Parents’ special love missed
Rare family visit kindles holiday spirit
I have heard the term Christmas in July used in various advertisements and promotional events, but I had the opportunity to experience my own Christmas this July. Christmas is synonymous with family and gifts, and I had the best present I could ask for this year -- my parents.
Most people in the United States get to visit their family on holidays and on weekends. Driving a few hours is not an uncommon event when it comes to family. Any homesickness can usually be cured either by a drive -- be it short or long -- or a short plane ride for those who can afford it.
My parents did take a plane ride to visit me, but the journey took about 32 hours. At their age -- heck at any age -- that's a long and taxing time to be traveling. It had been about three years since I last saw them and this was long overdue.
The journey to New York was relatively easy. But the trip from New York to Kansas City was nothing short from a trip from you know where. Because of thunderstorms, mechanical difficulties and airport traffic, their scheduled departure of 6:40 p.m. turned into a 12:30 a.m. departure, half of that time being stuck on the runway. But nothing was going to stop them from coming here.
Most of us who have good relationships with our parents can relate to the anticipation of seeing them after some time. The saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" might not be as apt when it comes to parents.
It's hard to imagine how one can love their parents more, especially if they have done a lot for the kids. My parents were great to my siblings and me. They sacrificed a lot for us and even though I didn't realize it back then, I sure do now.
My parents have always been great to me. We've had a good relationship and over the years, it seemed to have gotten better. When I was growing up, I frequently faced the wrath of my dad, but he always wanted the best for us. My children have not had the opportunity to get to know them as well as I would like, but the visit gave them a chance to foster and enhance their relationship. I would like for them to know a side of my parents that they only know from speaking over the phone. It's amazing what some "face time" can do.
Having them here has been such a blast. My mom is tirelessly cooking to make up for all the food I have missed over the years. My waistline is making up for all the inches it had lost over the last year. My mom's cooking is renowned back home, and my indulgence knows no end at the moment. Even my wife, who prior to getting married, was extremely conservative in her eating habits, has been won over by my mother's cooking. In fact, she craves it frequently. She went from a diet of extremely bland foods to craving the spicy food that my mom makes.
Apart from the indulgence of food, the most special thing is them just being here. Sometimes we take for granted the time we have with our family and having them here reminded me how special it is to have loving parents around. Even though I'm no longer a child, they still shower upon me the unconditional love that only a parent can. Even at my adult age, I soak it all up.
The short time spent with them does not make up for the years I go without, but it rejuvenates the soul and recharges me until the next time I get to see them. Just like Christmas, the time spent with them is full of love, joy and presents in the form of home-cooked meals.
Nothing beats this kind of Christmas in July, and I don't think anyone is ever too old for some TLC from mom and dad.