Parents are too often taken for granted

Mothers and fathers put a lot of time and effort into the lives of their kids. They take the time to make sure they have what they need to succeed, they work hard to provide a good home, clothes, food and shelter, and they help guide them toward making good decisions in return.

It doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes all the contributions go unappreciated and the advice goes unheeded. How many times can a parent see the whites of their children's eyes as the child rolls them skyward to show annoyance? Still, no matter how upset a parent might feel by a child's choices, there is still a desire for the child to succeed and a sense of pride when they do.

Last month we celebrated Mother's Day. It was a chance for families to get together and spend time celebrating mothers. Our family enjoyed a meal together and celebrated the day. We joked around a bit, shared some memories, did some yard work around mom's house and moved some furniture around. Of course, there were the flowers and the cards as well. Now that we are in our 50s, my sister and I have learned to appreciate all that mom did for us all those years ago.

This week is Father's Day. This will be the eighth year that Ann and I haven't been able to spend the day with our father. It's also the 11th Father's Day that Jenny won't be able to share with her father.

Not having our dads around helps us to realize how good we had it for so many years. My dad was always there if I needed a hand - whether it was to pick up one of the kids from an activity, help with something mechanical or with the yard. He was there to help when the wheels fell off… literally. One time I was hauling some landscaping rock I had bought at Mach Lumber on a utility trailer when I heard a loud scraping noise and looked to my left, only to see the wheel from the trailer passing me on the street. If Josh or Robert needed a ride to hockey practice and Jenny and I weren't available, he made sure they got there.

Too often, we take our parents for granted. Last month was my chance to show my mom how much I appreciated all she had done. I just wish I could do the same this weekend with my father. To those of you who have that opportunity this weekend, don't pass it up.