The super lovely Sara of C'est La Vie has graced me with an awesome blog award! (Isn't she sweet?)

I've been thinking about inspiration a lot lately. Particularly about those people I find inspiring. My life has changed a lot in the last year, some good and some bad. In the midst of this chaos, I've realized two amazing people very close to me, have become my greatest inspirations.

My dad and I have always been close. So when he suffered a massive stroke while visiting me in Washington, it was like my world was collapsing in on itself. When he couldn't say my name, couldn't even focus his eyes on my face, I thought for sure, that this was it. I'd lost my dad.
Since then he has fought, struggled, pushed, sometimes even clawed, his way through months and months of ongoing therapies. He's still working on it, but he has come miraculously far in the last nine months. He walks, writes with his left hand, and has regular (albeit short) phone conversations with us kids. He is a man made of the toughest stuff. I just never really knew it under his gentle and kind exterior.

My mom has become my dad's lifeline. She's spent a lot of time taking care of other people (us kids, her mom, her dad), but seeing the way she has completely taken charge of this new, strange life of theirs, is completely inspiring. Being my dad's coach, caregiver, cheerleader and companion cannot be the easiest right now. But she's handling it with even more strength than I'd ever known she'd had (and I've *always* known she was strong). I have no idea how she's been able to juggle all that's on her plate right now, but she's doing it beautifully.

I've always known my parents were good people, who loved us very much. But to see them with adult eyes, handling the very worst life can throw at them, and they're STILL wonderful people -- well, it's a whole other kettle of fish. 

And on a lighter note, I'd like to pass this award on to some very deserving bloggers:

for her amazing, fearless adventure around the world:

for her interesting stories about the charming animals she fosters:

for her obvious joie de vivre:

for her determination to make the rules:

for her ability to make life more fun:

Post it, share it -- whatever you want to do. Just keep being your awesome and amazing selves, k?

{ who inspires you? }

27 notes

  1. Almost Precious on July 29, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    Your mother sounds like a very strong woman indeed. I'm sure she has passed on some of her strengths to you.

    Sorry to hear about your father's stroke, I can imagine how frightening that must have been for you at the time. Glad to hear that he is improving and also to hear that he has that drive and determination to fight to regain what the stroke took away.

    Congratulations on your blog award. Yea ! You deserve it. :)

  2. Andrea (Panda) on July 29, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    awe how lovely. you are inspiring congrats you deserve it! thanks for passing this award to me. i wasnt aware that i make life more fun, yay!

  3. Stacey on July 29, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Congrats Kelli g., and i think it's an award well deserved:-)

  4. Diana Mieczan on July 29, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    That is so beautiful, darling:)
    Congrats on your award:)

    Have a wonderful day,sweetie

  5. Unknown on July 29, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    i LOVE what u said abour ur parents - they'll be in my thoughts!

    my Dad is my power, my everything - he seriously IS THE most amazing man/person in the world! - he got me to where i am today and without his love, support, and guidence - i don't know where i'd be .. i'd be nothing without him ..

    *kiss kiss*
    ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

  6. amanda on July 29, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    This post is so very sweet and heartfelt. Your parents sound amazing. :)

  7. Victoria on July 29, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    This was a very well-written post. I think a good relationship with parents is one of the most important things you can have... my mom and I are best friends, but I'm still working on my dad. I'm glad to hear your dad has been improving, he must be very proud to have you as a daughter. :)

  8. C'est La Vie on July 29, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    i love how you let those girls know how they inspire you :) that's so sweet.

    I also love how many people have been putting they're parents as their inspiration. That's a good sign for this rotting world :)

    and to answer your questions, i'll be in Kiev for 4 months teaching English, and then after that I'll be backpacking across to England and back again for maybe about a month. I would stay longer if my sister weren't getting married :) I will absolutely be keeping my blog updated as much as possible!! :)

  9. Unknown on July 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    hey lovey - it hasn't "rained" in jersey for a LONG time - my lawn is ummm nothing - on the bright side i don't have to mow - i have a never ending backyard :o( .. BUT the garden sooooo could use some natural water! - i'm sure it knows the difference between natural and hose ..

  10. Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries on July 29, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Thank you babe! It does mean a LOT!!! :D

  11. Tayebug on July 29, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Wow, I'm inspired when I read about your parents! How difficult for all of you, but I'm so glad to hear how they are overcoming this. I was very choked up reading this. Thank you for sharing!!!

  12. paislea on July 29, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    congratulations on your blog award!! they're always so fun to receive!

  13. T@PoppyPlacePdx on July 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Kelli, you are a sweetheart to pass this award on to me, thanks you so much.

    This is a beautifully moving story and I am so glad your Dad is doing better. It takes time, strokes are tough, but I am sure each day sees his improvement. Your Mom sounds like a very strong woman and what a great role model for you.

    I have to say, that my children (young adults) are what inspire me.

    They are wonderful people and even though maybe life has thrown them curved balls they have taken on the challenges and run with it.

    Hope you are having a wonderful day, T. :)

  14. lisa mowry on July 29, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Beautiful post, Kelli. Not only have your parents been some of the sweetest people I've ever known, but they are now a symbol of strength that I admire so much too. xoxox

  15. k on July 29, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    I love that you wrote so beautifully about your parents - you're so lucky! :)

  16. Janet Mazorie on July 29, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    My Dad is my world too, it must have been so hard going through this. Your parents sound so amazing, cheers to them.

  17. Emily@VitaNostra on July 29, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    If I were there, I would give you the biggest hug ever... for multiple reasons which are hard for me to articulate!

    I can very much relate. I will be brief and say that these are the times in your life that will define you. Your parents sound like amazing people and your love for them is what matters. Nothing else matters.

    Times like these are so difficult but it will all make sense to you some day. Hugs, hugs, hugs. Remember YOU are an inspiration!

  18. Amanda on July 29, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    An inspiring post and your parents sound really amazing.
    That must of been so hard to see your dad like that- but both of your parents seem so resilient and strong- it is truly inspiring.
    (((Hugs))) and congrats for the blog award- you really deserve it!

  19. Lisa Lisa Lisa on July 30, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt post. Your mother must be a strong woman!

  20. Zabrinah on July 30, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    This was a wonderful post. It's very inspiring, and it's a lovely tribute to your parents!

    Best wishes,


  21. nevertheless on July 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    This is such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. It is truly inspiring to see people coming through against the odds. Life comes with it's bad but there's still so much good out there :) and that's what keep us going x

  22. Leia on July 31, 2010 at 4:09 AM

    Your mother sounds so strong... you are lucky to have such great parents. Sending you big hugs!


  23. heather on July 31, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    I'm just arriving to your blog for the first time and I love your writing and honesty, the feel of your space. The story of your parents is quite beautiful, and to be able to see it as such is equally amazing.

    I know it's not super helpful to say so, but my grandpa had a stroke way back in the day. And had to relearn how to walk, write (also left-handed). It's a slow process (which never really ends), I wish all the best for your dad and your family as you all deal with this new way of life.


  24. My Life Under the Bus on August 2, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    What a blessing to be able to see what life hands out and know you can handle it with grace.I am glad your dad is recovering.

  25. C'est La Vie on August 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    nooo YOU"RE so sweet :) hhaha

  26. Cari on August 3, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Awww, thanks for the shout out! I'm glad you find the animal stories interesting. :)

  27. Tania on August 3, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    it's so good to hear your dad doing better! you're lucky to have them and to get strength from this. and remember, they are your parents, so you're made from the same stuff too pumpkin!