Well dear reader, a lot has happened since the last time the Troubadour staff was putting together this print for you. Many constants have fallen out of my own life, and I’ve lost faith in certain people and policies. Honestly, it is really difficult to write this article right now. However, while I could spend this whole letter spelling out my frustrations, I’d rather spend the space thanking two true constants in my life. So, here we go.
Remember when you guys dropped me off, freshman year? How many times did I call you while you were driving home that day? Mom, every time I talked to you on the phone during your drive, I was bawling, and I was frustrated that you weren’t. I thought you must not miss me. I didn’t know how strong you were being. I didn’t know that you were only not crying when you were on the phone with me. You were strong for me when I couldn’t be so for myself, and you carried me through that transition. Thank you for not letting me give up and for not giving up on me.
Talk about strength. Last year, I watched you walk through your own mother’s last few months with her. I hope I have a son like you. You took such good care of Grandma. You may not have seen it because you were so close to everything, but your love for her moved her indescribably. It moved us all. Dad, thank you for letting me watch you be Christ to Grandma. And then I watched you bury her, your own mother. You didn’t crumble. You just kept going. You took care of everything. And believe me, we all noticed.
Dear Mom and Dad,
When I was in high school, I thought my passionate faith was all because of me. Well, God and me, but I couldn’t see beyond that. Looking back, I was a fool to think my faith had nothing to do with the strong example you guys gave me. Mom, your faith is solid. You once told me that you’ve never gone away from your faith. You wondered if that meant you weren’t as strong in your faith as others.
That’s not the case. Your faith is a gift, and you have not disregarded it. I see how clearly you let it guide your life. A lot of people are Catholic, but you are Catholic in every area of your life, whether it’s in the Church, on the soccer field or even at Moe’s.
Dad, you have a stable, quiet Catholicism. I remember you telling me about RCIA. You said that everyone there wanted to talk about and hear about their big conversion stories but that your story wasn’t about feelings. It was about a good man, being a good husband and going to Mass with his family for their sakes. Eventually that good man realized that he believed everything the Church was saying, and he made the logical choice to become a part of it.
For a while, I didn’t know how important your faith was to me. Now I know that the father’s faith — or lack thereof — is one of the biggest indicators of if a child will stay in the Church or not. I think our family has only grown deeper in faith together as we’ve all gotten older. I don’t want to imagine what our family would be like if not for you.
Dear Mom and Dad,
We’re in this together. I’m so happy to see our family sticking together through our trials. Few people have parents as strong as mine. I know you have other stuff going on in your own lives, yet you’ve put my brother and me first. You know, when it rains, it pours. I don’t know how you two have balanced all of the drama popping up in your lives with the drama popping up in ours.
Dear Mom and Dad,
You have taught me to love until it hurts. You have taught me to keep loving even then. You have taught me to stand up against injustice but to pick my battles. You have taught me to do the right thing even if no one else does. And when it is hard to see what the right thing to do is, you have taught me to just do the next right thing and to go from there. When I was told that my opinion doesn’t matter, you showed me with your love that I do.
When I need anything, big or small, you are one phone call away to walk with me, albeit from 700 miles distance. Mom and Dad, you both have taught me all of this and so much more. I wouldn’t be the woman I am without you.