In case you somehow didn’t know this by now, my wife is #9 of 10 kids. So every year, our official family summer vacation is going to visit as much of her family that can show up in the Sacramento, California area; which is where they all grew up and some still live.
And in case you’re not so familiar with the geography of Sacramento, it is in northern California; just a little over 2 hours away from Lake Tahoe, which also borders the neighboring state of Nevada.
This summer, Lake Tahoe served as the central meeting place for the family; this time to especially celebrate the life of my wife’s father (who passed away a couple months after we were married in 2008); as well as her grandfather Gus, who passed away last fall.
Everyone was given the opportunity to share memories and stories of both men. Being that I married into the family, I wasn’t planning on saying anything.
But when I was asked if I wanted to share something, after I had the opportunity to hear what everyone else said, I decided to speak.
I explained that my takeaway from what they all said about these two very important men in their family was this:
It was undeniable that these men sacrificed much for the sake of their family; even if they weren’t able to be appreciated or feel appreciated at the time.
That is often the theme of being a parent: that you often are unable to be truly appreciated as you give the most of your time, energy, and soul to the people you care for so much.
I appreciated being somewhat of a grafted-in outsider that day. I feel that it took that kind of perspective to understand myself better; coincidentally during Father’s Day weekend.
It was a truly good day.