On any given day I look into my mothers eyes and I see an immense amount of love, mixed with an immense amount of pain. It hurts her deeply to see me suffering when things get bad. I look into my fathers eyes & beyond his stoic and calm demeanor I see a lot of sadness when he is helpless in taking away my pain. My parents have given up their own lives to rotate their world entirely around getting me well for the better part of 3 years. They never wavered with their support and commitment... not for one moment. You would think after so long one of them would have cracked, or they would have grown tired of it all. But they don't ask for a break, in fact they can't fathom a break until I am well. I try to wrap my mind around how deep their love is for me, but I can't comprehend it. It's so much more than I can possibly understand. So many times during this journey I have broke down. It is a tough mental fight and some periods are tougher than others. I will admit that I cracked more times than I could count, but even in the absolute worst moments my parents stayed strong. Even when things were very grim, and I wasn't sure how I would make it through the next hour or the next day, they never worried. They remained calm and figured out a plan. I know that as long as I have them by my side there will never be an option to lose this fight. Not under their watch.
When I am up at 3am sick and crying, they are up with me getting me whatever I need to ease the pain. When I need someone to talk to my mom would stay up with me past midnight just keeping me company or letting me vent. They are two of the most committed and loving parents I could possibly be blessed with. They won't ever give up on me, and they continually lift me up when I'm weak.
I'm thankful that they take so much time to cook me meals that fit my diet & taste buds. I'm thankful that no matter what new "out there" idea is presented for treatment they instantly are on board, ready to do absolutely anything to get me well, no questions asked. I'm thankful for how they pray with me & encourage me constantly to stay focused on God. I'm thankful that they care for my dog when I am too weak to do it myself, and they give her so much love. I'm thankful that they constantly research and read up on pertinent information so they understand every detail of my treatment (during times when my brain fog prevents me from doing it myself). I'm thankful for so much more than I could put into words, but their very love is what fuels me.
I would not have made it 1 step without my parents support and love. I would have surely given up by now. People think I'm so strong, but on my own I'm really not. It's they who are strong and pick me up and give me strength to fight when I'm all out of steam.
So here's to you mom & dad. You all are the greatest gift that I could have ever been blessed with. I'm thankful each and every day for your love, but especially today when I can reflect on the depth of what you do for me. I am nothing without your support and your guidance. It's been a long 3 years, but the silver lining is being able to spend this quality time with you both, learning love and patience which you model for me every day. As long as you two are by my side I know I can face anything.
All that I am, and all that I hope to be I owe to you both.