I am here because of them

ImageFifty years ago today, my parents were married in a small farming community in Ontario, Canada. I look at their wedding picture and see two young people who on that day had no idea how their lives would unfold. But in their expressions, I can feel the happiness and love between them, feelings that are as equally strong today. Their journey together has served them well.

My parents were (and still are!) hard-working and very practical people. But they also took time to enjoy their lives and took pleasure in everything they did, including the simple things. One of my favourite childhood memories was our weekly shopping trips that started out with supper at the mall. I was allowed to choose whatever I wanted from the various fast-food restaurants and looked forward to sitting on these orange round tubs to share a meal with my parents.

My parents loved going out to eat. On most Sundays after church our family would head to a restaurant for lunch. I always looked forward to these outings, as we never knew where we were going until my Dad drove into the parking lot. During the church service, my thoughts often shifted to wonder which restaurant we would go to. Would it be Ponderosa? Mother’s Pizza? A&W? Swiss Chalet? Wendy’s? Harvey’s? There were so many choices!

But we first had to attend an hour of Sunday school and then an hour of Church Service. My dad always had mints for us kids that he shared half way through the service, and when I was younger, my mom would give me Cheerios to munch. My stomach would start growling at about 11:45am. I would stare at the preacher, hoping he would soon be finished delivering his sermon. When we rose to sing the last hymn, I jumped from the pew and sang with such delight. I still to this today look forward to having a meal out.

Friends are also very important to my parents. They have a very close circle of friends that they hung out with even before they were married.  As families, we spent a lot of time together at each other’s houses and camped together. All of us kids would take off and do things together (or be ordered to go downstairs so the parents could enjoy their visit – something I can totally understand now). I have a lot of great memories playing hide-and-go-seek, spoons, and passionate rounds of ping-pong.

Travelling was also a passion of my parents. My childhood was filled with numerous car trips. I got to see all the Western provinces of Canada and all the States on the way to Florida. My parents would also drive great distances in the name of food. We would drive to Frankenmuth for chicken, Port Dover for fish, and my favorite, to Stoney Creek for ice-cream. I also got to see Jamaica, Greece, Egypt and the Holy Land (with a funny memory of my mom in the Dead Sea – you should ask her about it). Some of the best travel experiences were our Sunday afternoon drives, especially when we ended up at the farm to visit my aunt and uncle (and grandma too of course!). I have such fond memories of the 5 of us climbing in the station wagon not knowing where we were going. I loved sitting in the back of the car and watch the world fly by backwards.

When us children were older and off starting our own families, my parents started traveling by ship with their friends. They loved cruises so much that they generously shared a 10-day Mediterranean cruise with us kids to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It is a gift that I will truly treasure for the rest of my life.

Growing up, I never gave much thought to how important my parents are. Now that I am older, I realize not only how much they did for me, but all the wonderful things they taught me. I learned from them the importance of family, friendships, faith, hard-work, sharing with others, food, travel, fun and love.  I am so lucky to have such wonderful people as parents, and wish them buckets of happiness on their 50th anniversary.

I am here because of them.Image

5 thoughts on “I am here because of them

  1. Beautifully captured Heather! As Michael said when he put down their folder of congratulatory certificates from the Prime Minister and other elected officials…”This is a life goal.” We are so blessed to be here because of that day 50 years ago when they said “I do”. Congratulations Mom and Dad! Love Gail, Michael and Joshua.


  2. Heather, u r such a great daughter! I hope some day my daughter would write something like this to me. What beautiful parents you have! I would like to meet them someday.


  3. Very true… A lot of awesome memories! Mom and Dad tought us all what LOVE really means… Thank-you for all the great memories and the teachings you gave us! We LOVE you very much!

    Carl, Sonya, Sidney, Cedrik and Clayton


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