Parental sacrifices mean more with passage of time

 After both my parents died I was cleaning out an old filing cabinet that was kept in the corner of their basement. That is when I realized just how much my parents “gave up” to make my childhood worry free.
Income tax statements found in that cabinet reflected finances that had to be described as “tight” at best. Problems such as WWII rationing of sugar, tires and household finances were never discussed in my presence. But, I’m sure those topics were brought up frequently between mom and dad.
Still I enjoyed my most wanted gifts under the Christmas tree and birthday presents along with mom’s sugar-laced angel food birthday cakes. In my childhood eyes life was good and my parents made sure it stayed that way. Now today I look back and realize my parents went without many things to give me a carefree childhood.
I don’t want to sound like my family was the exception when I grew up and the monetary situation was most important. Nearly all families -- particularly in the Midwest -- were facing a tight economy and survived making the best of the circumstances.
Many of us may not have had a file cabinet in the basement reflecting those times and we must remind ourselves a filing cabinet cannot hold the most important intangibles such as love and guidance. As we get older most of us realize just how much our parents formed the personal character and values we have today.
Someone said it best when he stated: “It’s not important what our parents gave us at the end of their lives, but what they gave us throughout their lives.”
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A college student was all smiles when I visited with him a few weeks ago. He told me it was the first time since he started college that his GPA (Grade Point Average) was higher than the price of a gallon of gasoline.
Thank goodness when I went to college gasoline was about 35-40 cents per gallon. Today, I wish my parents would have been willing to compare my GPA to those decades-ago prices of gasoline.
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Judging from the amount of public debt, it is no longer much of a compliment to tell a lady she looks like a million dollars.
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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