Dear Dad and Mom,
I was blessed enough to have an unbroken family. There was no spilt time between two houses, or battles for custody: it was always mom and dad, not mom or dad. Thank you for that.
Thank you for the time we’d spend, throwing the baseball back and forth in the yard. Thanks for teaching me how to pitch. Thanks for showing me the techniques behind driving a stick shift, and having patience when I would stall at a stop light. Thanks for just being there for all those little moments, instead of being in another house, across town.
Thank you, for the countless times you’d be a shoulder to cry on. Thanks for your wonderful listening ears, and your use of the phrase “I’m sorry.” Thanks for staying peaceful as I’d watch Monsters INC. and The Sound of Music on repeat for days. I don’t know how you managed to not have a freak out or two.
Thanks for those hours of footage you captured with that camcorder you wore… of birthdays with the family, and days outside. Thanks for listening to hours of horrible piano playing, the same songs on and on. Thanks for the long drives to vision therapy, to help my sight get on track. Thank you for all the things that you didn’t have to do, but did anyway, for love of your kids.
You once told me about a time when I was young: I had come inside suspiciously, and ran into my room. You saw my hands wrapped around something small, and immediately knew I was ‘up to no good,’ so you followed me quietly and watched as I lifted up my mattress, and stuck that item under it. I don’t know how you didn’t get sick, or lose you’re cool, instead asking me to go wash up as you cleaned that thing up. Once my hands were uncontaminated, you took me aside and warned me not to put dead animals under my bed, let alone pick them up. I guess you asked me why I did it, and I told you “It’s cute,” to which you replied with a firm “no more picking dead mice up… even if they’re cute.”
Thanks for memories like those, and for living them out with me.
Some say I’m funny, others say I’m strong. I used to hear it all the time “you’re shy,” and, “you’re odd,” and, “you’re too much of a Jesus freak.” But I get most of it from you two: and the family tree. I get my stubbornness and humor from my Hansen lineage, and for my odd ways, I blame my mom’s side.
I have strength because I saw it on display when my mom would be my rock, and my dad would be hers. I get my shyness from the fact that my parents were always the talkers… even though, they’ve both tried to tell me they are shy. And for the Jesus freak stuff? I’d say it’s a mixture of everything I am. It’s from my dad, for leading us to church every Sunday. It’s from my mom, for always praying with us, and for us. It’s from my upbringing, for always feeling Him there when the days were long and hard, or short and fun. It’s from my sister, who said that little prayer with me. It’s from camp, and church, and private school. But it’s also a part of me because I want it to be.
As for this spouse stuff? It’s hard sometimes. In some ways, I’m sure it’d be easy to throw in the towel, and walk away. Arguments are inevitable in every relationship. You yell, and fight, and stubbornly hold on to your pride, but what happens after depends on your compromise and how much you’re willing to sacrifice for a marriage. I am the spouse I am because I was raised to fight for things you want to hold onto. I am the spouse I am because I witnessed you two working hard for something that seemed difficult. I am the spouse I am, in part, because of the spouses you are to each other. So thank you.
Thank you for raising me to be strong and stubborn, not quitting or backing down when things get hard. Thanks for showing me how to live for Christ, and depend on Him. Thanks for the discipline when I did something wrong, and the encouragement when I did well. Thanks for being there, and for doing it all together.
Love and so much thanks,