Once upon a time, a doctor and a Master of Home Economics had a child.
Wait, they had two.
The Master did all sorts of things with her degree. She worked in nutrition; she owned a furniture store; she taught at a school.
The doctor…worked a lot. All the time, actually. Two hours after his first daughter was born (me), he was back at work. With the second daughter (my sister), he really waited around…He returned to work four hours after she was born.
My parents, the true inspirations of my life, have saved the day for my sister and me so many times.
But not just for us.
My parents are the kinds of people I wish everyone knew. They speak with grace, stand with strength, and act with love.
For many years, it was tough to define what it was that made our parents actually ours, when it seemed like most of the time, we were not all together.
But I think this clip from Gilmore Girls, when Rory describes her mother, explains it.
[Text transcript below, thank you, Crushable, for writing this all out:
“Headmaster Charleston, faculty members, fellow students, family and friends, welcome. We never thought this day would come. We prayed for its quick delivery, crossed days off our calendars, counted hours, minutes and seconds and now that it’s here, I’m sorry it is, because it means leaving friends who inspire me and teachers who’ve been my mentors, so many people who’ve shaped my life, and my fellow students lives impermeably and forever.
I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann’s Way. It’s a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric, but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars, without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild. But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore. My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom: you are my guidepost for everything.”]
For our family, that’s what it is. It isn’t that we are always together…For many years growing up, my mother had to represent both parents to concerts, recitals, and events…I’m still embarrassed that my thank yous to her were always delayed, often not sincere, until she and I started growing close.
My parents are not just my guideposts. They are my confidantes, my raison d’être, my everything I want to be.