Most of us have done it as we grew in age and wisdom (well, age for all of us, wisdom for most). Oftentimes we didn’t see it coming or notice it when it did happen.

Somewhere, at some time, most of us have adopted traits of our parents, sometimes traits at which we once laughed.

Then, bam, boom! We find ourselves saying, “Oh no, I’ve turned into my parents! No!” (To my children, beware, just beware.)

The Progressive Insurance Company’s brilliant marketing campaign of the fictional Dr. Rick who helps new homeowners not become their parents is widely popular, regardless what generation you happen to be in.

Most of us have seen one, some or all of these clever ads, and for me, none disappoints. The advertisements can be sometimes downright cringe worthy (specifically the man who washes his outside trash cans, and the person who sees a younger being with blue hair and is set straight by Dr. Rick, saying “We all see it,” as a warning to make no comment).

I have in many ways become my parents. It’s the cycle of life.

I recall as my dad grew older, he became much more emotional about things. This wasn’t during his dementia stages. He simply seemed to gain a keen understanding of just how good and bad things can be for folks.

I remember times when he would tell a story about someone going through a difficult time, or someone who just experienced a great joy. In either instance, Larry would tear up and his voice would crack.

I know I was a bit uncomfortable when this happened, and I believe others were as well, but none of us ever said anything to him about it.

As time passed, I became less uncomfortable with his wearing his heart on his sleeve, and grew to find it endearing, how much Larry loved people.

I one day came to an awaking that I was carrying on that trait. I would (and still do) share stories that would bring a tear to my eye and a wobble to my voice.

Oftentimes I’ll see commercials, TV shows, or movies that are either heartbreaking or heartwarming, and in either instance, I choke up. It matters not if the emotion be for a human or an animal. Truth be told, animals get to me the most.

And as I once felt uneasy about Larry’s emotions, I sense others may be uncomfortable with mine. 

At first it bothered me. I was embarrassed and self-conscious about my emotions. But I’m discovering this is who I am and this is how I react. Golly, I’ve written Anchor columns that cause my eyes to well up as I’m writing.

What I once saw as a weakness in my da, was actually a great strength. It isn’t easy to have strong emotions for all people, but it, to me, illustrates a heart that is ruled by compassion and love —both of which Jesus wants for us all.

I’ll bet that some people I know see my father in my emotions now. And you know what? That’s the ultimate compliment. It brings a tear to my eye.

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers, and don’t be afraid to let your emotion flag fly.