They change our diapers, wipe our runny noses, and kiss our skinned knees. They are our biggest cheerleaders during sporting events, at school competitions, and when we go in for a job interview. They are our first teachers and counselors. They teach us how to tie our shoes, to drive a car, and how to be a hard worker. They give us love, discipline, and a shoulder to cry on. They want us to succeed to be…HAPPY. They are our parents and they help shape who we become as adults.
This Sunday is a special day. It is Parents’ Day! In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in bringing up their children.” This day has become a day where we can thank and honor the parental influences in our lives.
Think about it; where would we be today if it weren’t for our parents. They loved us even before we were born and they continue to love and support us into adulthood. They have had many sleepless nights because of us, they are there when we need them, and they are someone we can rely on. Because of this, they deserve this holiday. We celebrate mothers in May and fathers in June. In July, it is fitting to take the opportunity to celebrate all those who have made us who we are today.
We asked some of our Heart ‘n Home employees to share some thoughts about their parents. Here are their replies.
“I would say that my parents taught me that having a good work ethic and knowing where I want to go, are the two most important variables for a successful life. Thus far… their teachings have been pretty accurate.” – Ryan L., MSW/MAI/O Psychology (Executive Director, La Grande)
“I was 9 years old when my dad passed away and I had three other siblings younger than me. My mom was just 26 years old with four kids with no degree. She was just a simple young girl from Fiji who finished her school at age 16. My dad left a house under construction so we all helped build a block cement home which was 2400 sq ft. She taught me to work hard, always finish your projects, and never leave things undone. That taught me to be a strong woman like my mom who raised all of us without anyone’s help. She worked as a librarian and in the evenings she would do house cleaning. I, being the oldest child, cooked and made sure my siblings were all fed and did homework and kept the house clean. We were always happy. My mom raised us well and I’m so proud of her. She didn’t need another man to help her raise us. Still to this day she is single at 77 years old and living a happy life around her kids and grandkids.” -Anita B. (Volunteer Coordinator, Caldwell)
“My parents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on July 10th and they gave our entire family what they have learned about married life and life in general. They have always exhibited their ability to be kind, love others and have Christ as the center of all of their relationships. In my role at Heart ‘n Home, I am able to live out my desire to love and help others during trying times. No matter a person’s background, politics, religion, beliefs, life-style – each person I encounter every day is worth my time to show love, care and support. I have learned compassion.” -Sherry H. (Outreach Coordinator, La Grande)
My mom gave me the best advice (intended for marriage) which I have applied to my marriage as well as my relationships with other people and my work ethic. She told me:
“Marriage is not 50/50 like so many believe. If you are only giving 50% into your marriage it will fail because you are assuming your spouse will give you 50% all the time.
Rather, believe it takes 100% all the time. If EACH of you chooses to give 100% then your marriage will be blessed because when the other is hurt and needs you to pick up the slack it won’t be a difficult transition for you to have to assume the 100%, because you are already giving it. But if you are only giving 50%, it will be easy to become spiteful towards the other when they are not ABLE to carry their weight. Don’t be like everyone else only giving 50/50, but rather give 100/100, it will keep your marriage going forever.”
So far- it has been the BEST advice for my marriage, as well as my life, and to this day when I feel myself getting irritated at my husband for “not carrying his weight”, I remind myself “I can do 100%” and it helps me figure out what I could be doing better as a wife -mother -friend -employee -person; because it can apply to everything I choose to be. -Sarah B, CNA (Volunteer Coordinator and Personal Care Assistant)
“It’s because of my parents that I work in hospice today. Although I have been a “spiritual care provider” in many different kinds of ministry work for most of my life, the lessons I learned from my parents while they were on hospice are what really equipped me for my role at Heart ‘n Home.
I had three parents—a mother, a father, and a stepmother. Sadly, they all became terminally ill within just a few months of each other. As a primary caregiver, I was exhausted and discouraged, and when we finally turned to hospice, I felt as though the “posse had ridden into town” to my aid.
My mother was independent and tough. She taught me that people need to die in the same way that they live. She had been a very “in-charge” person throughout her lifetime, and she needed to approach her illness and death the same way. She has helped me reflect on how important it is for our patients to be able to be in control of their choices and have their wishes fulfilled by their family members. She was very private about her feelings, and she wanted only her closest family members near her as she declined. Her comfort came by knowing she had done all she could to prepare US for her death.
My stepmother, so opposite of my mom, taught me that some people need a crowd around them to keep their spirits lifted while they are ill. She was an extrovert, and there was a constant stream of friends and relatives surrounding her at all times. It was her great joy to visit with anyone who could make time to come see her, and no matter how she felt, she could muster the energy for a visit. She also taught me that some people really need to ponder their disappointments and regrets and that there are many different ways that individuals find for making peace with their regrets. I was able to watch her grapple with many issues and to find space in her heart for forgiveness to those who had wronged her. Doing so allowed her to die with her burdens lifted.
My father taught me that it is never, ever too late for a person to open his or her heart up to spiritual things. He had lived most of his life for the “here and now,” but as illness took away his physical strength, he searched—for the very first time—to find a meaning to his life that went beyond this world. He found that meaning in a faith that was very new—and very real for him.
All three of my parents taught me that death is a crossing over to something new. It takes courage, and it takes help from those we love. They allowed me to walk alongside them on their final journey in this world, and through that experience, I learned how sacred that journey is. Every single day, I draw on the lessons they taught me during their final days, and am grateful that I can now honor them as I provide spiritual care for our patients.” -Rev Dr. Melody Metcalf (Spiritual & Grief Counselor, Caldwell)
Like Melody mentioned, after taking care of us, at some point, our parents will need our support. Towards the end of their life, hospice can be a huge help for the patient and the family that cares for them. If you have aging parents who have a terminal illness or health declines, they may be hospice appropriate. Along with hospice services, Heart ‘n Home has a CARE Program that helps Connect Appropriate Resouces & Education to patients and their families. This program is available to those who may not be hospice appropriate yet. Our CARE Coordinators are specially trained to find you resources that can enhance the quality of your life. After your initial visit, our CARE Coordinators can follow up and help if any of your needs change. Contact us today with questions about hospice or to learn more about our CARE Program.