A letter to my parents


Dear Mom and Dad,

How do I put into words the eighteen years of wisdom, love, faith, and so much more? How do I describe the ways that you’ve nurtured me and just loved on me? How do I say that you both have been more than my rocks, more than my life coaches, more than my listeners and advisors?

You guys are my everything.

I love you more than words can describe. I love you more than the sun, the moon, and the stars combined. I love you with my entire being.

I’ve loved you since the moment I met you, a moment that I don’t remember but I’m sure you do. I love because you first loved me. Even when I’m at my lowest, most unlovable moments, you loved. And you loved. And you loved.

I’ve cherished every waking moment we’ve spent together, whether it be on full family road trips or simply spontaneous drives down country roads. I could probably write several novels worth of memories I have with you both, but I’ll refrain for the brevity of this article.

Mom, for every year of high school, we’ve had our all-girl road trips (sorry, Dad), and in doing each one, you’ve taught me so much, both about the world and about me. You’ve shown me that appearances aren’t everything, and truth and real relationships are the seeds to building rich community. You’ve shown me that it’s okay to be afraid and confused in life, that it’s okay to not always know the answers to life’s most burning questions. Even more so, you’ve shown me that being me is more important than simply being a follower, a member of a crowd, or someone who fits in. In every struggle, every doubt, every fear, Mom, you’ve been there for me, and in every sense of the word, I am grateful for you.

Dad, you and I are the oddest couple of people ever, and I absolutely love that. I love our post-church runs to D&W for our ultimate comfort foods, usually consisting of jugs of chocolate milk and toaster waffles. I love our fits of laughter over absolutely nothing and everything at the same time. I love our brainstorming sessions as we craft in our heads what sounds like the perfect vacation for us, dreaming up big ideas of the endless possibilities the future holds. Dad, you also have taught me so much about life and about what faith looks like. And when the weight of the world becomes too heavy for me, my consolation is that no matter what, I can find shelter in the warmth of your embrace knowing that you love me and that you know me.

I can’t believe we’ve made it this far, Mom and Dad. I wouldn’t want to walk through life and through my faith with any other two.

So thank you.

Thank you for letting me dream big, entertaining my brief aspirations to be a National Geographic journalist or my constant nagging that I belong in the Peruvian Mountains. You let me soar, you let me grow. You both overcame your fears that I would be too shy, too behind, or too ill-equipped to face situations, and you gave me the freedom to be me and do things my way. Although it must’ve been hard to watch my stumbles and simply be a bystander, you trusted that I was in God’s hands and that He would guide me through every trial and tribulations.

When I was growing up, you made sure that I knew that I was beloved, that I was cherished, and that above all else I am a child of God.

I’m eternally grateful for the good work you’ve both done in my life and continue to do even now. You both are my everything.

And wow, this is it.

I’m leaving the nest, the last Bennett child to go. But this really isn’t a goodbye. I’m leaving, but it’s not for forever. Our separation is temporary, but our family, our unit is a promise of forever.

So, cheers to you, Mom and Dad. I love you, plain and simple.

Love, Sus