Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blame My Parents, Especially Papa

I had a really interesting conversation with an anonymous friend (at least as far as online anonymity goes), during which she said some really interesting things. I wish I had saved the messages so I could quote exactly but I'll do so to the best of my recollection:

- "I just wish I could find someone who treats me like you did."
- "I would marry you simply for the fact that I know that I would smile every day for the rest of my life."
- "Papa said that I deserve someone who treats me like he treats Mama, and that pretty much just leaves you."

I'm incredibly fortunate to have the parents I do. It seems like I become more and more aware of just how amazing they are with every passing day. How'd you guys do it?! I get frustrated with a roommate leaving his pile of dirty clothes in front of the fan in one corner of the room and putting his lacrosse gear on the AC next to my bed in the other corner (hence the perpetual state of funk in my room). How did you raise 6 kids, adopt another, take in an entire family, and then snag me another brother, and still have room in your house and hearts to make it a haven and sanctuary for friends of any of the aforementioned in times of distress or for no reason at all? Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm writing this as some sort of survival story either: you did it so well!

Even with everything going on you taught me probably the greatest thing I will ever learn. I could not have imagined any better example of how to treat the people I love. Even when Mama got overwhelmed and had no options left but to yell at us to get us to do simple stuff, in retrospect it was always a) obvious that she loved us regardless, b) followed by an apology and reminder of how much we were loved, and c) probably much less than we deserved.
*** Love you Mama, but now back to the point that got me started***

Pardon the expression but, Damn! I can't think of any better way to sum up what a phenomenal example of a leader, teacher, friend, brother, father and most importantly husband you have been and will continue to be. In psych, we had a survey of different questions and the point of the lesson aside, one of them was the most influential person in our lives. There wasn't a doubt in my mind, nor a hesitation in my hand. I barely thought about it by the time "Dad" was on the page. I don't think there is space to write how much I owe you.

Thank you for helping me develop this chivalry complex, for showing me what it really means to love someone with every inch of yourself, and for teaching me how to act towards the people that matter most to me. I don't know how you did it... What I do know is that someday, if I am ever a tenth of the man you are, someone's daughter will come up to you and thank you -- and it'll happen because when my wife says she's the luckiest woman in the world, I'm going to blame you.


Papa D said...

Oh, crap, you made me cry.

Love you, son.

Papa D said...

I cried, too. [Meaning that there were two weepy people sitting next to each other reading this - additions by Dad].

One of Papa's greatest gifts [besides Mama] is being able to look beyond himself and how events, actions, words, whatever affect him to see how they affect other people. He focuses more on others than on himself; that's what helps him love others so genuinely and unselfishly.

I see that in you, as well, and some day one lucky girl is going to fall in love with you just like I did with Papa, for these types of reasons.

I am very proud of you.

Papa D said...

Oops! I forgot to change and post as Mama!

Mama D said...

"Smiling every day for the rest of my life" is one of the reasons I married Papa! :]

I'm glad that your restrospection offers the perspective that it does... for indeed, I do love you all and I'm glad to know that I (usually) remember to apologize after the yelling!

You have indeed learned from one of the best!! The key is to learn from the moments you measure up to this, as well as those times when you fall short.

Love you!

Kerri said...

OUR PARENTS KICK MAJOR BUM! Mwahaha! I still need to show them how much of an influence they've been to me! (Seeing Mama has been one of the major role models for how I want to be a mom!) And of course I <3 my twin brother! And yeah, the only way that it gets better about the roommate leaving messes everywhere is that they're at least by someone who you love and are spending eternity with. Kevin is terrible about leaving stuff everywhere sometimes ;) Anyway, hope you're doing well, swabbie! <3 you to lotsness!!!

Patty said...

What an awesome post! I'll bet you already realize that your parents are that kind of an example to everyone around them, not just within their own family. I grew up with parents that hated each other, and I have learned from watching your family (and others in the ward) that husbands and wives and children can and should LOVE each other!
This is the kind of post every parent dreams of reading from one of their children!!

nico09 said...

is this ryan? or have we entered some strange twilight zone?
it was really good.. love ya!

Fejj said...

i agree. mama and papa are amazing!
they do a great job and im not sure how they do it exactly.