Friday, April 22, 2011

"Ohana means family.....

...and family means no one gets left behind" Stitch in Lilo and Stitch.

I have to say that this is one of my favorite quotes from a recent Disney film. It speaks so highly about my family and how we are. My family is very tight knit. Besides just my mom and my dad, when he was still around, the rest of my immediate family is very close. They are the ones who keep me grounded and encourage me to follow my dreams. They are always there when I need a helping hand or just someone to talk to. So today I am going to introduce you to a few of my family members.

We will start with my mom. She is the best mom a girl could ask for. I would not say we were best friends but as I have gotten older we have formed a type of friendship. We are a little like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore from the Gilmore Girls. At times I feel as if I am the adult in the situation, just like Rory did at times. I can talk to her about almost anything and we share a love of both music and movies. She supports my crazy obsessions, Pirates of the Caribbean and Vampires come to mind.

She has always filled our house with love and warmth. She was a stay at home mom for the first 10 years of my life. She was active in the schools and at my dance studio but never hovered like I saw other parents do. She was not afraid to let me fall and make my own mistakes. Even when she returned to work, as a substitute in the schools, I never felt like I was missing anything by her not being home all day long. She would make special time for me on weekends and we would have a girl's night out once a month.

A few years ago she suddenly became very ill and I was terrified we would lose her. She was constantly tired and fell down a lot. Once they hospitalized her for a week and finally figured out what was wrong. In combination with her fibromyalgia, it was discovered that her body was not absorbing fat soluble vitamins and she had low blood pressure. Today she is back to her normal self and I could not be more grateful.

Today she is retired and keeps up with her hobbies of knitting, sewing, and reading. She is in good health and has done a great job of keeping me sane during some troubling times.

Next we will talk about my dad. He was an amazing father and I miss him every single day. There were times that we did not get along at all, but that is pretty normal for fathers and daughters at times. The amount of door slamming in our house at that time was huge, but even when he was angry with me, I always knew he loved me. My high school years were very trying on him but we came out on the other side closer than ever.

Growing up I felt very lucky because my Dad's job allowed him to attend many events during the day. he worked for an insurance comapny and could make his own hours, chosing when he did his inspections. My friends were always so impressed that he was there.

He occassionaly did have to go out of town for a few days every once in awhile since the company he worked for was located a few hours away. He would always bring me back a small gift, usually a barbie. It was not until years later that he confessed he would just stop off at the drug store at the end of our street and pick one up before coming home. It never made it any less special just typical of my dad.

He retired when I was in the sixth grade and had a few part-time jobs to keep himself from going crazy. He worked at a bank for a short time and a factory that boxed up medical supplies.

When he had his heart surgery back in 2001, I thought for sure we would lose him. It took several weeks of actually seeing him get better for me to realize that he was out of the woods. I remember very clearly about the day he came home after spending seven weeks in the hospital, the excitement to have him home everyday was big. He did eventually return to work part-time and I even worked for him. A good friend of his owned a mailing store and made my dad manager. When I was 18 his boss asked me to work there as well. It was frustrating at first since my dad had to train me and watched over my shoulder every minute but as we went along it got better and better.

We did drift apart for awhile, not doing things together as much. Especially after I got my liscense and went out with friends more and more. Then when he got sick in 2007 and was placed in a rehab care facility, I made sure to spend more time with him. My mom and I went together nearly everyday. I would go on my own Friday nights and we would have pizza for dinner and watch movies I would take with me. We always had the aides and nurses stopping in to join in on the fun.

As a family we did lots of things together. We always went away somewhere on Spring Break, mostly Niagra Falls. We would take road trips to Amish Country and Columbus to visit the zoo. We spent many summer days at Sea World when we had one here in Ohio.


  1. What a lovely post. You are blessed to have such a wonderful family:)