Would you have guessed that I have a mild speech impairment? Well it’s true. In fact, when I was a child my mom would take me to speech therapy. I had a really hard time saying my r’s. When I told people my name, they thought I would say Brian instead of Ryan. But mom made sure I got the help I needed.
When my sister and I were in elementary school my mom would take us to karate in hopes to prepare us to be able to defend ourselves one day (haha – we both had the body makeup of a toothpick).
My dad coached my sister and I throughout different sport teams as we grew up. I’ll never forget him coaching my baseball team when I was 10 years old. He stepped up to coach all of the kids that didn’t get drafted, taught us the fundamentals, and lead us to go undefeated the entire season.
My mom was a member on all of the parent teacher clubs at my schools for as long as I could remember until I moved school districts in eighth grade. My dad worked at my high school and was ever only a few doors away if either my sister or I needed anything. My parents always new if I was in trouble at school and sometimes knew I was in trouble before I even did.
My mom and dad stretched and bent their lives in all different directions to provide for my sister and I.
Just before I turned 18 my parents encouraged and supported me in completing my Eagle Scout project and make the rank of Eagle. It was their support that helped me run two years of cross country in junior college.
I spent the majority of the first 13 years of my life with my mom who would shuttle me to school, sports, family events, and scouting events. Mom would help me with my homework until it got too difficult and she just made sure I completed it – sometime between the transition from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. 🙂 Jokes aside, I needed her encouragement and discipline to complete it.
From ages 14 to 19 I was with my dad who I drove with for over an hour a day to and from high school. During my 11th and 12th years of school he allowed me to use his vehicle to drive into town every day to a secondary high school called CART (Center for Advanced Research and Technology) to get extra training in IT and video production classes.
If sick we were sick, my parents were always available to take care of my sister and I. My parents owned an ambulance business so they knew if either my sister or I were faking it or if we were really sick. They loved us and cared for us very well. If we were too sick for school my mom would stay home with us. I can remember she wouldn’t let us go outside and play, but we got healthy quickly. If I had a bad headache my dad would tie one of his big socks around my forehead and somehow it would feel a lot better.
My dad was an EMT then moved to teaching. He’s taught special education, at risk high school students, coached basketball, been an athletic director, and is now an assistant commissioner for high school sports in the central section of California. As long as I can remember he has been setting the example to invest in others. Not only has he been a positive role model in my life, but also in many others.
My mom took care of her father when he had cancer before I was born, was an assistant at a hospital, helped run the ambulance company with my dad, raised my sister and I, volunteered at our schools, and now works at as an office clerk at an elementary/junior high school. My mom was my rock. If I needed anything, I could always depend on her. She disciplined strongly, but loved compassionately.
I’m sure there are thousands of things I could add to this short list and I know my sister could double those additions – that’s addition and multiplication, I wonder if I remember that from my homework. In contrast, I know I’ve brought them both sleepless nights, tears, and disappointments, but it hasn’t stopped them from loving me.
I can’t emphasize this enough – I have been blessed to have an AMAZING set of parents. My parents love my sister and I over and beyond the moon and would have put their lives on the line for us both. Looking back, I wish I would have told them every day how great they are and how much I love them.
Looking back and looking forward to 2015 I have one major want. My prayer going into the new year is that the Lord will bless you mom and dad. Lord, will you pour your grace and love into their lives. I pray that truth will bless you both every day this year and that all your needs will truly be met. I pray that you both will be reminded of the memories of our upbringing and be reminded of all the love you’ve poured into both Courtney’s and my life. I pray in Jesus name that our relationship will be restored and that I will respect and honor you both this year.
your son, Ryan