To The Parents Who Sacrificed Everything For Me

To The Parents Who Sacrificed Everything For Me

Thank you.
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As I look at you now I can't help but feel happiness and sadness flow within me.

To the parents who sacrificed everything for me: Thank you.

I can remember being a child and often wondering why I couldn't be like the regular children, why their parents were always with them, why I was always being taken care of by someone else, and why I couldn't be at home with you and have fun with you.

As a child, the world was simple and carefree, but as I grew older, I understood.

Maybe I understood a bit too well for someone my age, but I understood well enough.

I understood the bills that had to be paid, I understood the economic struggles we went through and I understood the long hours you used to work.

Waking up at the crack of dawn never bothered me even though you'd apologize profusely. "I'm sorry you have to wake up so early," you'd say, "but I need you to help me with work."

I hope you know that waking up early never bothered me.

What bothered me was seeing you struggle and worry about whether you would have enough money to pay rent or buy food.

What bothered me was seeing you doubt your self-worth because you wished to be like other people who had vacations every summer and money to spare.

"It's my fault," you'd say, "I should've worked harder."

However, work never equals how much money or value family has. It's the moments and experiences you go through together.

I'm not sure if both of you know this, but it was the little things that I remember the most.

Yes, of course, going to Disney World when I was ten would've been a dream come true, but I know for a fact that us three playing Monopoly for hours and laughing wickedly as we bankrupted each other would beat the Mouse any day.

No matter how horrible our economic status was, you always made sure that I had everything I ever needed and more.

To the parents who sacrificed everything for me: Thank you.

Even now that I am an adult, you're still helping me in every way possible. You're giving me a proper education and the support to follow my dreams, and in full honesty, it's that support that's giving me the determination to do well in life.

Although my goals and ambitions are different from others, the ultimate goal for me is to help you just like you helped me.

I know times have been hard for all of us — we've gone through eviction, medical emergencies, emotional emergencies, but as difficult as it might have been, we've always managed to see the light.

I don't know about both of you, but I see nothing except brightness in our future.

To the parents who sacrificed everything for me: Thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Natalya Zaritskaya

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Friendly Reminder To Give Your Parents A Break, Because They Make Mistakes Just Like Us

As far as I was concerned, the birth of my parents coincided with my own.

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As children, there is a very obvious fact concerning our parents that we either consciously ignore or, in most cases, are completely oblivious to. And this fact is that our parents are, like everyone else, only human.

Up until recently, I never thought about who my parents were before they became "Mom" and "Dad." As far as I was concerned, the birth of my parents coincided with my own. And in becoming parents, I thought they were immediately bestowed with all of the powers that came with that grandiose title: unparalleled bravery and wisdom, unwavering patience and confidence, unrivaled strength and leadership.

Throughout my whole life, I have unfairly and unreasonably held them to these impossible standards of perfection, and when they failed to meet them, I blamed them for their shortcomings: whenever they would raise their voice at me, I blamed them for being mean. Whenever they refused to let me go out with my friends at night, I blamed them for being unfair. Whenever they couldn't offer me the "right" advice for my petty pre-teen problems, I blamed them for being unhelpful and even useless.

What I failed to acknowledge was the fact that my parents were not always parents. They were, and still are, the children of their own parents, meaning they hold within themselves all of the traits that come with that title: fear and naivete, impatience and uncertainty, weakness and inexperience. And so, it turns out that my parents are just children who are taking care of other children. Whenever they yelled at me, it is because they were capable of losing their patience.

Whenever they refused to let me stay out too late at night, it is because they were capable of being afraid; whenever they couldn't offer me the solution to all of my problems, it is because they were capable of simply not having all the answers.

And so we must remember that just like us, our parents are doing the best they can do, and just as they accept our best effort, perhaps we should learn to theirs as well.

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