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I love my parents.  I have spent the last few days with them down in their beautiful condo near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Myrtle Beach, why Myrtle Beach?  I asked myself that same question… many times.  They are East-coasters, and East-coasters are more drawn to the southeast in their later years. The same can be said for West-coasters.  West-coasters tend to be drawn to the southwest.  Who knows why?
I really needed a few days of R&R with the parents.  Within one week, I transitioned into two new roles within two new companies.  The details of which will follow shortly in another blog post.  (You have my word!)  Very interesting learning and growing opportunities for all involved.  But, I digress.
From time to time, throughout my life, when I was “warring” with my parents, I sometimes joked about the basic and primal fact that I must have been adopted.  Unfortunately, I look way too much like my sister to have been adopted.  For that matter, every where we went over the past few days, it was obvious to anyone and everyone that we were family.  I’m happy to report that I am not adopted.  I’m also happy to report that I could not love and appreciate my parents any more than I do now.
I arrived on Friday morning, after a brutal red-eye flight (I might just be getting too old for those), feeling a little under the weather.  My parents immediately started to cater to me from that moment on and for the rest of the entire weekend.  It was amazing.  They doted on me.  Through their doting and extreme kindness, they actually allowed me to see where I learned some of the most fundamental qualities that I cherish in life. 
Be Generous-
It was after our first breakfast, the first time I offered to pay for them, that they informed me that they constantly take my sister out, they help her out, they buy gifts for my nephew, etc…and that this weekend, except for my mother’s birthday dinner, they wanted to treat me without question.  Even after they advised me of their desire to cover everything, I still offered to pay every single meal, every single stop, everything.  Of course, my generous offers were always declined.  At the end of the day, that’s what they taught me to do and that’s what I did.  Always be appreciative.  Be generous.  Give.  Give to others.
Shirt Off Their Back-
I know for a fact, and it was displayed many times throughout the weekend, that my parents would give me their last piece of “challah” bread and would rather starve than deprive me of anything.  They made crystal clear to me several times that they wanted to me to order/purchase anything and everything I wanted, whether it be at Whole Foods or The Waffle House, even if they had to compromise their order/purchase to do so.  I only hope I can be half (1/2) as good of a parent as my parents were/are to me.  They still continue to inspire me to be a better person and a better mother/father, rather parent.
Humility and Appreciation-
MIYABI’s is a Japanese Steakhouse where the chefs cook right in front of you. It is always awesome food, although I couldn’t really taste the awesome-ness this time (due to my cold), but my parents enjoyed it.  We got the bill and my mother leaned over to me and expressed concern it was too expensive.  It was the cutest thing.  She vehemently requested that I let my dad pay the tip, at least.  FYI – My parents live in rural New Hampshire (most of the year), however, frequent the Boston area often to visit my sister.  I literally had to hide the bill from my mother.  She was adorable.  It gave me so much pleasure to spend the $100 bucks or so for three of us to have an incredible Japanese Steakhouse dinner.  Some of you are probably laughing at this point, and just know that I have tried to explain to my parents on multiple occasions that 100 bucks for three people is amazing and cheap.  That night, I only felt it necessary to say, “Happy Birthday” and “Thank you for all you do for me.”
Be Proud-
My decent and proud father, has taken to wearing his Vietnam Veteran cap anytime we left the house this weekend.  It certainly is a badge of honor and, considering her rarely talks about his days in Vietnam, I understand and know this is absolutely huge for him.  My father has always taught me to be Proud.  Be Proud of what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.  Be proud, even if, at times, it might feel like nothing to you OR it may be controversial in some way.  It is yours.  Be proud.  (P.S., we even got a Military discount this morning at The Waffle House!  It was awesome!)
I’ll Do Anything for a Friend or Family-
Last night, it was pretty bad.  I was coughing and “crooping” to no end.  My mother had, earlier in the night, suggested that we stop by CVS on our way home.  I, still in denial, was insistent that I would recover without this cold turning into a cough.  Well, I was wrong.  At 10pm, I was still coughing rather consistently.  My father advised me that I should take the car and run to CVS, not five (5) minutes down the street.  
To be honest, I was not doing well and I really could think about nothing else other than crawling into my bed.  At 10:10pm, after hearing me cough once again, my father insisted that we go together.  I said, “There’s no way I’m going to make you leave the house now.  It’s way past your bed time.”  He was determined and persistent.  Two other qualities, which I value in myself.  I have never doubted from where I learned those behaviors.  We went, picked up the cough medicine, then came back — all within about twenty minutes.  I was in awe of my father.  How amazing is my dad?
Always Help Others in Need-
Today, as my dad and I were finishing up hitting some golf balls at the golf range, a huge tent nearby rolled over onto its side.  One little worker attempted to turn the tent right-side up when I curiously stopped hitting balls and looked over to my dad, who noticed as well.  I was just about ready to go over there and help, when I called over to my dad saying we should help them.  Funny enough, my father said, “They will send someone else to help him!”  I chuckled inside because I knew that my dad would help anyone in a second, but today, he was focused on hitting his last few balls.  Sure enough, within a minute, there were two other guys helping the original worker.  I LOVE my dad.  In all seriousness though, he (and my mother) taught me to help others in need.  It’s always appreciated and you would appreciate the help yourself, right?
It hasn’t always been easy.  Trust me.  And we might have many more battles to come.  Now that I have embraced my parents for exactly who they are (with years of therapy under my belt), our relationship has never been better, more meaningful, and, to be honest, more enjoyable.
Mom and Dad, thank you for everything you have done and everything that you still do for me.  I love you!
1)  I’m currently in NYC and LOVING it.  I miss NYC every day.
2) After you accept people as they are completely and without judgement, there is no telling to how much you can continue to learn and grow from them.  I am living proof.
3)  My favorite (and only) nephew is having his third birthday party this weekend and I for one, cannot wait.  Yay!!!

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A Smile From The Inside Production 🙂