There are things your parents intentionally teach you. How to ride a bike, how to shake hands properly. Then, there are things parents unintentionally teach you.
Why am I talking about parents when my headline is the Facebook Spouse Challenge? Yesterday’s post explains in detail. In short, I’ve decided to shine a spotlight on inspiring people Bello and I both love instead of us.
Day 1: Chuck & Debbie
Meet Chuck (my Dad) and Debbie. Debbie, is my Dad’s second wife.
This is difficult for me to write for many reasons. First, my Parents divorce sucked, it hurt. Second, I’m worrying about my Mom reading this, kid of divorce syndrome. Third and most relevant for you, Dad and Debbie’s story and unintentional parenting is inspirational.
Live for today, tomorrow might be harder and you can never go back.
A few years after my parents divorce, Dad and Debbie married. Then, Debbie started noticing odd things happening. Her body didn’t feel right. Debbie was soon diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis.
There are two types of MS, Debbie has Progressive Declining. Unlike Remitting Relapsing where sufferers have bad spells, when Debbie looses something, she’s not getting it back.
To date, Debbie has lost a great deal. Her muscle strength, dexterity and feeling in her extremities. Robbing her ability to work, to cook and in time, to walk unassisted.
She’s lost her independence and in turn so has my Father. Debbie needs my Dad daily. My Dad will not leave Debbie’s side, for his worry.
Now, here is the inspirational part, the unintentional bit of parenting.
Just over two years ago, well into Debbie’s MS, I had to call my Dad. I had to tell him, I was leaving the corporate world. Yes the salary was high but so too was the stress and my chest ached daily.
I worried. Dad put artistic dreams aside to raise kids. Unintentionally teaching, responsibility comes with sacrifice.
Worry is what I was expecting, questions about abandoning a steady income, insurance, 401K, security and responsibility. Dad already had enough to worry about. I had no right to add to his worries.
I clutched my heart and my phone as it rang. What I anticipated, was not what I heard.
“Good for you honey. Life is too short to give it away. My generation got it wrong.”
Dad shared regret for time wasted in a job that only paid the bills. He too wished he had the courage to do what Bello and I were doing.
In that very moment, Dad gave my dreams wings. Lifting the burden of hyper-responsibility and guilt, his words set me free.
His unintentional parenting, came with the words he did not say. He had waited too late. He had worked hard his whole life, thinking he could rest, he would enjoy, tomorrow.
What if tomorrow comes with greater difficulty than you face today? What then happens to your dreams? Bello and I are inspired to pursue our dreams today, live life our own unique way, in part because we know waiting, betting on tomorrow, pushing happiness to retirement is a risk not worth taking.
Today, Dad and Debbie are both retired. Despite MS, they are happy, they laugh and they speak positively about the future. They are people determined to live life to the fullest and find happiness, even at home.
Dad and Debbie have seen and love the Southwest. Bello and I dedicate “John Wayne” and “Passing Shadow” to them.
Over the next seven days, I’ll share love stories that inspire Bello and I here on ALOR.
PS: I’m not obligating anyone to join the Love Your Spouse Facebook Challenge, I’m celebrating them.
Please join Paolo Ferraris Colors on September 5th at the Upper Arlington Arts Festival (#UALDAF #Uarthere) where his prints created with the support of our loved ones will be available.
Supporters outside Ohio can see Paolo Ferraris Colors full collection online.
Interior Designer & Art Consultants can contact this Emerging Artist at PaoloFerrarisColors@Gmail.com or 917-444-2999.
Yours in Color,
Paolo (aka Bello) & Brandy (aka Piccola)