My dad passed away in August 2018 at the age of 93, but my mom at age 94, remains in good health. They lived a life rich with family and purpose and passed that on to my siblings and me.

Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s possible to appreciate the love and effort our parents invest in us until we are parents ourselves. And even then, it may take until our kids reach the teen or adult years for the reality of their investment to sink in.

Often we wish they had parented differently - especially if trauma was involved. However, parents can only be who they are at the time they are parenting. Some parent well; others are so broken that they pass their damage on to their children – repeating the cycle.

Hopefully, though, the lessons learned through parenting bring wisdom into the grandparenting stage. Often, grandparents wish that they had handled some phases of parenting differently.

Regardless, I believe that most parents try their best, and that’s all anyone can do. After all, isn’t that what you are doing now as a parent?

Upon reflection this morning, I realized anew what an amazing upbringing I experienced. My parents loved me unconditionally. I ALWAYS felt that love. I ALWAYS felt safe and secure in my home.

Not everyone can say that. Indeed, they gave me “roots and wings”. Nonetheless, I floundered while learning to fly. But who doesn’t?! Some just struggle more conspicuously than others, but struggling is a part of growing up.

So today, I am thankful for my parents, Don and Bobbie Peterson, for giving me life, love, and security.

Because of that, I have tackled life with zest, confidence, and passion. Because of that, I like myself. Because of that, I have continued to blossom, to stretch, to explore life.

Do I have problems? You bet! Have I lived a perfect life? Absolutely not. Do I need correction and healing? Of course. However, I am grateful for the capacity to heal, grow, and move on due to my parents’ love for me. 

Thank you, Mom and Dad. You. Are. The. Best.


Terri White is a veteran homeschool mom from the ’80s and ’90s and is the founder/director of T.E.A.C.H Cleburne. She can be reached at teach

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