I am blessed to have a wonderful Mom and Dad who support me in every way. The man that I call Dad is actually my step-father since I was twelve. My biological father and I have a more complicated situation, cause I am not sure I would call it a relationship, but I don't really want to use this post to focus on that, at the present time.
My Mother is my absolute biggest fan. Like most mothers I am sure, she thinks that I can do anything ! She has always been willing to give me her very last if necessary to help me to accomplish my goals and dreams. She gave me the gift of reading from an early age and it was one of the greatest, most beneficial things she has every done. I recall the 3 of us( me, her and my sister) laying in her bed, all of us with a book, reading for hours and hours. I remember her taking me and my sister to the Library very regularly and I remember being super excited to get gift certificates from B Dalton Bookstore at Christmas as if I was getting a highly anticipated toy ! I also was taught by example, a very strong work ethic, as I saw my mother work numerous part-time jobs in addition to her main job to insure that me and my sister could participate in numerous activities and extras. In hindsight, I understand how little we actually had, but my childhood memories, were full of happiness and very rare instances where I felt deprived. Prior to my step-father coming into the picture she did this alone with NO CHILD SUPPORT. She never bothered to ask my biological for anything because she figured he knew where we were & should have had an idea of what we needed. Another gift that she has passed on to me is her cooking and baking skills. I am definitely the domesticated one in my generation of cousins & usually am the one that plans all of the holiday gatherings, family events, menus, preparation, etc. Since she passed the torch to me, I am just taking up where she left off and have learned to enjoy it as much as she always has, especially as I have matured. My Mother discovered late in life that she wanted to be a writer and is actually working on getting her fist romance novel published. She submitted some chapters to a publisher, who expressed interest, so she is really excited about getting it completed. She actually wrote too many words and is actually having to pare it down to meet their requirements. I am extremely proud of her and love her to the ends of the earth. Now as nice and pleasant as she seems, when it comes to discipline, she did not play ! As a child, she did not spare the rod with me AT ALL. But I can honestly say that I deserved every whooping that I got because, at one point I was extremely hard headed, with a very smart mouth. LOL.
My relationship with my Dad has been more of an evolution of sorts. With time and maturity, I had to learn how to handle him and how to appreciate the sacrifices that he made for me growing up. As a child, there are alot of things you can't really put into perspective, so I know that I contributed in some ways to the challenges that we had but he also had to own up to some questionable deeds on his part. It is hard to come into a ready made family and find your place. It also takes a special kind of man to take care of another man's children, especially when he is not providing for them AT ALL. The blessing is that I have been able to get beyond alot of misunderstandings from the past between he and I and appreciate his presence in my life. He is a Vietnam Veteran and is also now retired with some pretty serious health challenges that he has faces in recent years. I believe that facing mortality has affected him so much. In fact, he battled depression after some major surgery several years ago, and though he has recovered for the most part,it softened him in many ways. I have learned that if I make sure that my Dad feels like I need him, it makes him feel better, because it makes him feel useful. This seems to be common amoung many men. In fact, sometimes I ask my Dad things that I already know, just to give him a chance to feel more helpful. LOL This has done wonders for our relationship. He used to be a pretty good mechanic back in the day, but unfortunately was not able to keep up with all of the currently vehicle technology. He is fascinated with weather & I can rest assurred that if there is a Hurricane in the Gulf, or if there is flooding in Houston, I will get a call from him within the hour since his TV stays on the Weather Channel ! LOL He is also a very good support for my Mom in many ways, which includes helping her in the kitchen with prep work, etc when she is making trays for someones party, event or something going on at church. He is like her little assistant. He is teased because of his devotion to my mother, because despite maybe one or two men, he really does not have alot of friends that he socializes with, as he would rather be up under my mother ALL.THE.TIME. Hey, it works for them and if they like it, I love it. Most men are very different, so I have to let new suitors know this, my Dad is a different kind of guy. He is not into Sports AT ALL. But I love him as he is and appreciate the love he shows me. In fact, last weekend Mr. Mixologist travelled home with me and met my parents for the first time. When it was time for us to hit the road and they walked us out to the car, my Dad actually shed tears, which then made me get misty. Mr Mixologist was speechless because he didn't expect it. It doesn't always happen but in the last couple of years my Dad has really become a more emotional person.