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A Word about Della and Dunc

I don’t know why any of us is born to the parents we are, but I am eternally grateful for mine, Della Miriam Dow Duncan and Harold Downey Duncan, Sr.

I have a sister and a brother, Jane and David, and I am confident they can echo (and add to) my sentiments.

When younger, we generally take our families for granted, erroneously thinking that all families are pretty much alike–and like ours!  As we mature, we become aware that there are vast differences in parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and children.  There are also major distinctions in parenting styles, including discipline, education, communication, encouragement and many more.

Over the years, I have often thought about the many “gifts” I received from my parents.  Even though they have been gone from this life for almost 20 years, their influence continues to be strong in my life, and hopefully in the lives of my children and grandchildren.

Following is just a sample of these gifts from Della and Dunc:

My parents loved each other!  

There was never any doubt in my mind.  They did not always agree, but they always treated each other with respect and courtesy.  They were committed to each other and to their children.  They were sacrificial, faithful and trustworthy and thus created an atmosphere in our home of emotional safety and security.

They loved their children!

We always knew were wanted, adored, treasured and supported.  They held us accountable for our actions, and they challenged and inspired us to do what we could do and become who we could become.

They gave us the gift of faith. 

They talked about it, and they lived it.  We knew that they were devoted to a God in whom they devoutly believed and whom they completely trusted to guide and direct their path through life.

They gave us the gift of humor.

Our home was filled with laughter, fun, games and enjoyment of each other.  Yes, they taught us to work, but they also taught us to play.

They gave us the gift of music.  

They loved to listen to music (and make fun of 60s rock and roll, of course), and they loved to sing.

They gave us the gift of hospitality.  

Our house was one in which visitors were always welcome, and neighbors and new friends became “family.”

And one thing more . . .

In recent days and weeks, it has come to my attention that my parents also gave us the remarkable gift of how to think about and treat other people in our community and our world.

With all the hatred, violence and anger perpetrated by all segments of society, it has occurred to me that I cannot remember a single instance in which either of my parents spoke about or treated another individual with disrespect or disdain for any reason, including the fact that they were different (racially, socioeconomically, religiously or educationally).  They never talked down to another person.  They treated people the way they wanted to be treated: with respect, love and grace.

Thank you, mom and dad, for the gifts that help make our world a better place!

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