thank you

I am finishing high school and all finals in less than 3 days and I have been reflecting on who has helped me and supported me along the journey.

My parents are two of my biggest heroes, inspirations, teachers, motivators, supporters, examples of true love, etc., etc. and, most importantly, best friends. Our family of 5 have always been incredibly close, spending large amounts of our spare time laughing and talking together. Most of my fondest memories come directly from being around my 4 best friends- my mom, dad, brother, and sister.

I remember very vividly (probably due to the extreme temperature of the water) my mom encouraging (and bribing) us to jump into the freezing glacial water just above Waterton’s own Blakiston Falls. She’s always been a naturally cold person but set that aside to allow us this exciting experience turned amazing memory. Her selflessness was made evident time and time again, in instances both like this one and much more personal. My moms first thought is never of herself, but rather of us: have you all ate, have you all slept, are you all prepared, are you all happy, etc. She has dedicated herself and her life to her home and family and I cannot put into words how amazing that has been to watch, and how inadequate I feel in extending thanks to her. She often speaks of our childhoods and the unconditional, heartfelt love that she had for us. Although some of my least favorite childhood nicknames accompany the stories, I know she is just reiterating her love for me and my siblings. These past few years, I have had the joy of experiencing my mom’s humorous, sarcastic side which has truly only enhanced our closeness and friendship. She truly is brilliant in every way, and loves a clever joke. No matter how hard my day is, I can count on my mom to have a big belly laugh with me every night. She loves storytelling, and I love seeing her laugh hard enough to bring tears to her eyes; we’re a good match. Whether it be over a cup of tea, while she’s hugging me goodnight, or out on a walk in our favorite place, my mom is always a beautiful ray of sunshine and genuinely lights up my life. When I need a shoulder to cry on or a warm hug, she is always my go to gal. She cares more thoroughly and more genuinely than almost anyone else, which has been made evident in the countless hours that she has spent by my side, hearing me out, and offering me words of advice. She has always pushed me to choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong, and put kindness and respect above all else. She has taught me to work hard, and do my best in all I do. I have felt constant support and encouragement from my mom to follow my dreams and do whatever I set my mind to in life. I know that no matter what, my mom will always be there cheering me on, just as she was at every single track meet, spelling bee, and awards ceremony. I’m going to miss coming home to my mom to give her a hug and tell her I love her. I know that my mom’s heart is made of pure gold, and bigger than any other. She has been, and always will be, the best role model, teacher, and best friend that I could ask for.

My dad and I have always been fairly close, however, this past year has brought us each into a title of best friend for the other. We have found multiple things that we have in common and have had the privilege of enjoying these things together as often as possible. My dad, being an English teacher and lover of good literature, has helped me immensely this year as I have focused very specifically on my writing. He has been able to offer me countless pieces of constructive criticisms and been just hard enough on me to push me to improve, while still showing me that he believes in my ability in writing. Music is another thing that has brought us closer this year and always. Although most of my friends and acquaintances have been exposed to old music through their parents, my dad loves all of the same DJ’s and new found artists that my siblings and I do. Often, as my dad and I do dishes or drive to the store, he’ll pull out his phone and show me his new favorite EDM or Electronica song, which is always right up my alley. Our little road trips out to the ski hill or over to Lethbridge are always filled with showing each other new music and dancing and singing the whole way. I love enjoying music with my best friend. Long walks along the walking path in town, running races side by side, skiing, watching sports, hiking in Wateron, and baking cookies are only a few of the other things that we love to do together. These each allow time for relaxation, enjoyment, good chats, and bettering ourselves. I have always been highly inspired by my dad’s push to becoming the best version of himself. Whether that be in his career, his health, or his family, he has been an amazing example of it through and through. His dedication to my family, just like my mothers, has always amazed me. Rather than going out with his friends, he chooses to spend time with us. Even after a long, hard day of work, he is constantly willing to help out with household chores, or listen to me rant about high school drama. Although it genuinely can’t be very easy, he always chooses to relate with me, understand me, and listen to me, portraying to me his incredibly deep care and concern for me. I’m sure most of the things that I tell him spark no interest in him, but because it’s me telling him, I can tell that he cares. He is always willing to hear me out and offer me the advice that I need to hear, no matter how hard it may be. My dad is so strong and brave and I hope I can be like him when I grow up. I don’t know what I’ll do without our car jam sessions and silly inside jokes; I’ll sure miss him.

Now that I’m crying like a baby and missing my parents before I’m already gone… Thank you, mom and dad, for being the most phenomenal parents that I could have ever asked for. I so look forward to visiting often, and keeping in contact always. You are both so amazing and I will always look up to each of you. I would truly be nothing without you.