First of all Merry Christmas, 2019! I often find myself gushing about how amazing you are as people and parents to everyone I meet–but in life the things we affectionately think aren’t always communicated. This year, in addition to your gifts (which I really wanted to be meaningful) I decided to write this piece and eternalize it on my blog but also for it to be read to you. So here goes, hoping it’s every bit as lovely as you both are.
When I think of my Mother I think of incredible grace and strength. Life is never easy and we are all dealt cards that can be difficult to navigate through, but I feel that when my Mom has had no choice but to be strong, she rose to the occasion and did whatever needed to be done–whether that’s work several jobs to keep food on the table and her kids cared for or if that meant sacrifices to keep our house a home–my Mother did it. I often admire and find myself in awe of her strength to just handle whatever life throws her way without complaining or giving in to defeat. As strong as my Mom is, she is also sensitive and tender hearted. My Mother is one of the most generous, giving and servant hearted people I know. I have never met someone who relentlessly and selflessly gave to other people the way my Mom does. She truly does not think of herself when she helps others and I think she doesn’t even realize how beautiful this makes her. My Mom is a tough cookie. She never complains, is always grateful and is content regardless of what life throws her way. She rides the waves of life so well and I often draw my strength from her. Her ability to withstand the storm joyfully creates awe in me. Mom, I am grateful for the gentle way you’ve loved me as your daughter–you were a hands on Mother, always creating opportunities to develop and grow my intellect. You actually read to me and fostered the hunger I had for education which reaped dividends for me later in life. You took the time to make our lunches, pack our bags, take time to teach me things that a lot of parents today don’t anymore. I feel incredibly rich and incredibly fortunate. I take pride in the fact that I come from good stock and that my parents are such an amazing example for myself, my family and others. You are my confidant, my best friend, the person I call for every recipe and expiration question–you are greater than the infamous WebMD, and you give me the best life and relationship advice. You’re one of my favorite persons to call and I love our quick daily catch ups.
Dad, there will never be enough words to describe how much I love, respect, admire and honor you. Your life story is such a beautiful picture of God’s redemption. I love your honesty. You are so real and you have the funniest stories of your young adult times like all your Coast Guard stories. I love how you have always taken a no fuss no muss approach to life. I’ve never met a more decorated and successful man who is as humble and servant hearted as you, Dad! You are such a man after God’s own heart and you have such a compassionate heart for people. Dad you are one of the greatest leaders I know. I love to sit and talk with you and get wisdom from you. You are truly one of my favorite persons to sit and talk about anything with because I feel like no matter what we talk about, I will learn something new. It has been a blessing to watch you grow in your faith and see you take on more and more responsibility and leadership. I truly believe that every role you have stepped into is a direct result of your obedience. Thank you for being a patient, loving, kind, consistent, loyal father to your daughters, husband to your wife, and a leader to God’s very own people. Thank you for working so hard for our family and laying down your life in service of your career in order to provide for us. You gave your life to give us a good life filled with experiences we will carry with us through out our lives. I appreciate you praying for all of us to find amazing men who love God and will love us and take care of us. It’s been an indescribable joy to watch your and Mom’s love and marriage grow and strengthen over time. I’m ridiculously lucky to have a family as loving, supportive and close knit as we are.
Mom & Dad, my life hasn’t been easy. We all know that it hasn’t been without it’s challenges. But I want you to know, everything I need in this life I have found in God and in you and I am ETERNALLY grateful for the treasure that is in you. I feel like I can do anything as long as I have you, both. With love, your daughter Alicia.