May 1, 2015

Just How It Is..

Mom, Dad... you're my one in a million...

Yesterday we got the news that my cousins mother-in-law died.  As most will be right to say,
 this is not a close relative of ours.  This is not even a lady we knew much.  
Arvid and I saw her at my cousins wedding and that was it.

My parents on the other hand met her once.  This lady that died spent a couple of nights
 at my mom and dad's home in North Carolina, just a few months before their son married 
my cousin.  This is not what one would call a close relationship.

That being said, as soon as my mom and dad were told the lady died, they were already 
making plans to go to the funeral.  Many would wonder why?  Why would they 
go if they did not even know her?  I'll tell you why.  We were raised in a 
culture where caring comes first.  Where compassion and
 empathy for others was and is still rule number one.

The lady who died is not a relative of any sort, but she was the mother-in-law of my dad's niece.  
The daughter of my dad's only brother alive.  That is reason enough.  My dad and mom 
instinctively knew that their presence would make a world of difference for
 my uncle, my dad's brother.  Without even being asked my
 parents are already in Tennessee.

The funeral is today and without knowing many of the people there, I can tell you that after
 they leave Tennessee my dad and mom would have bonded with just about everyone there.
  I would not be surprised if in the months ahead they have a few visitors.

All I'm saying is that this is not unusual for my parents.  Family comes first in our lives.  
From the time I was a child growing up, my parents always instilled in us family values. 
 I don't know how it is in other cultures, but I have lived in the United States most of
 my life.  I can't say that I have seen these values in too many people.

 I know another family, Margaret Riley and her girls.  They remind me of my family. 
  Always there for each other.  Always watching out of each other.  My parents
 are always there to lend a helping hand.  Many a times it has been to strangers.
 People we hardly know, but my dad and mom have opened their
 hearts and their homes to more people than I can remember.
My dad's brother is the same.  It's in our upbringing.

I wish I can say that I am just like them.  That is just about impossible.  There is no one
 like them.  After what happened yesterday, I sat back and reflected on how fortunate 
we are to have been brought up by two of the most caring, generous, compassionate,
 selfless, kind, and loving human beings in the world.

Mom and dad, your behavior always leaves me in awe.  I must have done something
 good in this life to have the privilege of calling you my parents.  We your 5 daughters
 and your 9 grandchildren just hope to one day be little like you. 

 You have raised the bar high.  I will forever be grateful for
 all that you are and all that you do for us.

I am not saying that people like this do not exist.  All I'm saying is that not
 many have crossed my path.   Correction, I have also seen kindness
 and generosity in a young couple living in Norway (VM).

To all a good day.  Today as we celebrate life many mourn the passing of a loved one.
Life, unpredictable.  You never know what tomorrow holds.  Enjoy your today's everyone.

Have I mentioned today how lucky I am to have you
 as my role models and my parents?...