In the comments section of my last post, Marallyn ben Moshe wrote:
"EVERY MINUTE WE HAVE A PARENT IS A GIFT."
Kol ha-kavod to Marallyn for knowing that and "stating" it aloud. It is like poetry to my eyes and ears. For I have been gifted my entire life with these caring, loving, respectful parents of mine. I have always recognized that and feel sorry for those who aren't gifted with similar parents.
There are parents who cannot be considered a gift -- they are plain and simply HORRIBLE people, terrible role models, who treat their offspring like garbage. Oftentimes they do not deserve to have had the title "parent" bestowed upon them, and oftentimes the child is better off without such a parent in their life.
Thank G-d I do not personally know people in this predicament, but I know they exist. Family dynamics are often the result of the dynamics that came a generation before; people learn from example: whether how to improve, or whether to follow in negative footsteps and have family history repeat itself.
I hope that most, if not all of you, can appreciate your parents -- what they give/gave you to help you be the best person you can be...and the right tools for parenting.