When it comes to parents, I have been very fortunate indeed. Not only do I have a kind and loving father, but I have also been blessed with a wonderful, caring mother as well.
Growing up, both my parents worked full-time jobs. My father worked all three shifts, depending upon his job assignments, and my mother worked first shift at Boscov's Department Store where she eventually retired from after 30 years.
Because my father had to work alternate shifts, she had the very difficult responsibilty of raising my brother and myself by herself much of the time. Looking back, this was not an easy task by any means. Not only did she work full-time to help ends meet, but she also ran both my brother and I back and forth to trumpet lessons, twirling lessons, Girl Scout meetings and band practices, etc. She always made sure that we had terrific birthdays and she is the one who stayed up until two o'clock in the morning wrapping presents so that we could have memorable Christmases and holiday family dinners every year.
Since her retirement, she has been very actively involved with the AKC and training her dogs, something she does well and enjoys so much. She has trained four family dogs and acquired dozens of ribbons over the years for their Obedience Rallies. She also had a few Certified Therapy dogs as well.
Then, in the summer of 2000, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a partial mastectomy. As scarey as this was, she was the bravest woman I have ever known and, with the love and support of our family as a whole, we found the strength to see her through. And, by the grace of the Goddess, she has been cancer-free for 11 years now!
My dad Bill, Aunt Janel and my mom, Elrita - 2011She saw me through the "terrible teen" years, bad relationships, financial troubles and now Peri-menapause and through it all she has always done her best to be loving and supportive. The older I get, the more I realize how wonderful she really is and I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world!
A gift from Mom