Two loving parents. Patient and supportive. Wise and strong.
Two parents who love me enough to let me be me with my weird quirks and interests, no matter how off the wall they I can get. Two parents who know me well enough to know when to let me do my own thing and when to step in and give me parental advice. Parents who work as a team, always. Parents who have shown me that they love each other as well as each of their children and grandchildren. Parents who have shown me that they love God and follow Him as exactly as they know how.
My dad has always called me his princess. So many of my memories as a child involve my dad thanking me for choosing to come down to their family. Then he'd ask me how much he loved me. I'd start with my hands not very far apart from each other. He'd shake his head until I made the gap bigger and bigger. Finally my hands would be as far apart as I could stretch out my arms. That's when he'd nod his head and give me a hug before I could bring my arms in again.
Every year on my birthday, my mom has told me the story of when I was born. I know the story by heart. Long, awesome story short: I tricked my mom with false labor so that she was sent home from the hospital without a baby. As soon as she got home, I decided to start coming again. By the time she and my dad got back to the hospital, I was almost there. Stuck in an elevator with a scared and screaming Chinese man, she almost gave up and had me right there. She was barely able to hold on long enough to welcome me into a clean and private hospital room. She says that's when she knew I'd have the personality I have. She knew that I'd be full of pranks and funny stories.
My mom is the ultimate details and gush-worthy confidant. She's always taken the time to sit and talk with me for however long it takes to get every detail and emotion and moral out of a story that we can. My mom is a woman with a talent for stories. She can take any regular-old event that happens every day to everyone and turn it into an enthralling and captivating story. It's beautiful the way she looks at life. Once in a conversation with my grandma my mom said, "For me, the glass is always half full; and it's always a pretty glass." I think that paints the picture of my mom perfectly. She's gorgeous and talented and always there to tell anything and everything to.
Probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me is when I was living in China as a head teacher. It was a very stressful and emotional (both good and bad) time for me with all of my new experiences and responsibilities I had there. I loved all of the Chinese people, but I was also feeling very alone. Knowing how much China meant to me and how much I needed them, my parents got visas and booked flights and hotels and came out to be with me for a week and a half. Being able to have them there for support and also to be able to share with them something I thought that I'd never be able to fully express or explain to them, meant the world to me. There had been days previous where I'd been so happy in China that the only thing I could think was "I wish my family could be here to see/taste/experience this." And my parents made that wish come true for me. Some of my favorite China memories are from when my parents were there with me.
|Meeting Lloyd, the infamous and sweet Noodle Man|
|Teaching my terrified and screaming mother how to use a squatter. Haha.|
|Taking my parents through the town on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride-like motorcycle taxis.|
|The three of us visiting my "hometown"'s Buddha|
So, on this Second day of Christmas, I'm truly grateful for: