Thankful

That’s my daughter in the water,
everything she knows I taught her.
Everything she knows.

Daughter by Loudon Wainwright III

Being overseas for any American holiday always makes me a little homesick. This is especially true during Thanksgiving. Despite everything that went wrong with our Thanksgiving dinner last year in London, I laugh whenever I think of the hilarious day spent cooking with two old friends in a foreign country.

This year I do not have access to a big oven, so no cooking. Instead I will be going to a restaurant, Texas Embassy, for Thanksgiving dinner…on Friday night. I know, it’s a little off, but the way I look at it, people eat leftovers all weekend so as long as I have some turkey this weekend it counts. More on that later…

I am thankful for a lot of things this year: great family (the whole extended bunch), amazing friends (old and new), and the ability to see out of both eyes are all high up on the list.

But at the very top of the list are my parents.

Mom, Dad, and I at my cousin's wedding (Aug. 2010)

When I told them I wanted to study music business, they said ok.

When I told them I wanted to move to Nashville, they said alright (after visiting Belmont and several long discussions).

When I said, “I think I want to take cooking lessons in Italy for a month, and then move to London,” they both agreed it was a good idea.

When I was struggling with what to do next, they suggested school (okay, they brought up law school, we compromised on a masters in music business).

They flew out for showcases at Belmont, drove from San Diego when I needed to have my tonsils removed so they could bring our dog, and helped me pack up my Nashville life before driving all my stuff back to San Diego.

Any other parents would have probably traded in this high maintenance girl for another model years ago, but not my parents.

Piazza Navona - Rome, Italy (Nov. 2009)

As kids, we think our parents are super heros who can save the world. When we become teenagers, this bubble bursts and our biggest fear is turning into our parents. Once we hit our twenties, we realize that despite our best efforts, we are turning into them anyway. People always tell me I look like my mom. But those who know the three of us would also tell you that my personality is very much like my dad’s. He has been teaching me how to be street smart and to think logically ever since he said, “You want a Happy Meal? Here’s $5, go order it.”

I was 4 years old at the time.

Mediterranean Cruise (Nov. 2009)

I learn lessons from him constantly, and it is the most recent one I would like to share.

It was not long after my surgery in August that the medical bills started coming in. Since I have not been working and had been living overseas, I did not have insurance in America (and still don’t). Vanderbilt gives patients without insurance coverage a 50% reduction, however half of a $30,000 surgery is still a large amount of money (I don’t know the exact cost of the surgery because some of the bills came after I left for London, but I know with the discount it was still over $15,000). On top of all this, we needed to pay for my tuition and housing in London by the beginning of October. I felt sick about the whole situation, especially knowing how much I was costing them in the month of September alone. My dad told me not to worry about it, and that he would figure it out. And that is exactly what he did.

Stating his case, he wrote a letter to the hospital (on my behalf) telling them my situation (unemployed student with no insurance) and asking for help with the enormous bill. We waited for weeks for a response, hoping for any good news. Finally, a few weeks ago, my dad received a letter from Vanderbilt. After reviewing my case, they decided to cover 100% of my hospital bills.

100%!

I could not believe it. None of us could. Just like that, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I know my parents felt the same way. My dad, in his masterful way, took care of it. I think even he surprised himself with this outcome. Even at 26, I feel like a young grasshopper when my dad does everything in his power to make something happen.

Much to learn you still have – Yoda

I hope everyone had an incredible Thanksgiving!

Ciao,
Sheila

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1 Comment

Filed under Family, Friends, Movie Reference, Song Reference

One response to “Thankful

  1. Clare

    Sheila, what a lovely entry about your mom and dad. You ARE really blessed. What a wonderful set of parents you have and what a credit you are to them! We are very grateful they allowed their great girl to come and join us in London. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! x

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