July 24, 2014

While it may be less celebrated, Parent’s Day is an annual holiday to recognize, uplift and support the role of parents in their children’s lives. In honor of the holiday, we asked a few of JHE’s parents to share the best part of being a parent and their favorite memory so far:


Ryan Baxter, father to Austin (4) and Sydney (2)

The best part of being a parent? “They make you feel young again. Just living in the moment with them, they make you forget about everything else that is going on.”

Favorite memory? “Austin’s first hit in baseball and Sydney’s smile when I come home from a trip.”


Jeff Gajewski, father to Aven (2) and Harper (5 months)

The best part of being a parent? “The pride you feel when they do something for the first time and how happy they make you by doing the simplest things. And being able to show people pictures that they probably don’t care to see.”

Favorite memory? “When we introduced Aven to her new sister at the hospital. The nurse let Aven “assist” her by using the stethoscope to listen to Harper’s heartbeat.”


Terry Hodges, father to Kirstan (6)

The best part of being a parent? “Knowing that no matter what kind of day you have, kids just want you to be there to spend time with them.”

Favorite memory? “The day Kirstan told her mother she was through dancing so she could concentrate on golf.”


Jacqueline Gafrarar, mother to Caleb (6)

The best part of being a parent? “The unconditional mutual love you feel for each other and knowing that nothing else matters. Seeing the world through his eyes is amazing too."

Favorite memory? “There are lots - his first go-kart race, his first baseball hit, his joy at the beach (much like mine) - but when he snuggles up to me and says 'I love you mommy!' is the best!"


Ashley Dempsey, mother to Parker (6 months)

The best part of being a parent? “Seeing him discover everything for the first time and his sweet little hugs.”

Favorite memory? “The first time I made him laugh.”


Amy Lilly, mother to Nathan (7)

The best part of being a parent? “Watching him grow and learn something new every day.”

Favorite memory? “Taking Nathan to the zoo. Every time we go, he is just as excited as he was the first time. He loves to see the animals and watch them play.”


Natalie Epperly, mother to Hadley Brennan (15 months)

The best part of being a parent? “Watching her change daily and seeing how independent she is becoming!”

Favorite memory? “Celebrating her first birthday with all our friends and family there for her.”


Evelyn Stone, mother to Emily (24), Alex (22) and Anna (14)

The best part of being a parent? “Their unconditional love for me and the relationship which has been built where they want me to be a part of their life no matter what age they might be.”

Favorite memory? “Emily graduating from college and taking that to become a successful adult. Alex becoming an Eagle Scout and to this day using what he learned on that journey in his love and care for others. When Anna had heart surgery and it was a complete success. She was doing cartwheels the day after surgery because that’s how she got around! While dad and mom almost had a heart attack. Just being Anna with that smile!”


Ronnie Oehler, father to Randy (40) and Tracy (38)

The best part of being a parent? “Watching your kids grow up to be productive, successful adults that have a loving attitude that reflects their upbringing. Also, watching them become parents and having grandkids for us to spoil."

Favorite memory? “Some of the best memories are the times on vacation at the beach with them, friends and family."


Jacob Meadows, father to Connor (7)

The best part of being a parent? “Being loved, simply put. My son doesn't expect anything from me but affection. Children look at their parents for everything but what they need is consistency. That builds trust and a lifelong friendship I share with my own father and now share with my son."

Favorite memory? “My son has been whitewater rafting for years now and every year we try to take him down something more wild than the last year. I grew up in the mountains and love to share that with my son. Children have no fear."


Parent's Day, Ryan Baxter, Jeff Gajewski, Terry Hodges, Ashley Dempsey, Amy Lilly, Natalie Epperly, Evelyn Stone, Ronnie Oehler, Jacob Meadows, Jacqueline Gafrarar