Last night I had a moment with my dad that will go down as one of those treasured moments that I will always carry in my heart. My parents and siblings are pretty sad about my moving back to Los Angeles and truthfully, there’s a part of my heart that is just as sad. For the past 2 years my family and I have taken a devastating circumstance (my baby sister being hit by a drunk driver and currently confined to living in a nursing home) and we’ve allowed love to come in and be our strength. As a result it has made our love, our value for one another grow stronger than ever. We have been restored in many areas of our hearts and we’ve learned to love one another better than ever. Needless to say when there’s so much love you don’t want to leave it.
So last night I looked over at my dad and I could see him getting teary eyed (one thing I looove about my dad is that he has always put his emotions out there for us and as a little girl and now woman, this is huge to my heart) and immediately I went to him and held him. I kissed him on his head with the thinning hair on top (I never thought my parents would ever age) and hugged him tight, while giving him a big kiss. From there I went to my mom and sat on her lap and held her as well. My dad began to choke up as he said “It’s just so far.” Grant it my parents have lost me to further places in the past as I used to live in England, but knowing my dad’s heart, even if I lived next door to Texas in Louisiana it would still be too far.
As I looked over at my dad from my mothers lap, I touched his head and said “Dad, I’ll always be your little girl won’t I?” I’m a 32 year old woman and I’m still making sure that I hold that significant place in my fathers heart. He looked up at me with tears still in his eyes and assured me that indeed I will always be his little girl. I’m a wild child, a loose cannon, I have tender heart, I can be very opinionated, I’ve made my share of mistakes, I love intensely, I’m typically the center of attention. With all these various characteristics, my parents love all the pieces of me and I know that.
I know we can all get caught up in looking at what we don’t have, with Hollywood showing us what love looks like in movies, when we get that new car only to see someone else pulling up in their Aston Martin, or when you’ve purchased your dream condo only to see someone else has purchased their mansion, we find ourselves disappointed and not satisfied. It’s not a cliche when we hear that we should be thankful for what we have, it’s a matter of life for keeping our hearts alive. I am loved tremendously by my parents, but if I told you there weren’t times in my life where I felt plagued by the lack of love that I thought I was missing, I’d be lieing.
The single mom who despreatley wants a man in her life, forgets the love of her children who deeply adore her. The single ambitious man who has the world in his palms, but feels lonely at night, forgets that he has a mother who prays for him every night hoping he will find all that he desires. The person who watches the movies about love and cries themselves to sleep at night, forgetting that they are dearly loved by their parents, all of these forget to recognize one thing. They have love all around them.
I’m am a huge advocate for dreaming, for allowing your desires to grow and for wanting more and never settling. But in the midst of our dreaming and wanting, we must value, appreciate and be aware of what is around us. My parents love for me, moves me and it often brings me into either a silent awe, or it breaks me into tears as their love moves my heart. Last night over dinner, my sister Jakki began to tear up as she shared how she didn’t want me to go. Her personality, her humor often has me to the point where I could pee myself. She’s hilarious, she’s #2 of us four with me being the oldest. I’ve felt responsible for her and my siblings all of my life as the eldest and to me she will always be my baby sister. My brother who towers me in stature has also shared his mix feelings about my departure. He’s the 6’2 brother I can always count on if a guy gives me a hard time when we’re out, guys often get intimadated to talk to me with him around and I appreciate it and get a kick out of it every time. But despite his size, he will always be my “Bubby” that I will always be there for. He will always be my only brother, the baby whose diapers I changed and the gift I received as I proudly boasted to my 3rd grade class that I was now the big sister to a little brother.
Of course there’s my sister Sarah, the youngest of all, as I look at her as she lays in her nursing home bed unable to speak, unable to sit up or walk, as I look into her big deep brown eyes I still see her as a baby. My baby sister who was always so wide eyed, innocent, tender and completely abandoned to express and show her love. Her fearless and tender capability to love I still glean from as a woman. Her compassion for the homeless and those unfortunate moves me and convicts me to this day. (She once came home and bursted into tears as she witnessed a homeless man who had nothing, to her it was devastating, to the rest of us it can be viewed as normalcy.) I look at all of this love just in my family alone and I see what a wealthy woman I truly am. This doesn’t even cover the friends, extended family, mentors, etc.
Recognize what you have, recognize what’s around you. While you may feel devoid of love, the truth is it is all around you.