that there is no mistaking this: you are two of the worlds most wonderful and amazing parents to grace this existence; you are both role-models and loving parents who were always fair and just; you made no mistakes, they were my own; you have been the greatest influences on my life and though I act(ed) wrong from time to time, I always knew it as such; and the most important thing that you must never, ever, ever forget or question: I LOVE YOU.

With the greatest love, respect, gratitude and appreciation, your son,

John