How do you repay someone for making you? You send them birthday flowers. You listen to what they’ve been wanting or needing and you place colorful wrapping paper on it.
Life doesn’t have a price. You can never properly return the favor.
June is the month when I ask myself those questions the most.
My uncle-in-law’s birthday comes first. June 5. My grandmother’s birthday comes next on June 8th. My grandmother-in-law’s birthday is the same day. My great grandmother celebrates her birthday on June 9.
My mother’s birthday is June 18. My brother was born on June 29.
I think that covers the birthdays.
June was when I met the woman that would become my wife. June is the month in which Father’s Day is celebrated. The person that I am today is because these people exist. My mother and father literally brought me into existence. My DNA and the cells that make up me come from them. My father was the one who helped shape my love for sports. He sat me on a blanket surrounded by toys, while he played music with a ball game on television. That’s how I grew up.
I consider myself a compassionate person. I make it a point to get along with everyone. Life just isn’t that serious or complex sometimes. You live it. Not the other way around. That was my father. He never sat down and had a long conversation about it. He lived it and I watched.
My mom was the one who fostered my passion for sports. She warned of the potential injuries. There has never anyone more supportive. She took me to practices. She never missed a game. When I got hurt she sat in the emergency room with me as long as I needed her to.
Who knows if I’m intelligent? I consider myself a fairly intellectual being. I don’t like bragging. Both those qualities come from my mother. It was my mother up with me pushing me to finish the homework assignment that I’d procrastinated on for two weeks. My mom was the first person I knew that attended college. The way she spoke to people has been something I’ve always admired. If you look at my mother’s social media page right now, there’s nothing of her accomplishments or a boastful word typed. My grandmother is where I got my work ethic. She babysat me and my brother after working an overnight shift at a local nursing home. It showed me that sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and do what you’ve got to do. My brother has helped me mold a sense of humor.
No matter what’s going on, one or two words can mean a stomach-crunching laugh. We love our inside jokes. When I met my wife she was immediately supportive. My problems became her problems. That’s what made her special right away. It hasn’t faltered since. She’s why I can run into anything without fear. I can always come home to her. My wife’s grandmother welcomed me into their family with open arms. The rest of the family I married into has always done this. It’s been that way since I met them and I love them for it.
How do you repay that? How do you repay any of this?
Luckily, I’m a writer and I can tell you all how great these people are to me. Of course, there are more. Thank you all.
Jeremy Johnson is the sports editor for The Oconee Enterprise. Opinions expressed are those of the writer.