What did I learn from my parents?
My parents weren't ones to say “I love you” or give lots of hugs and kisses after we started school, but we never once doubted we were loved. They demonstrated their love even if they didn't vocalize it everyday. I have learned that the “Luv you” at the end of the phone conversation or a quick kiss as you go out the door does not say “I love you” nearly as strongly as jumping in the car to rescue without being asked or the repair of an annoying leak or broken hinge just because they noticed it or even the bringing of a meal when you're little ones are wearing you down does.
Other things I learned from them:
Honesty –Mother made me face my aunt and tell her the lie I told about her at age 6 – never lied again! My Dad wouldn't even use a postage stamp that missed getting canceled – you got the service intended and to use it again would be dishonest.
Helping others – Mother fed the town bum, took care of sick friends and so much more. Dad fixed things for people and was always the one they called in an emergency for a ride to the hospital. We lived in a little town of 35 and my parents were who the rural neighbors called because they knew they would not be turned away.
Involvement – They were always there for school and community involvement.
Family – We had dinner around the table every night. We played games long before there was “game night” or “family night”. Sundays were spent at my grandparents with cousins. Trips were to visit out-of-town relatives. Our house was always open to family.
Work Ethic – Never loaf on the job – it's like stealing. Always have a project going on. Even after I was married and lived out of state, their visits always included a repair or remodel project with them bringing the tools and materials with them.
Support – I never lost faith in myself, because they didn't. Although I made some pretty rotten decisions, they always backed me and were there when I needed help to recover – both emotionally and financially.
Food – The preparation and eating of food is love. Homegrown, healthy food picked and prepared with your own hands is a demonstration of love.