Since arriving on campus, I’ve only been home twice. As much as I love my family, I’ve been enjoying my independence more. It also is stressful to make the trip home from school. But for the first time that I can remember, I cried when I said good-bye to my parents this weekend.
My parents are not young anymore. I’ve always been aware that my parents are older than the parents of most of my friends, but this was the first time where I had the notion that my parents were aging. The first time that I felt like time was running out for me to spend more time with them. The first time I felt the security of home come into question. The first time the thought that the next time I come home my parents may not be there anymore entered my head.
All my friends know how much I adore my parents. My dad is one of the things I talk about the most to anybody. The close relationship I share with my parents is a direct side-effect of watching cancer ravish your dad as an eight-year old. You never will take your parents for granted after that. The ten extra years that I have been able to share with my dad is one of the greatest blessings of my life. And it’s scary to think that you’ll ever lose someone as important as that from your life.
My parents are getting old. It has only been a month since I’ve last seen them and my mom’s hair has gotten significantly greyer and my dad wheezes around now. The inevitable is approaching. I cannot even begin to fantom what living without them would be like. My parents are my biggest supporters, my greatest fans and the most stable thing in my life. Having to live without them is something I can’t even imagine.
I can’t imagine not being able to call my mom when I’m upset. I can’t imagine not being sassed by my dad. I can’t imagine not having my mom’s cooking. I can’t imagine my dad not calling me princess again. And I can’t imagine not having parents to nag me and say “I told you so.” These things scare me. I’m so scared of losing my parents. They’re my best friends, my comforters and one of my greatest sources of happiness. Everything that I have and have been able to do is because of them. In short, they are my everything.
Time is running out. It makes me so sad to know that one day I will have to live in a world where my parents are no longer present. It makes me determined to appreciate them even more and to spend more time with them. To tell them that I appreciate them more often. To call them more frequently. To say I love you every chance I get. To tell them that I look up to them so much more than what I can ever express. They’re my role models. My inspiration. And everything I could ever hope to be to my kids one day.
So, mom and dad: Thank you