On Showing Up

There is this song that I love by Bon Jovi and I listened to it a bunch last week. It’s called “The Last Night.”

It talks about stepping up for somebody. Showing up. Being there, when things are tough. I love that on so many levels.

My parents were “show up” people. When I was suddenly in an ambulance and at the hospital in 2015, my dad left a meeting in Iowa at six o’clock the next morning, picked up my momma, and drove 5 hours straight to come to the hospital.

They modeled how to show up my whole life. When we had track meets, football games, basketball tournaments, band competitions, etc. all through school, they were in the stands at every one.

One time, a family friend was getting married and I didn’t want to go to the wedding alone. My parents drove 4 hours to meet me there.

They showed up. They were show up sort of people.

We had five years of infertility and baby loss. Guess who held my hands the entire time? That’s right, my parents.

When I finally got pregnant and stayed pregnant, I was put on bedrest. My momma came and stayed with me so my husband could work. I’m sure my dad missed her, but they showed up for me in that way.

March 16 this year, my momma wasn’t feeling quite right. They took her to her local hospital. We got a lot of big, devastating news when test results started trickling in.

Two days later, after being told to stay put until they had more information, I sat in my house, thinking about how my parents always showed up. So, what did we do?

We showed up for them.

My husband rearranged his work schedule. We packed bags quickly. We drove nine hours. We showed up at her Nebraska hospital room and we stayed for three days.

I have often heard that kids model what they see their parents do. I’m so happy my parents were show-er upp-ers. They were a team. They just came.

I’ve carried that with me through my life. Friend having a hard time? I show up with food. Someone sick? I try to support them in some way. Friend have a baby? I send gifts.

When my great aunt Esther turned 100 and 102, my boy and I drove eleven hours to be at her parties. Guess who else was at those parties! My parents!

Last week at my dad’s, I told him about how much it’s always meant that they showed up for us and for things, just because that’s what they did and that’s who they are.

The next day,, while there, I found a letter that my grandpa had written them in 2007. It was about how happy he was that my parents showed up for him and took care of him when he was sick.

When he had a sale before he moved, he talked about how my parents helped him. He goes on about how he noticed that when he needed them, they came. He wrote, “it was Diane-Lyle all the way.”

I can’t even tell you how much that makes me smile and how much I love that.

What a legacy to carry forward. They showed up for me. I show up for my son and someday he’ll show up for his kids. How cool is that?

Thank YOU for being here, too. You’ve shown up for me through my rambling posts about travel, sprinkled with crying posts about my momma. You comment on my carefree posts and on the tear-jerkers.

You don’t waver. You show kindness and compassion. It’s noticed and it’s not forgotten. Like I appreciate my parents, I appreciate my readers. With all my heart, thank you.


part of grandpa’s letter:
“Diane-Lyle all the way”

©️Copyright 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

23 thoughts on “On Showing Up

  1. I’m “showing up” late to this conversation because I was away babysitting my grandkids and helping my parents for several days. I always enjoy coming home to a full e-mailbox of your posts.

    That your parents showed up TOGETHER says a lot as well. Not everyone has that in their life. What very special parents. I’ve been blessed with parents who do the same (well…now it’s in spirit as they are elderly).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiiiii!! I wondered if you were taking a blog break or something. Love that you were with your grandkids and parents.

      Ooooo, that’s a good point about together. I hadn’t thought of that. Love that your parents show/showed up for you, too. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are blessed to have been raised that way and always having someone there for you Jessica. I, too, enjoyed that relationship with my mom – we had each other’s back. But now, I am essentially an orphan, so have learned to do things on my own – it’s not always fun and I am lucky so far to have been blessed with good health, so I did not need to reach out to anyone, because that “anyone” would be and will be strangers. Kudos to your family togetherness all these years. It is admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your parents modeled such a great way of relating to people, and you were wise enough to follow their example. This post has two important, and positive, messages, I think. One, the importance of showing up whenever you are needed. Two, how important it is to teach our children our values through our own actions. This was well done and touching!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok, your last line, that went straight in my heart, thank you. I also love what you said. I hadn’t really thought about the showing up from an ‘outside’ of the family, so to speak, perspective. I love that you pointed out the messages that you saw in this. You are right. They taught us how to relate to people by their actions. We saw, we lived it, we did/do it for others. Your insight is hugely profound, actually. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re so welcome. I love your posts…they are so honest and they offer such wisdom and insight to the rest of us. I believe that is what happens when we are brave enough to be our genuine selves and to share what we’re coping with. Others relate, and draw strength for knowing they are not alone. Thank you for that!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow. Thank you so much. I used to be a ‘deleter’- would write and delete because I didn’t think my writing would be well received or because I didn’t feel my worth in my writing. I stopped deleting and started trusting my writing. It sure was a process. Remember my post “Switchbacks and Waves”? That post was a game changer for me. While writing it, I had a shift, as a writer. My authentic kept stepping forward. Thank you for what you said. It helps with my courage in this.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Hi. That’s a good point, we all have/had different upbringings. Since my momma has passed away recently, a lot of things that she/they did for me/us, are being remembered. My parents were 3 weeks shy of being married 55 years, plus they dated in high school. They showed up for many people. Seems it’s just what they did. When we were in Iowa recently, one of my great aunts who is 85 mentioned when my parents went to see her husband and family when he was in the hospital like 20+ years ago. She remembered that.

      I will do what you suggested and cherish the showing up. Thank you. I appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, 100% yes! Your parents always show up, just one of the many things I love about them! Some of my most treasured items are the photos I have of them at the hospital, they showed up! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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