A few years ago, I was privileged to be part of a team of leaders of a Youth Renew retreat held annually at my parish. The team of youths and adults met weekly for months prior to the commencement of the retreat. During that time, we formed a tight bond as we reflected on Bible verses, exchanged stories, and shared the best and the hardest times in our lives.
As a parent, I was so blessed to be part of this team because I had three of my four children also be team leaders along side of me. The best moments for me were being able to share powerful, emotional moments with my children and knowing they could share their stories with me when most other teenagers withdraw from their parents when their friends are around.
When it came time for these teens to relay their most inspirational person, it was nice to hear who made an impression on them: a teacher, a co-worker, an aunt, a best friend. But, sadly, not a word was ever mentioned about a parent. And I wondered how much of everything that our parents have ever done for us is taken for granted.
I’ll admit I was a little sad that neither I nor my husband was ever mentioned when it came time for my children to reference their hero. But I also am well aware that this is an area where I myself have fallen short!
To my parents, I want to express that I appreciate everything you have done for me, everything you have sacrificed to keep me and my brothers fed and clean and schooled and housed and loved! You’ve taught me so many things and loved me more than anyone can possibly love! I am who I am today because of you! I love you both!
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