A Letter from Andy: The Big One!

Okay, here’s the BIG ONE! This is not to diminish the importance of the last four months’ subjects nor the seven months’ subjects to come. However, in my mind this is the big one. Ya see, my Mother’s birthday was in February and she is on my mind more than usual and my Father’s birthday would have been in March. So, I am thinking of both of them and I cannot do that unless I am overwhelmed with great thanks. I am thankful for all that they gave me.

My Mom and Dad were not financially rich, however they were not poor by any stretch of the definition. They were hard working, hard saving middle class citizens. They were what politicians like to refer to as the backbone of America. I don’t believe they thought of themselves as the backbone exactly, but they knew the value of a dollar and earned every dollar they were able to lay their hands on. My mother was a Registered Nurse and could have contributed substantially to our household income, but she chose to stay at home and raise my brother and me. Let me just say it is impossible to put a dollar value on that kind of childcare. It’s doubtful we would’ve become gang members or mobsters, but she surely shaped our outlooks and influenced our attitudes positively during those crucial, formative years. My father worked at Chrysler and was one of the hardest working people I ever knew. He is still the example I measure myself and others by daily.

My parents were frugal and taught us the advantages of hard work and saving for retirement. Yet, that did not mean we went without. My brother and I were afforded all the things we needed as we grew up – food, clothing, recreation, and even an automobile to use. Mom and Dad believed in the power of education and made certain we had the option of going to college. As I look back I am not 100% sure I was right, but I did not think I needed college and dropped out after two years to start my career.

Many in this world revere their parents and could go on at great length lauding them. I know I could. Let me try to sum it up with the two most valuable lessons they taught me:

  1. You can be anything you want to be, if you work hard and set your mind to it.
  2. Be respectful of people as you progress up the ladder of life, because one day you will have to come down and you will pass those same people again.

I am very pleased I was paying attention and learned those lessons well.

At the movies these days it is a constant parade of one super hero after another. It makes me shake my head because Mom and Dad are the only true super heroes I’ve ever known or come in contact with.

So, for month #5 I am thankful for having had such positive role models, such supportive cheerleaders, such diligent teachers of life – my parents. Thank you Mom & Dad.

Have you been intentional about being thankful for something in March? Don’t save it all up for Thanksgiving Day. Seriously, you’ll probably lose most of that day to a monstrous tryptophan-induced nap and forget to be thankful for all that you should. Let the gratitude flow all year long. Make it twelve months of Thanksgiving. “How Thankful Are You?”

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