E03: Promises of Tomorrow

This is a special episode for me because I’m featuring a conversation with my parents, Ted and Carla. We recorded our conversation in Nashville over Easter weekend this past April. 

I am close with my parents. And I am lucky to vouch for this because I realize not everyone has both parents present in their lives or has a strong relationship with them for one reason or another. Growing up, my parents made sure my siblings and I understood the importance of empathy. They taught us that we may not always fully understand another persons' life or situation but that we could certainly show love without expecting anything in return. This upbringing has not made us perfect, but it has helped us deal with trials in a healthy and less victimized way. Upon sitting down with them, I knew I wanted to dig deeper into how they were were individually raised and how that influenced their response to waiting seasons in their lives. Speaking of their childhoods, my parents could have not grown up in more opposite homes. My dad is from a tiny Mayberry-esque town in Southeast Georgia. He comes from a generation of farmers and educators. He played baseball from adolescence into college age and went on to become a dentist with a love for agriculture as well. My mom was an army brat born in Panama and witnessed the series of riots that broke out in the Panama Canal Zone in January 1964, a result of what is now known as Martyr's Day. She is of Spanish/Irish descent and her parents met in Taos, New Mexico, a small art community and mountain town about three hours from Santa Fe. She went on to become a teacher for elementary and middle school age kids while raising her own family.

We talk about the hardships they faced growing up and how that has made them more compassionate towards each other. I wanted to know what it’s like to wait with your child to accomplish a dream or when they’re enduring pain as well as waiting for your child to find his or her calling or re-directing their path. Our conversation felt a little bit like family therapy in a good way. This episode opened dialogue to things I hadn’t known about my parents and I enjoyed giving them the opportunity to voice their thoughts on unpredictable blessings they’ve discovered along the way. And if you have the opportunity to sit down with your parents and give them floor to tell their stories, recorded or not recorded, I’d highly recommend it. 

Photo captions left to right: My dad with his three brothers and father; Dad's family portrait (dad is youngest next to his mom); My mom's family photo taken in Panama (mom is the one with the cat eye glasses); Mom with her younger sister Michelle; Photo from the recording of this podcast; With my parents Easter weekend; With my parents this past Thanksgiving.

Libby Oellerich