Thursday, September 30, 2010

Belated Father's Day Musings

So I haven't blogged for a while. I decided today that I would, so I sat down to my computer and pulled up my blog. Now while I haven't actually posted anything, there have been several times when I've jotted down a few thoughts. I decided that I'd look over old unpublished blog entries for a creative spark. There I found this post that was completely finished, but which for some reason I'd never posted. It seems all the more appropriate that I post it now since my parents recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. So here it is, my thoughts about my parents written about 3 1/2 months ago.

Yesterday was Father's Day. Maybe it's the curse of being an English Major but I feel like I am much more capable at expressing myself through the written word as opposed to the spoken. Such being the case I feel like today, as was the case with Mother's Day a few weeks ago, I didn't adequately express the love and gratitude that I have for my parents. I am therefore going to do my best to do so right now.
I have the best parents in the world. I know that that kind of thing gets said a lot, and I know that it all comes down to how you define the word best. I'm not trying to discount the greatness of anyone else's parents, but I guess what I'm saying is I have the best parents in the world, for me. They have taught and continue to teach me some of life's greatest lessons, and they usually do it with seemingly innocuous actions and words rather than well-rehearsed sermons or carefully crafted set-ups. Their their daily walk and talk is all it takes.
I'll give an example from the recent past. A little under a month ago Mom and Dad and Maurianne and I were making the annual Memorial Day trek up to Bear Lake, Idaho to decorate the graves of our Dunn family members. While on the way back we stopped in Montpelier to fill up on gas. Mom filled up the car's tank while Dad, Maurie and myself emptied our own. We all piled back into the car and headed on out of town, past Ovid and up Emigration Canyon. As we got to about the summit of the canyon, a good 45 minutes to an hour outside of Montpelier, Mom exclaimed that she hadn't paid for the gas and that we had left without paying for it. My immediate reaction was first to think, "well, we made it this far without anyone realizing, might as well continue on." Then, realizing that such a course of action would be dishonest I thought, "maybe we could stop at the next Chevron down the road and pay for it there." Dad, however, had a different idea. Without saying a word he pulled the car over and began to turn around. There wasn't a second's hesitation. A debt was owed and it would was to be paid, as soon as humanly possible, to the wronged party. I could tell that he wasn't thinking things over like I was. He didn't have to. The reaction was immediate. Personal integrity was being called into question, and I could see that, for Dad, integrity wasn't in fact a question, it was a way of life. Whereas I was personally hemming and hawing, Mom and Dad acted immediately to right the wrong. The course of action was clear and unanimous; we were headed back to Montpelier. Upon turning around Mom remembered that she had in fact paid for the gas and that all was indeed well. So we pulled back onto the road and continued onward. While everyone acted as though nothing significant had happened, I learned a great lesson that day. I came to a better understanding of the fact that my parents do indeed live by Shakespeare's words, delivered via Julius Caesar, which say, "I love the name of honour more than I fear death." They do. I, apparently, would do well to make improvements in that area.
This is just one example of the many that might be given of times when Mom and Dad, unbeknownst to them, have taught, through the way they live their lives, the characteristics of a life well lived. I'm positive that anyone who has interacted with either of them to any extent has stories to share about a lesson learned from them.
Mom and Dad have always been supportive of me and the things that I decide to do in my life, even if such decisions include choosing to be a major which, as we all know, at very best leads to life under a freeway overpass with naught but limp and somewhat damp refrigerator box as shelter. When I make stupid mistakes they're there to help me figure out ways to right the ship. When I dress or act in ways that would embarrass a large majority of the human population, they might shake their heads with a bit of disapproval, but I always know that their love is undiminished.

Mom and Dad, I may not say it enough, but I love you. Thank you for all that you do and are.