Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I love family get-togethers, so Collin and I are hosting it this year for our families and it got me thinking how important they all are to us and how influential they have been.
Speaking for myself, there are so many wonderful influences. My Dad’s parents were both social workers, in fact Grandma Kay was the first female social services graduate from UBC. She went on to work full time until she retired in her sixties, which was very uncommon for women at that time. I am thankful for their perspective on human dignity and kindness.
My Dad worked for decades at Telus and would transit every day from Tsawwassen to downtown which took at least 2 hours out of his day. He never complained about this as he is an avid reader and enjoyed the paper or a good chat with the regulars on his commute. My Dad is a people person and we are always amazed at how many people greet him so warmly whenever we wander around town. He was always involved in our sporting teams, from coaching to carpooling, rain, snow, or shine he never missed a game. He is always there for us in every way. I am grateful for his generous spirit.
My mother’s family is a driven group of entrepreneurs. My Grandparents formed a successful business with my Uncle which required them to “wear many different hats”. They showed us how to reach for goals beyond your grasp, because they are attainable with effort, hard work, and belief in yourself. I am so grateful that my Grandparents who are in their eighties, continue to be the patriarch and matriarch of our family and have celebrated 60 years of marriage!
My Mother is an interesting combination of entrepreneur and artist, having graduated from art school in Ontario. But then found herself gravitating back to the business world and for years was president of House of Brussels Chocolates where she enjoyed wearing the “many hats” of the management side of the business, as well as the creative side of product, packaging, and retail store design. Although I already knew she was a domestic goddess at home, I was so grateful for her using all her skills to organize and produce the most beautiful wedding for Collin and I. She has influenced me to know myself, encouraged me in every way possible, and is my biggest fan. I am so thankful for her.
My sister is a combination of all the above. She is sensitive and kind, a people person, focused and driven, and we are close. I am so thankful for my sister. Maryn and I are best friends, we support each other through good times and bad times.
In preparing for this Heritage Series blog, I asked my Mom about parenting and the impact she had on my upbringing. This is what she came back with:
Ky, you asked me what parenting influences I had when raising you and I would definitely point to my parents, and how they raised me. But when I really thought about it, I realized that you were probably the biggest influence on how I parented you. You weren’t even two years old when you clearly showed us who you were. We were at a family & friends Christmas Eve party at my parents’. One of their closest friends had suffered a debilitating stroke and struggled to walk and talk. Early in the evening you grabbed my hand and led me over to the man with the stroke. You said in your little way, something like “that man is lonely”, and you wanted me to keep him company so I did. As the evening progressed, person after person commented to me about how sweet you were, and how you did the exact same thing to them. Apparently you approached the family first, then after you ran through all of us, you approached strangers which was a fairly big deal since you were a very shy little girl. At less than two years old you acted on sensitivity, concern and empathy. As much as I would like to take full credit for that, I would say that was all you. That was when I knew that my job was to help guide and nurture your unique qualities and help support you to be the best you. Ky, you were always the kind, sensitive, considerate little girl who waited her turn and let everyone else go first. As a parent, that was actually something I had to work on with you, so you could learn to assert yourself, have expectations, and know when to step into the spotlight. I still marvel at this journey of being a parent, what a privilege it has been, to cheer from the sidelines, and sometimes help pick up, dust off, and wipe away the tears. But mostly I have enjoyed watching, with pride, you grow into a person I truly admire.
My husband Collin and I have been together for over 10 years, crazy how time flies! He and I had an immediate connection, he says he knew he would marry me from the first day we met. He is not only driven, a hard worker, but he has a wonderful relationship with his parents. As I reflect on the importance of family, I love that my husband has the same relationship and respect for his parents that I share.
I am very thankful for my wonderful family and their impact on my life. I believe it’s these family traditions and family values that have impacted my life. My family motivates my strong work ethic, to be loyal and hardworking. Those values are what I believe helps me contribute my passion of nutrition when running Brio’s Healthy Living 101 program.
I wish you all the very best this Thanksgiving season.