Hello Gold Star Squad! It's Friday, which means that it is time to announce our Star of the Week!
Future Stars of the Week will be chosen from reader nominations! But since we are at the beginning of this project, I will be the one nominating our Friday Star of the Week until the time when nominations from readers start to roll in.
Please send me your nominations, and please see the end of this post for more details on how to do that! All recipients of the Star of the Week award who live in the US can choose to receive a free gift from my Gold Star Award Winner collection** on Zazzle!
For just the second time here on the blog, I am presenting two Gold Star awards on the same day. This week's Stars of the Week are my parents, Larry and Theresa.
Today marks the 13th anniversary of my father's death, and my mother's anniversary was just two days ago – she died 16 years ago on December 9th.
Having these anniversaries so close together made the holiday season a rough time for me for quite a few years. But, the passage of so many years since then has allowed the intensity of my difficult emotions to subside. These days, I almost always have the ability to think about my parents and smile. And so today, it is easy for me to celebrate and honor them!
I appreciated and still appreciate so many things about my parents! My mother was an amazing baker, and she was extremely generous in allowing me and my siblings to eat sweets pretty much whenever we wanted. Christmas was one of my favorite times of the year because she made so many amazing holiday cookies! I couldn't wait to dive into them every year!
My mother was also an avid reader, and I super appreciate that because I know that I got my love of reading from her! She always had a book in her hand whenever she managed to find some down time in between her full time job and raising three kids.
And my mom rarely got angry, which was a really good thing for me because I was a sensitive child (and I'm still sensitive as an adult!). She was a steady, solid rock for my siblings and me — very cool, calm, and collected.
My dad, on the other hand, was by far the more emotional of the two. He was incredibly affectionate with us kids, always telling us that he loved us. He used to call me his "pretty girl," and I can still hear his voice in my head calling me that from time to time.
He even came up with a nickname for me as a teenager, which was "Dink." It was actually an acronym that stood for Double Income, No Kids! Talk about knowing someone one well — my dad ended up being quite accurate on that one! 😂
My father loved to laugh and be silly. I think that all three of us kids got this trait from him, and it is honestly one of the things that I love the most about myself. When I was growing up, I used to run into people in town when I was out, and they would inevitably end up telling me about how much they enjoyed my dad's company. He told bad jokes, which I found incredibly embarrassing when I was younger. But now I can just appreciate him for the funny man that he was!
Sports of all kinds were a big thing in my house growing up. You name the sport, we were watching it! But my dad had a real soft spot for pro football and basketball in particular. He was a huge Cleveland Browns fan, which was a difficult thing to be since Cleveland has been a terrible team for decades. Everyone knew of his passion for the team, and he accrued a ton of Browns memorabilia over the years.
And I could not stand his favorite basketball team, the Boston Celtics! I was a giant fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, a main rival of the Celtics especially back in the 1980s. Oh how I loved Dr. J growing up! The rivalry between the two teams would cause my dad and me to have some heated times together yelling at the tv whenver the teams played each other! But ultimately I didn't hold it against my dad, and many years later I bought him a brick from the original Boston Garden when it got demolished.
My parents were both very into holiday decorating. Not just for Christmas, but for any ol' holiday – Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Labor Day, etc. Sometimes they would even buy decorations and then further embellish them, especially by mounting lights onto them or through them somehow. This love of decorating skipped right over me because I basically don't decorate for anything!
However, Tom and I do keep a couple of strings of lights up in our house all year round. One is above the fireplace mantle in the living room, and the other is in our breakfast nook. This is definitely something I got from my parents, as we had strings of lights up in our kitchen that we never took down.
I often think of my parents and smile when I take in the glow of the lights in my house. It is something so seemingly insignificant, but it truly does make me grateful for the people that my parents were whenever I stop to contemplate those lights. Having a tiny celebration of light around you every day is a pretty cool thing as far as I am concerned!
There are so many more things I could say about my parents. I could tell you about my mom's strength and courage as she battled cancer or about her love for hummingbirds. I could tell you a great story about a plastic frog yard ornament named Petey or about how I loved staying up to watch late night comedians like David Letterman with my dad when I was a teenager. For now though, I think this is enough. Maybe I will write more about my parents some other time.
It's finally time for some pictures of our Stars! Here is a collage that includes one of our crazily decorated Christmas trees from when I was a teenager:
I can feel the presence of my parents with me from time to time, something that I never expected would happen. I also talk to my parents quite a bit, especially my father, more than I ever thought that I would. It’s nice to be able to do that. It’s NEVER too late to have a close relationship with someone, even in death.
So, today, I appreciate my parents for everything that they did for me. I think that I turned out to be a pretty good person because of how they raised me. I know that my parents loved me, and I will love them always. They really were wonderful people! This post was really fun for me this week — I'm glad that I wrote this one!
Would you like to nominate yourself or someone you care about to be our next Star of the Week? To read the rules about the nomination process and get more information about the free gift that U.S. winners will receive, please click here. Then submit the Nomination Form!
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