Today’s blog is really special to me because I interviewed my daughter Faith about a daughter’s perspective of what happened over the past two years, how it has affected her mindset, and what she felt through both parents having a chronic illness. Between COVID, kidney failure, and breast cancer, she basically only had one year of normal high school. We’re going to talk about her perspective of what it was like to have sick parents during her high school years.
Thanks for being here with us and just giving us a little perspective. Today would have been your dad’s 60th birthday. We’re gonna celebrate and honor him; he passed away four days before what would have been his 59 birthday. So it’s been a year, so we’re just talking about him and celebrating. How do you feel about all the stuff you’ve gone through the past few years?
Well, I’m gonna start off by saying Happy 60th Birthday to my lovely father. Like my Mom was saying, I had a very interesting four years in school. My freshman year was my only year of normal high school. In my sophomore year, my dad needed a kidney transplant, and COVID started that March. He had that kidney transplant in February. In my junior year, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. And then, at the end of my junior year, right before going into my senior year, my dad passed away from COVID and kidney failure. So high school was, you know, a very interesting time to get through. Um, I would say.
Everything in my life has made me who I am today. I would be completely different from what I am today if things went another way.
You don’t know anything different, right? This is the path that the universe took you down.
Do you feel like it made you stronger having both parents sick in the same year? Because I know that there was a month I didn’t get out of bed very much. I could barely take care of myself, much less take care of you.
So you were kind of on your own to do laundry. I know that we had people helping that brought food in, and Beth sent over her cleaning lady. How did you feel about all of that? Did you ever feel like you were being neglected? I mean, how do I know it was hard with both parents being sick?
Absolutely not. I never felt neglected. I’ve always been a very independent person.
I mean, I just felt as if I wasn’t doing enough to help my parents and I could have done more, but I really couldn’t.
So as your parents, we felt like we needed to be there for you; we felt bad that we were going through what we were going through during your high school career. I know that you know we’ve always put you first. I mean, we had eight miscarriages before having you, our little miracle. We cherished every moment we could.
It was hard for us as well; there were days I could not think about much except to the bathroom and back to bed without passing out.
So what would you say to parents, you know, I talk a lot about taking ownership of your health and starting with your mouth and trying to be healthy, and I mean, things happen, right?
You believe everything happens for a reason.
I do believe everything happens for a reason. But I believe you should stay healthy so you can for your kids. Put into your body what is good and nutritious, and take care of what is your only vessel.
We only get one body, right? We take care of our cars better than our bodies, and we have more than one car in our lifetime, but we only get one body and know what we’re supposed to do. We just don’t always do it. It’s because it’s too hard or we get too busy. And we just don’t do what we know we should for many different reasons.
And there are so many things that we know what we should do. Driving through fast food places is easier to get food for dinner. I mean, we did that for a while when you were skating; we ate out. I got out of the habit of cooking, and then it was hard to get back into that habit. It’s all about habits. Right?
I mean, then again, everything happens for a reason, but you just need to be mentally there for your kids. And if you’re not physically there all the time, that is okay. We will be there for you.
Just give them that time of really listening and understanding them and what they have to say being present.
Yes, of course. And that’s really the most important thing you can do for your kids; learning it’s basically okay. If you can’t do something for them or go out of the house, that’s fine. Just it’s that one-on-one contact of having those conversations, that connection because they’ll carry that throughout their entire life. The conversations with my Dad! Those memories!
It’s making memories right if you can’t physically do something, just even if it’s playing a board game or just even talking.
Yeah, talking. That’s what I’m talking about, just talking because the most cherished thing that I take away from me and my dad’s relationship would be our talks.
There were some deep conversations you had with him….like conversations you’ve had with nobody else, not even me.
No, they’re absolutely insane. And he really truly cared about how I, you know, grasp this idea of the universe and what I really think, not saying that you don’t mom, right. He just had a different mindset, and just the way that he thought was different. I genuinely got the way that I think from him. So, you know, we just, we were really good at talking to each other. So those are my most cherished memories. So just give your kids the time and just love them unconditionally, telling them that they can be anything and they can do anything in this world.
Your generation is way different than our generation. So you guys are on top of things and prevention is important.
Your whole generation looks at the world differently than we do and our generation is going to kill it in this world. So it’s not the same. We’re changing, evolving, and growing. And the thing is that school hasn’t really evolved.
Would you say that your school career was?
To be honest, I would say that school is a waste of my time other than I definitely think that you need to learn history and math, basic math, and reading. Obviously, you need to know all of those things but going to school for that many years of your life just to be a worker isn’t a productive way to spend four years of your life.
Wait, I mean it isn’t how you will truly become you.
Think outside the box?
Well, they don’t give you options in high school, like when you’re basically deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life, and you’re just getting the basics. You’re saying you can get all that stuff up till eighth grade, and then in high school, you should be allowed to figure out who you are and what you truly want to do in life where you thrive?
Right, exactly. You should be able to figure out all of your artistic qualities and all of the things that truly make you different from others. This time in your life, instead of being put together as all the same. Right? Do you like science? Do you like art? Do you like to work with your hands? I get it you do get to pick your classes in high school, but no, you really don’t. You don’t really get to do what you really want to do.
You don’t really learn anything that you take out into the real world. I don’t know how to change a tire. We did learn a little bit of taxes, but I can’t balance a checkbook just this big like all these things. Yeah, I mean, budgeting is a little bit in economics, but just not the amount you need to succeed in life.
So as an 18-year-old or 17-year-old being thrown out into the world, I feel you should have a little more life knowledge than book knowledge at that point.
I agree. And I think you have a lot of life knowledge because you’ve had a lot of loss and a lot of things happen besides your dad. There was a lot. So I think you probably have more life knowledge than most just because of what you’ve been through in your life. And I think it’s made you a stronger person, and I am proud of you.
So we just wanted to honor her Dad today and celebrate his life and talk about a daughter’s perspective on what it’s like to have parents that are sick in their teenage years. And just let parents know that the thing that she has taken away from all of this stuff are the memories and the talks and the things that we have done as a family or individually with her dad and I or her immediate family seems to be the all you have left.
Right, you have some memories, you have some actual physical things that give you memories, but there are those people who are like family but just you guys understand just that family aspect of loving each other and just giving each other your all that is the most important thing.
I agree. I think when you lose a parent, or you lose someone close to you, you really find out who those special people are in your life and who is meant to be in your life and who’s not meant to be in your life.
Exactly. Exactly. Well, thank you guys for joining us here today about you know, my wonderful dad and his 60th birthday. And my perspective on life. See you on the other side Dad!
Well, you heard it here from a teenager’s perspective; we just wanted to let parents know that if you are experiencing something like this, an illness, and feel you can’t be there the way you would like, it’s the memories of the talks that you share.
Even in life, if you’re not sick, what your child takes away is that you listened. Truly listened! She felt heard. This is an important thing to have and to go forward with. From a teenager’s perspective, being heard and feeling loved are her most precious memories.
And for me, you need to take ownership of your health and that starts in your mouth. Smiling increases the feel-good chemical in your brain, Health and happiness are together for me when you are intentional all things are possible.
- Enough Sleep
- Respecting the only body you get
- Health and happiness
A Healthy Mouth is a healthy body and a happy, healthy life!