The Image of a Son

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Tonight, as I was eating my dinner and listening to Jason Mraz, I was hit with an image in my mind of my dad and I watching Jason Mraz perform in Berkeley. This past October we had taken a day trip to our old stoppin’ grounds in Oakland where I received my chemotherapy treatment and got to enjoy the culture of Berkeley before we got to see the most amazing concert performed by the fantastic Jason Mraz. While I revisited this memory in my mind, another image flooded into my awareness, an image of me holding my son. And I immediately thought, “Will I have the relationship with my son that my dad and I had?”

This brought on a flood of confusion and anxiety, one because I don’t even have a girlfriend-and definitely no son, and the other because I have been blessed with such an amazing father that I didn’t know if I could develop that type of relationship with my son. For the first time in my life I had a slight glimpse of what all my parent-friends say being a parent is like and how amazing it is, because for a second I actually thought I had a son.

But this 3 second awakening made me realize how incredibly blessed I am! You see, my father and I have a wonderful relationship, as do my mother and I, but my dad and I have seemed to develop a bond that goes FAR beyond that of a regular father-son relationship. Again, so do my mother and I, but this image made me recognize something special.

I have always looked up to my dad. I think that is natural for most young boys to look up to their fathers. As most girls look up to their mothers. But to this day I still look up to my father. I am still enamored by his strength, courage, gentleness, kindness, and love.

My dad has always supported me, he has questioned me, but always supported me. And I realized how few people in this world are blessed enough to have parents that love them so incredibly dearly and unconditionally as my parents. I meet people all the time that have strained relationships with their parents, that can’t wait to be on their own and not deal with their family, but I am not one of those people, quite the opposite. I feel everyday that my mom and dad love me whole-heartedly and they display that. I FEEL loved!

I tell people about my mountain climb with cancer and they always say, “Wow, you are so strong, I don’t know what I would’ve done had that happened to me.” And I think to myself, “Well if you had the loving family I do that wouldn’t even be a question.” I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t feel loved. Even when I was a stinker and my parents were upset with me, I always felt loved.

My dad has ALWAYS put his dreams on hold so that my brothers and I never had to want for anything. My mom as well!!! They have both ALWAYS done what they felt they needed to do so that my brothers and I always had everything we needed. I know many of my parent-friends who read this can agree with that feeling and I just wanted to express my gratitude to my parents for doing that!

Thank you mom and dad for letting me fall down while also helping me back up. Thank you for always letting me make my own decisions and being there to help me clean up the messes. Thank you for letting me get dirty and being there to give me a bath (when I was little of course 😉 ). Thank you for always telling me,”Goodnight, I love you.” Thank you for always demonstrating what a kind, loving, stern, frustrated, etc., etc., parent should be. I have always felt loved and some day I will know what it is like to be in your shoes, and I know that you will still be there helping me along the way in that new journey as well!

I truly could not have asked for 2 better people to have been my guides in this life experience! I chose you 2 for a reason! Tonight I was given the gift as to why that was, I not only understood why anymore, but I FELT why.

I guess I am writing this not because I want to make anyone feel bad about their relationship with their parents, but to recognize that that our parents will always love us. They might not always like our words, our actions, our choices, nor we like their words, actions, or choices, but I truly believe that they will always love us. They chose to be our guides just as much as we chose them to be our guides, and we all chose these for a reason. They have helped us, in one way or another, to become who we are and to learn. And for that I am grateful.

All My Love,
Zach Iam

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