My parents were raised in the "old school." Family is important, and you do what is needed to protect it. Mom and Dad raised us to work hard and respect our elders, as that is what they were taught growing up. They both made countless sacrifices to be a couple and raise a family. They've never told us about their sacrifices, but one has to imagine there are quite a few. Courtney and I are learning that now as we begin to raise little Arabelle.
Years of sacrifice provided great opportunities for us. We attended St. Leo's, a private catholic grade school in Winston-Salem. Erase the thoughts you might have of a 900-year-old nun beating us with giant rulers. It didn't happen. We learned a great deal about respecting our classmates and community. Religion aside, it was a fantastic experience which cost them time and money. Mom and Dad made those sacrifices so we could have strong educations and be in a controlled environment.
Time and money also went into the countless family vacations. We weren't the type to go "tropical" on our vacations. We hit the beach almost every summer, but there was a hint of history tied to the rest of our vacations. Multiple trips to Washington, DC, as well as so many visits to civil war battle sites. Mom and Dad have tried to provide as much culture as possible.
Sports, music, extracurricular activities ... they allowed us to attempt anything we wanted. Well, expect baseball. It always interfered with soccer. Silly rec sport scheduling. Regardless, we were encouraged to try things. Even to this day, Mom and Dad encourage us with our careers and outside interests. My role in ARGUS would have died long ago without their encouragement.
Sacrifices were also made in order to provide us with cars and tuition for college. One could argue we were spoiled. There could be some truth. Older now, we realize they provided so we had opportunity. In so many ways, we were and still are a fortunate family.
So 36 years are marked today. Despite any little bump in the road, any argument, Mom and Dad can be thankful. They raised two (fairly) well-adjusted kids. Those kids have gone on to careers they enjoy, married their loves and now had kids of their own.
Mom and Dad, congratulations on 36 years. We love you, and are thankful for creating this family.