Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Great Detail - Day 3

My parents, in great detail:

My family situation is a bit unique. As I said in my previous post, my parents divorced when I was just a baby. I never knew life with my mom and dad as a single family unit, so having two homes and two families was never a big deal to me, it was simply my life. I was fortunate though, to have amazing parents who put me first and put whatever marital issues they struggled with before away.

I can't tell you if being a divorced kid was hard, I never knew anything different. I also can't say if switching homes every two days was hard, because it was my life, and it's what I had always done. I will always maintain that though I strongly believe in marriage (especially now that I am an old married lady myself), for my family, I wouldn't have changed my life because it allowed me to have three wonderful parents and after knowing the love that came with that, how could I give it up??

Ok, anyway, onto my parents. Let's start with my Daddy, Steve:

*Sidenote: the two dad situation can get a bit confusing, simply because I call them both "Dad". "Daddy" was reserved for my "real" (I hate calling him "real" because it indicated Tom was "fake", when in fact, he was very "real" as well!) dad, Steve, and Tom, my step-dad. As I became older, both dads were called "Dad."

My dad is every bit a man. He steps into situations and becomes the leader, the strong one. He has epic stories of being young and giving my grandma a run for her money. Despite his crazy stories, he grew up quickly after his dad left. Even as a young man he made sure my grandmother was taken care of, and his dedication to her never faltered, even when it was hard. Then, after his brother died and left my baby cousin Kristi fatherless, he drove from So. California to Arizona every weekend just to make sure she was OK and that she had a dad-like presence in her life. My dad is a mechanic and has owned his Honda shop since long before I was born. He is a hard-worker and very responsible, despite his penchant for having fun. He likes to think he is rough and gruff, but really, he's soft and sweet (I however, wouldn't want to make him mad!). He made some big mistakes when married to my mom, but he never shied away from his responsibilities as my dad. As a father, he was loyal, loving and fun. Rare were there weekends spent at home doing chores. Whatever we did, we did together, and it was usually fun! Summers were filled with trips to the lake and winters we spent dirt bike riding in the desert. I don't think my dad quite knew what to do with a girl, but he figured it out. One of my most cherished memories is of him taking me on a "date" (I wore my fanciest dress and got my hair done and everything!) up to Santa Barbara for an American Girl luncheon/tea party. He was the only man there, but that didn't stop him from sipping his tea and making sure I was able to see every outfit in the fashion show and that my Samantha doll was well cared for. What makes this memory even more special is the next year, when the event rolled around again, he bought three tickets, so that my cousin Katie (whose dad would never take her to an event like this) could go with us. The significance of that move means more to me now than it did then, but I did realize just how special my dad was (is). 

Today, my dad and I are not as close as we once were - it's hard maintaining a close relationship when you are so far away, but, when we do get to visit, we have fun and absolutely love our time together. He finally figured it out in the woman department, and his new wife, Allison, is lovely and totally perfect for him. They've been married almost as long as we have, and they're still ga-ga over each other! I know he is so proud of me (I think every one of his customers knew what college I was going to and now where I work, he is quite boastful of me, ha!) and he takes every opportunity to tell me so. Though our visits are too far in between, our relationship is very sweet and our love very strong!

Next, I'll tell you about my other dad, Tom:

Tom was friends with my parents before I was ever born. He was actually the best man in their wedding, and then their neighbor. When my parents divorced, he continued his relationship with my parents, but mostly my mom, as they lived so close. He was quiet and reserved, a long-term bachelor. Him and my dad eventually grew apart, but he never gave up on my mom. He claims to have had feelings for her long before he ever made his move - and considering who he is, I believe it! He finally made his move, and when I was five years old, he became my step-dad. They adjustment was hard on all of us, but Tom was steady and faithful. Though it took a while, he became a strong, wise parental presence. He rarely disciplined me (neither my mom nor I would let him), but I valued his opinion and his say, so I rarely gave him means to - in my older years at least. 

Tom was a hard-worker. He never stopped working, ever. He rarely took a sick day and he never allowed something that needed to be done go undone. He was silly and fun and always had a smile on his face. He was kind and loving. His faith was strong and uncomplicated - He just loved Jesus, that was all he needed. He loved his kids more than words can properly convey. He was a really, really good dad. I can't imagine my life without him, even though I've been doing it for the last 7 months. He was really looking forward to being a grandpa and how my heart breaks knowing he will never meet my kids here on earth. Tom was a good dad, a loving dad, my dad.

And finally, my mama:

Where do I start when I talk about my mom? Never was there a time when we weren't close. Of course, I had my horrible teenager moments when I yelled and screamed at her, but when my hormones died down, I was still always lucky enough to say my mom was my best friend. My mom was #7 of 10 kids and had a crazy childhood - I don't know if I'll ever know all of her stories, nor if my heart could handle it, but her growing up adventures were much different from mine. The circumstances of my birth were not ideal for her, but she didn't let that stop her. My mom was all about me from day one. Never did her priorities sway, it was always her and me against the world. Even when Tom and then my siblings came along, she always made time for me. Our "girls nights" spent grocery shopping or searching for the perfect outfit for whatever event I had are cherished memories of mine. I don't really know how my mom learned to be the kind of mom that she is, but I hope I can love my own kids as fiercely as she loved us.

My mom is the most supportive and encouraging woman I have ever known. She would never allow me to wallow in self-pity and she worked hard to instill self-confidence and self-worth within me. She is fun and loving too. My friends always liked coming over to my house, because my mom would give them some good mama hugs and some perfect words to help take away whatever self-doubt was nagging them that day. My mom never let me go - she was always involved and invested in my life, even when I protested. She knew my friends, my hobbies and my whereabouts, she always made sure to make me a priority. She was the best mom - she IS the best mom!

Well, those are my parents. As I said above, my family situation is a bit unique, but I wouldn't have changed it for anything. I have amazing parents - all three of them!

Day 01 - Introduce yourself, in great detail
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detai

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