I was recently given a survey to complete for an article and one of the questions was “Who are your real life heroes?”. Without pause, I replied ‘my parents’. beth family

Like every other family out there, we have our share of adventures.

The thing is, these two amazing people that I call Mom and Dad were not always a hero in my mind. We first had to go through the ‘I hate you’ centuries, which were quickly followed by the ‘you don’t understand’ phase.

This coming week my parents will be celebrating their 47th Wedding Anniversary. I can’t even begin to imagine what it takes be committed to another person this long.

My sister and I put these two through their paces. We are just two years apart and my parents barely had time to explore who they were before we arrived.

As the parent of a teenage girl, I appreciate my parents more every day.

While my daughter is handling high school and life in general so much more gracefully than I did, we still have ‘those’ days. I can’t even fathom sharing a house with my teenage self, let alone being the adult in charge while I rammed my way through life.

We learned a lot over the past 47 years together.

The one take away for me, as I watch my parents’ relationship evolve, is that marriage is sometimes messy and certainly not 50/50. There are arguments, laughter, tears, hugs and compromises galore. Marriage is about each person giving 100% of what they have in that moment. They showed me what it looks like to support another when you feel like you have nothing left to give.

I am blessed beyond belief to be a member of this tribe and would not want it any other way.

When I was in high school, my parents’ hard work to build a home went up in smoke. Our local all-volunteer fire companies did everything they could to save the structure but in the end, the insurance company declared it a total loss.

At the time I was certain that our family was being punished for some terrible deed. Now, many years later; I appreciate that it was a chance to see our phoenix rise from the ashes. It was hard and my parents tried to shelter us from the reality of being ‘homeless’. The extended tribe surrounded us with loving support and a warm place to lay our head.

We are a stronger family today because our structure was burnt to the ground.

It was downright ugly some days during the reconstruction. Our family rebuilt on the sacred hallowed ground with help from the entire community. Today this home is a sanctuary, not because of the wooden frame but because of the human hearts that reconstructed a home.

While there is no photographic evidence that my real life heroes wear capes or tights, they sure do have super powers. Withstanding the tests of time, living to tell the tale of two daughters reaching adulthood and reflecting love to all that look their way.

So, to my real life heroes, thank you!

Thank you for not shipping me off to military school!

Thank you for being amazing grandparents and most of all – role models.

You taught me what love looks like from the depths of your soul.

Today we will celebrate you – Surprise!

Blessed beyond belief!