When You Realize Your Parents Are People Too

When You Realize Your Parents Are People Too

From 'Mom and Dad' To Friends
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Do you remember angrily slamming the car door or telling your parents to shut up because they were annoying you? How about rolling your eyes as they asked you to set the table or clean your room? These moments don't seem that far away, but in a way they do.

In eighth grade, I was full of angst and just couldn't be bothered by anything. In high school, I started opening up to my mom more, although I'd be pissed at her and nearly impossible to deal with for basically no (valid) reason. She either asked too many questions or asked me to do something that I didn't feel like doing, but she was just being my mom. Then there was my dad who made me cry, fleeing to my room in embarrassment when he raised his voice. It almost makes me laugh looking back on some of it and remembering how ridiculous I was. We were on completely different levels and couldn't connect. I was tired of being nagged, and they were probably tired of dealing with a pissy, emotional teenage girl.

As time went on, and I entered my first year of college, I began to see my parents not just as "Mom and Dad" whose sole purpose was to care for me and my brothers, but people with pasts, dreams, hobbies and futures. They were more than people who were there for us or put food on the table. They were more like me than I thought, just older. At this point, a small friendship began, and I wanted to know more about them, like people I'd just met. I never gave much thought to their life before me.

This growth was progressive. Just last year I'd get sick of being home for winter or summer break after a week, threatening to go back to school or vaguely "go somewhere else." When I was adjusting to being back home, I was adjusting to seeing my family every day which sometimes drove me crazy.

When I was younger, I never quite appreciated my parents. I thought I did, but saying thank you doesn't seem like enough now. When they allowed me to go to Stonehill, despite it being one of the most expensive schools I applied to, I became more grateful for them than I had ever been before. They even let me live there, despite it being less than 20 minutes away, because it made me happy.

I saw my dad work day in and day out doing maintenance at the hospital and taking plastering jobs on the side to pay for my education. I saw him wake up at 5 a.m. to go to my aunt's house to take care of my grandmother who has Alzheimer's. I watched my mom work part-time at a hair salon and work full-time taking care of my younger brother and keeping the house together.

It was never our style to be close and emotional. My parents didn't always say "I love you" or hug me, and they didn't have to because they showed me love every day through their perseverance and persistence. As they say, actions speak louder than words.

This summer, we went to The Cape for a week's stay at a cottage in Dennis for the first time in 11 years. Mini-golf, the beach, tossing footballs, frisbees, lots of ice cream and even going to the bar with my older brother and my best friend. My brother and I hardly talk much, never mind go out together. Everyone stayed the whole week and had fun, and I wasn't quite ready to leave.

When you realize your parents are people, you respect them more. You treat them like the people that they are instead of ungratefully expecting things from them or relying on them for everything. You're more thoughtful and think of them as friends. You wash the dishes when Mom is at work or water the garden for Dad because you know they'll appreciate it, and it'll lighten their load. I love my dad for doing all that he does and still leaving time to hangout and garden with me, or watch "Criminal Minds." It's not a lot, but these are things that I'll remember when I'm older. I love my mom for her unwavering strength, determination and compassion. When you realize your parents are people, you gain an unbreakable support system that will last a life time.

Cover Image Credit: My first grade teacher, Mrs. Dankese

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Life Gets Us Down But There Is A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Head up, kid.

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In a split second, someone's world could be turned upside down with no heads up of what is coming. People wonder why him or her? What did they do to deserve this? No one ever does anything to deserve the amount of pain they are put through. It makes others think, "that could be me."

Over the years, I have heard heartbreaking stories of people in car accidents or playing a sport they love. Young people that have a whole life ahead of them. One small bad decision could lead to the worst outcome, or no bad decision was made but fate put them in the worst place.

I have been so upset knowing that people that I love are in so much pain because their loved one has been hurt or may not be with us anymore. It makes me think: Nobody knows what is going to happen in five minutes or even thirty seconds. The future is so mysterious.

Even in the darkest moments, there is happiness. Somewhere deep down there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is soon to come. We cannot dwell on the negatives or the past that has not been perfect, but look toward the positive, better ending we know is there.

Think about the past moments that have brought so much joy to our lives, not the present that makes us sad and hopeless at times. Be appreciative of the life you have been given. Your small problems may not compare to what someone else and his or her family is going through at the moment. Take the small things, throw them away, and look at the bigger and brighter picture.

This is hard for me to do, but there are people looking for hope and praying for good news to come. I know no issue I have is nearly as serious as that. I have channeled my negative energy into thinking and praying for those that I know are hurting for something good to ease their pain.

If you need someone to think about and pray for:

Jared Antle is a sophomore at James Madison University and was hit by a car as he was trying to get into a vehicle on August 24, 2018. He is suffering from severe brain trauma and is currently at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

Jared's YouTube

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Shay Wood is a senior at Hamden-Sydney College and was involved in a car accident on February 22, 2019, and is currently recovering from several serious injuries.

Shay on caringbridge.org

The Burgett family lost their son in 2012 as he was involved in a car accident and a day does not go by that I do not think about Ian and his family.

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