Sometimes you take for granted the most important things or people that are right in front of you. Those things may be family members, old friends, a roof over your head, or even... cake. You don't do it on purpose, but it is just so easy to take comfort in just knowing that the unwavering love from them is enveloping you and truthfully, always has.
I was looking back through my past blogs, searching for some inspiration since I hadn't written in awhile and I noticed something odd. In the three years that I have been blogging, I have never once talked about how truly amazing my parents are. I mean, if you know Rex and Nancy then you already know that about them and they don't need any introduction... but, they do need recognition.
Avery and I spent her early life living in the Chicago Suburb of Elk Grove Village. After awhile, being a single mom, having cancer, and living in a third floor walk-up, we decided to move back to my hometown of Mahomet. It was going to be a transition but it would be much easier, for everyone. So, Avery and I packed up everything and we headed south. Now, living with your parents might sound lame, especially as a 30-something; but, after we discussed curfew, having friends over, and chores, my parents understood the rules of the house and we have never had a single issue. Ok, perhaps that isn't exactly how it went down, but it does run smoothly and we continue to live in a sweet and balanced harmony. It was a good move.
I was fortunate enough to grow up with two heroes in my household but I have to admit that as a child, I was definitely a daddy's girl. My dad could do no wrong by me (sometimes to the exasperation of my poor mother) and I was truly convinced that he could walk on water. I'm not sure at which age I became convinced of this, but I was happy to tell anyone that would listen about how "MY" Daddy could walk on top of the water; obviously I now know that the truth of the matter is that he would sink. To the bottom. Like an anchor. He isn't actually much of a swimmer, but in my idealistic child mind, I knew that my Dad was the best and that fact would never change.
As I grew up past puberty and teenage angst I didn't stop being a daddy's girl but, my mom's and my relationship really began to flourish. We had always been very close but it was becoming more fun to relate to her on a level of friendship rather than just guidance. Especially, when I was in college. I would call her from campus on Friday and Saturday nights, usually about 2 am and give her a rundown of the nights' shenanigans. She always took my call and even through a haze of sleepiness would act interested in what I had to say at the late hour. If there was a Friday or Saturday night at 2 am that I didn't call I would receive one from her instead, at that exact time, just to make sure that everything was ok.
My dad traveled a lot when I was a kid so my mom was the one that would chase the monsters away for me. This continued even into adulthood. After one of my surgeries, I followed a bizarre routine where I would fall asleep at night for about a half hour after taking heavy painkillers and then I wake up and request a snack of cheese and crackers. I would lay in bed, half-sitting and half-laying while munching on my snack. Nurse Nancy was always there to listen to my rambling and one night even save my life! As it happened, per my usual snack time, a man appeared in my room. He was tall and stood in the shadows staring at me from across the room. I was kind of scared of him because he wanted to steal my cheese and crackers and he wasn't friendly. But not one to let anything happen to her little girl, Nancy approached that man (I'm not kidding, she walked over to the empty corner of my bedroom) and told him he wasn't getting my snack and it was time to leave. Because of her? I was able to enjoy my snack and the scaries were gone.
My mom has always been the one to take away the scary aspect and bring the humor. We can be sitting in a doctor's office awaiting news and all the sudden break out into laughter about nothing in particular. It's one of my favorite things about her. She loves fiercely and is the most loyal person you will ever meet, but she can also bring the humor to any situation. She has sat in every cancer appt that I have ever had, negotiated with med companies when my insurance company wouldn't cover something, and spent countless hours behind the wheel of her car driving me to and from appointments both local and away. We can cry, we can joke, and sometimes even argue, but she has never failed to be everything I need her to be. She is the person you want by your side and she is my best friend.
I could fill this blog with stories of my amazing childhood and upbringing, but I would be reminiscing for days. Truthfully, I would probably end up brewing a cup of coffee, pulling out the old picture albums and forget all about this blog. Even though that would give you a glimpse into the awesomeness that is my parents, it wouldn't even begin to extend the gratitude that I have for them.
Some days, I think that my cancer diagnosis is harder on my parents than it is for me. Actually, I know it is. Everyday. I can see the sadness in their eyes when we receive bad news, if I'm having an off day, or just when they simply say goodnight. Yet, they stay true to my desire to keep things upbeat and positive outwardly, because they know that is what I want for myself and for Avery. They keep their heads up and their hearts strong so that we can all fight this together.
God gave this journey to me and he gave me the best team to have by my side. I love my parents more than they could ever imagine and there is no real way to express that to them other than to show them everything they have taught me by being the best parent that I can be. They would walk to the ends of the earth if they thought it would cure cancer. But until there is a cure to walk for, they walk right next to me.