Dear Mom and Dad,
35 plus years ago you decided to start a family. You were married for nine years before you took the plunge into parenthood. I remember you saying to me, "we decided our marriage was great and it seemed only fitting to bring kids into such a strong partnership."
I do not know where to begin with my admiration and gratitude. The family I was raised in was adventurous, optimistic and forgiving of mistakes. Your parenting style was never withdrawn and rarely, if ever even in a teenager's eyes, overbearing. Our house was the place my friends wanted to hangout. They felt welcome at ages eight and eighteen. How many late nights you must have endured while we were in the basement being (mostly) responsible adolescents.
Middle school for me, like so many, brought its challenges. I walked away from a group of friends that seemed to be heading astray and you were my anchor as I made my way to chartering a new path. Two years later I found high school theater. You were not only encouraging but supportive by making it easy to get to-and-from school at early and late hours, as rehearsals required. When the shows came to a close, it was your photos the cast wanted to see because they best captured the production.
When I moved away to college, you transformed my dorm room into the envy of all. The concrete walls became a place to call home and for people to congregate. A task requiring vision and effort. When I graduated college and was financially stable enough to move out on my own, you were there again. Helping me understand how to make my first independent place my own.
In 2010, I dropped the bombshell I planned to move to Kuala Lumpur. You responded by coming to visit and learning about the faraway place I called home. When that adventure ended unexpectedly, you welcomed me back into your home without pretense. No pressure. Just support. This was perhaps the hardest part of my adult life. Unemployed and rebuilding who I was. How well I emotionally navigated that period of time, I cannot say. But without it, I would assuredly not be the person I am today. Thank you for providing me the space to reimagine who I am.
And to the couch I am currently sitting upon in the house I now own, you helped me transform this place into my home. You helped me become comfortable with the decision and were my move in army when my closing date arrived.
As I write this on the precipice of my 35th birthday, many of the goodnatured compliments people have paid me as a friend, confidant and colleague come to mind. But what I want them to know, is they are not thanking me but thanking you. I am what I am because of you. I do not in any way mean to refute the work I have put over the years but without the foundation you helped me lay, I would not be the person I am today.
I stand on the shoulders of giants.
I love you,