My parents made the decision 3 decades ago to create life together and they’ve nurtured, loved, and supported those lives unconditionally every day since.
Regardless of their own well being, their own struggles, their own traumas, their own wants, desires, and dreams, they have ushered my brother and I through the world and whatever it has placed in our path. They have honored our decisions, empowered our souls, held us together when we’ve fallen apart.
They saw us through the years of unbridled attitude and terrible relationships as teenagers. Through the independence of dropping out of college, moving out on our own, and beginning life in the career world during our early twenties. They watched as we took the hands of our own spouses and recited the vows that would solidify our futures together, and they found themselves nurturing two more souls who joined the family. And as my husband and I made the decision to bring four beautiful lives into the world, my parents got to see their work, their efforts, the love and the values they instilled, take effect in a new form.
They held my hands as I birthed each of my children. Watching their eyes fill with the tears of instantaneous love and attachment, I knew with all of my being, that they would nurture these souls just as they have mine, eternally. They found themselves back in the chaos of diapers, bottles, sticky hands, messy hair, and the pitter-patter of tiny feet running through the house. My identity shifted as I entered motherhood, and as such, so did theirs. They were no longer just my parents, they became my children’s grandparents.
As a time befell us when our world would be shattered and trauma would overtake, they again reached for our hands. They were there to hold US as we held our sons lifeless body in our arms. They sat across the table from us as we signed the papers that would take his earthly body from this world. They drove him home to us, in a tiny urn, when it was too much for our hearts to handle on our own. They walked us through our grief, and made certain we knew we were never alone in the throes of it.
My parents have held our hands for each and every season of our lives, nourishing our souls as if our growth and blooming was what their own depended on. They are the salt of the earth.