Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 3 - My Parents

Today, as part of the 30 day challenge, I am supposed to share about my parents. This is actually quite tough. All day, I have been pondering what to write. I decided to just sit down and type...I have a feeling this will end up being quite scattered, choppy and perhaps poorly I apologize in advance for that.

Growing up, I don't feel like my parents and I had the best relationship. I never really bonded with my mom, and that is actually the thing I regret the most, never really getting to know and enjoy her.

You see, she has had Multiple Sclerosis for over twenty years. She is not the same person anymore, because of it. I feel like I missed my window of opportunity to get to know her, and I HATE that so much.

Even though I am thirty, I still have those days when I wish I could just call up my mom - ask her advice, cry to her and laugh with her. 

Sadly, most of the time when I do call her, she doesn't know who I am. She forgets my name, she forgets I have kids, sometimes she even says to me...." But I don't have a daughter."

Every now and then, there are some good days, when she does know who I am...and we talk for awhile and have some great laughs.

My mom was born and raised in Brooklyn. She is a tough Italian New Yorker. She talks a lot, and loudly. She is very expressive and full of spunk. And she used to make the BEST homemade spaghetti sauce.

In my early childhood, my mom worked nights at a hospital so that she could stay home with me during the day. She really cherished that time with me too. We did a lot together. :D Reading was very important to her, so we read a lot and took weekly trips to the library. She was also very much into board and card games. I used to spend hours playing 500 Rummy, Sorry and Scrabble with her. We would sit, play games, drink tea and just have a fantastic time.

My mom loved her Soap Operas. I would watch them with her every day. She watched One Life To Live, All My Children and General Hospital religiously. I was even named after a character on All My Children, Erica Kane.

I know my mom's body and thought processes have been ravaged by Multiple Sclerosis, but I truly hope that deep down she knows how much I love her and appreciate all that she did for me.

My dad and I also had quite a rocky relationship for many years, mainly during my tween/teen years. I am sure I wasn't the most pleasant daughter most of the time. I was pretty ungrateful. I regret that.

Thankfully, over the past 7 years or so, my dad and I have grown tremendously in our relationship.

My dad was born in Maine. At a young age, he and his siblings were actually abandoned by their parents, found about a week later and taken into state custody. My dad grew up in various foster homes and most of them were horrendously abusive. He had a very difficult childhood.

Because of his upbringing, my dad struggled with properly showing love and affection. I had a hard time with that growing up. I longed for more hugs, kisses and tender moments with my daddy. I was a total daddy's girl.

Now that I am grown, knowing all that he went through as a child, understanding why he had a difficult time showing love, and realizing that he stopped the cycle of abuse, all I have is incredible respect and admiration for my dad. He came out triumphant.

My favorite memories growing up with my dad, revolve around baseball. I used to spend hours sorting through baseball cards with him, finding all of the Red Sox players. I knew quite a bit about players like Mike Greenwell, Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens. We even went to see the Red Sox together at Fenway.

I also remember playing baseball often with my dad, on the side of the house.  I loved it.

I'd like to think that I am a mix of my parents' best qualities. I am petite, strong, independent and spunky, just like my mom. I am hard working, goal-oriented and extremely generous, like my dad.

My parents are pretty super. :D Mom and dad, if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU!


Sara @ Life With the Two said...

This is perfect.

I knew it would be.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing, Erica. I'm with Sara on this one - I knew it would be.