A Love Letter to My Parents

Written By: Kim - Apr• 15•15

September 8, 1987

Well folks, I’m all moved into my new apartment and about to start another phase of my life – living outside the home for the first time. It will be some experience with Stef, but I’m sure we’ll get through it.

You know I’ll miss you both very much, even though I’d never let on…I even feel a little guilty. I mean, all this money being spent so that I can better myself and no real benefit to you two except helping your child. I guess that’s what being a loving, caring parent is. One day I suppose I’ll understand the sacrifices that both of you make just to help me. I am loved!

A Love Letter to My Parents

A Love Letter to My Parents

Daddy, I never really got the chance or took the time to tell you how much your hard work means to me. I know you’ve worked hard so that you can put me through college. I love you very, very much Daddy. I will always be your little girl. I’d never want to grow out of that position.

Mom, I didn’t forget you. I realize that you and I have had differences of opinions in the past, but that is part of my growing up. You taught me respect for myself and others – probably the most important thing a child should learn. Although I’ve said some shocking things and even thought about them, I always hear your voice and it keeps me on the straight and narrow. Don’t worry too much. I’ve got a good head on my shoulders. I do realize that all of your nagging was because you loved me. If you didn’t, who knows how I would have turned out. There is nothing like a mother’s love – not even Daddy with all of greatness could replace you. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to find out.

I will try my best to make you both proud of me. I’ve got all of the basics – the things that you both taught me: self-respect, honesty, backbone, integrity (no brown-nosing), love of God and others. The most important is love because without it, the other characteristics would not have developed. Both of you showed me what real love is and I know in my heart and mind that I am the luckiest child to be blest with parents like you.

I love you both very, very, very much.

[Signed] Child #5, Kimberly Ann

 

[Note: I was going through some paperwork recently and found this letter to my parents. After spending two years at our local community college, I was off to

Troy University graduation, June 1990.

Troy University graduation, June 1990.

Troy University to finish my college degree. Not only was I the first child in our family and both of my parents immediate family to graduate from college, I was the first one to get a master’s┬ádegree. My mother passed away in 2002. My father is still alive, but not online. I wanted to immortalize their sacrifice on my blog. Thank you Marie A. and Emory C. Wickline.]

A Marine Adds Perspective

Written By: Kim - Dec• 26•12

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many US Armed Forces members were told not to wear their uniform to and from the office. This was geared, I believe, toward those who served in major metropolitan areas and might take public transportation. It is not uncommon to see service men and women carrying military backpacks. But sometimes, you cannot tell if they are still active duty, retired or if the backpack was purchased from a surplus store.

On the afternoon commute home, I ride the train with a Marine, who also gets off at my train stop. He carries a military backpack like a lot of current and former soldiers do. It wasn’t until he was in his uniform that I realized he was still active duty. He is an enlisted man. When I thanked him for serving, his response was classic military: “Glad to do it.” Wow. How many of us say that about our jobs? As I started chatting with him as we waited for the train to pull in to the station, he discloses what I already know: If you want to be a Marine, you must have heart.

For those of you not familiar with the military rate of pay, my train buddy who is his mid 40s, might earn $50,000, depending upon his rank, years of service, promotions and MOS (military occupational specialty). Many of our servicemen and women have jobs that don’t translate in to a civilian world. Try spending two or three decades of your life dedicated to a military branch only to realize that what you do has no civilian translation. And let’s not forget about that agreement with Uncle Sam to serve outside the US. These assignments are not always plush or safe either.

This Marine served four tours in Iraq. His decompression method when he arrived home: to spend 30 days drunk. On the last tour, his wife cut him off at two weeks. When he drives on the interstate highways, he still sometimes scans the roads for individual explosive devices (IEDs). The last time I checked, these are not job side effects for most of us.

Sure, military men and women get decent benefits: healthcare, housing allowance, cheaper prices on base stores, moving expenses, etc. But I can tell you that they do not serve for the money or the benefits. Ever.

Some of you know that my Dad was a career military man; 26 years in the US Army. He served two tours of Vietnam. While the road for my Dad was not always smooth, he has no regrets. His choices made him who is he today. His choices made me a proud military brat who still has a soft spot for anyone in the Armed Services.

So the next time you think about your job and start to complain (I am including myself in this one too), please remember our men and women in uniform. Let’s be grateful for what we have and put our complaints in perspective. Let’s be grateful for them serving. And, let’s thank them for their choices.