Before every new trip I take, I make cards, print pictures and put personalized notes on the back, or something unique for every person who has helped me in my life get to this point. I usually end up with 40-60 cards, and I cramped hand from writing too much. I would not be where I am today, without the amazing support from the people in my life. Whether it’s been my best friend of eleven years, or a stranger that I have met for five minutes. They have all done something to impact me and deserve credit for it.
Preparing to leave for Italy in a couple of weeks, is no different. I was looking through photos to print, and I came across this picture of my parents. I almost started to cry instantly, because I knew that in two weeks, I would have to say goodbye for a month and a half to the most amazing people in my life. That might not seem like a long time, until you realize what my parents are to me. My parents are my teachers, providers, protectors, my rocks, my biggest fans, my inspirations, and my best friends. That is a lot to say goodbye to for a while.
I have always wondered why I was the person I am. It didn’t make sense that part of me wanted to be strong, independent, and crush every obstacle in my way, but at the same time love affection, hugging everyone I see, and being so emotional, that it wouldn’t be out of the norm to see me crying because my friend was upset. It’s like putting raisins in a cookie. Two things that seem like they shouldn’t go together. It should be one or the other.
Determined, committed, unstoppable, hardworking, loving, these are the qualities I got from my dad. My dad is, and always will be, the most important man in my life. He has been my rock for the last 21 years. He has some very impressive achievements. He moved from Italy with nothing and worked his way up to a high paying government job. Physical achievements included being a successful competitive rower and cyclist, but in my opinion his best achievement was being the best father he could to me and my sister. He is not a man of many words, but his actions prove everything. He would never miss a hockey/ soccer game or practice. He would stay and refill the teams water bottles, or retrieve the balls that missed the net. He would warmup my skates before my 6am hockey practices, and sit in the freezing arena and grade me on different skills, butterfly, glove hand, lateral drives, etc., on the report card I had created for myself. He would always take me to get a doughnut after hockey, or a blizzard after soccer. He has never failed to financially support my sister and I with school, sports, and everyday life. He has done everything possible to make my life easier. He patiently listens to me as I talk about anything and everything. Whether it’s what I ate for breakfast or a step by step narration of how I proudly took someone to the ground in soccer to get the ball. He always takes me to my favourite store (the grocery store) and will play multiple card games with me.
Loving, compassionate, supportive, talkative, these are the qualities I get from my mom. I love my mom from the bottom of my heart, and I truly believe she is amazing. I hope I can be half the mom and person she is one day. My mom is the person who “treats the janitor as the CEO’, she loves and respects everyone, and I really admire that. She will start a conversation with anyone, constantly turning a stranger into a friend. She makes everyone in the room smile from a comment she made, or just from simply smiling herself. She’s one of the main reasons why I believe it is so important to do the little things. When I was little I didn’t receive any “A’s” on my report card (no surprise there, my favourite subject was always lunch). Anyways, I was devastated, and after she finished work she brought me home a chocolate letter “A”. That is why at 21, I still make 60 homemade valentines, make my co-workers cookies, bring homeless people hot chocolate, or always tell my friends and family that I love them, because my mom taught me anything is possible with love and support. My mom doesn’t understand my adventurous side, but she never fails to support me. She always does her best to support me, when I make decisions to move across the country, climb mountains, or my want to get back in net again, after suffering from a severe concussion. She has always been there, whether it was the end of my 42.2km marathon, sports games, and in times when my anxiety got bad and I needed somebody’s hand to hold.
There is no words to describe the love I have for my parents, but I hope I can become half the people they are, and I will continuously work to make them proud, and repay them for the thing I cherish most in my life, and that is, having them as parents.