In August of 1992 I was 8 and a half years old. Hurricane Andrew had just hit Florida and the rest of the nation watched in shock. My father owned a new business here in Michigan, where he ran Bobcat machines, and could do disaster removal. His small company was hired to help with the aftermath of Andrew. Given the prospect of good pay and a guaranteed workload, he loaded up the trucks and machines and went to Florida for a few months. I remember this time vaguely but I remember missing my dad. I remember it being really hard on my sister and especially on my Mom while he was gone. It was hard then to understand the sacrifice he was making to help make our lives better at that time. At 8, I didn’t understand the sacrifices both of my parents would make for me throughout my life.
Today I am 26. Today in my first home that I own by myself, the first basement I’ve ever had flooded. The first phone call I made was to my parents. Because I had no freaking idea what to do. Mind you I called them at 7:30am…waking them both up, but what did my dad do? Got up, jumped in the shower, headed to Home Depot and then made the 40 minute drive to my house to help. Today maybe all he did was sacrifice some sleep and some of his time (and money) but he still did it without hesitation.
We were talking today about my cousin who has a very sick baby. I said that I understand having a grown child who is sick has been tough, but I can’t imagine having a sick infant. My dad said that it doesn’t change. I’ll always be his baby and its never gets easier watching me go through tough things.
My parents have sacrificed so much, just so I can be sick in the easiest way possible. So much of their time, money, favors, and even their own health. I don’t think there are even words that come close to the gratitude I feel for them. Being sick has definitely brought my family closer in a way I’m not sure would have ever happened before. I know that I can never give them their time back, and regretfully probably never their money. I hate feeling like they are missing out on retirement, and travel, and the fun parts of having grown kids. I just hope that I can get healthy soon, and spend the rest of my life showing them how grateful I am for them and their help.
Sometimes my dad tells me that I am his hero….I have learned from the best.