Maynard Binaday: Do you guys remember what it was like being a kid? Now, I don’t know if your parents still do this but in my household, the day usually started like this, it’s early in the morning, you’re still in bed and all of a sudden you hear my mom [thump thump thump], “Maynard, wake up, wake up, wake up! You need to go to school! Don’t be late.” And I’d be thinking to myself, “Mom, I don’t want to go to school. I’m tired.” Or maybe I’d be thinking something like, “Mom, I’m going to quit school. I’m just going to marry a millionaire.”
Now, if it wasn’t my mom, it would be my dad. He would be telling me to do chores, because what dad does not do that? He would tell me to mow the lawn, take out the trash, do the dishes, vacuum the house, all those things. And let’s say I’d be playing my video games in my room minding my business, and he’d be in the corner of the room saying, he would have this 1, 2, 3 technique, and he would say, “Maynard, you have until the count of 3, 1…2…3…” and then I’d be out the door, “Dad, I got the trash! Dad I, I did the dishes! Dad, I did everything. I love you, Dad.” That thing was scary, that’s why.
Now I wasn’t always quick to respond. But eventually I did what they told me to do. My parents- they’re the best. They’re my heros. They’re my role models. They’re the type of parents that I want to be like when I grow up.
Now my mom, she was so kind. She was so generous. And especially to me, my friends, and our family, she was so loving, and she was so caring. She really valued the importance and showed me the importance about education, working towards your career, working hard.
Now my dad, on the other hand, he was the funny guy. My dad…he would always try to say the weirdest, corniest, dad jokes in front of people. And a lot of times, people would be rolling their eyes and get really awkward like…[looks side to side]…”uhh…” and I’m just like “Yea dad, that’s enough dad, that’s enough. It was really funny dad”, I’d go. Now even though my dad had a silly side, he uh, he did have a serious, he did have his serious moments as well. He really wanted me to get in the habit of praying. For example, before breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, second snack time, he would have me pray. Before we leave, before we travel, right when we get in the car- he would make me lead the prayer. Before we go to sleep, he would go to my room, sit by me on my bed, and say goodnight, and he would have me pray. Now that was one of the many things they taught me, and you know, they were always there for me, my parents.
Now, when I was about eighteen years old, my uh, my mother passed away. I just graduated high school, and I was young. I was a mama’s boy. So honestly, I just really couldn’t help but feel sad, lonely, I was devastated. Because loving the one that, you know she, that loves you, losing the one that loves you the most. Losing the one that cares for you before anyone else, losing the one that was always there for you, the one that gave birth to you, it’s just…it hurts. And you think that things couldn’t get any worse but, it did. About one year later, my father passed away and I was so used to this life where I can just rely on them. Because you know, if you need something fixed, if you ever need help, if you just got a flat tire, you call up dad. Dads always there, right? Or, my mom. Whenever I was sick, she was the one person that was always there for me. No matter what sickness I had, she was right there, the first one that was concerned. I remember one time, I had the worst fever, the worst cold that I ever had. I would not stop shivering, and I was laying down in bed, and I kept crying to my mom, “I’m cold, I’m cold, I can’t stop” and she kept putting these blankets on top of me so I could stop shivering. And I was still cold, but then she came over, she went up to me, and gave me the biggest, warmest hug like a mom usually does, and I was like, “Thank you, mom. I feel much better now. I love you, mom.” Now, I didn’t have that anymore.
It was hard adjusting to this life without mom and dad. I had to learn everything on my own. Adult things. Getting my first job, applying for college, applying for financial aid, to even getting a credit card. My first credit card and to the youth out there, I recommend, don’t get a credit card. Just wait a bit, you know? Wait a bit. But if you really do get one, be really, really careful. But real talk, I did have these moments of depression. I’d get bouts where I’d be really, really sad, and I tried my best to stay as positive, as positive as I could. I really tried my hardest. But, it kind of wasn’t enough. Because something was missing. A part of me just felt empty. So I thought to myself, “What would my mom and dad want me to do?”. Now this wasn’t an over the night type of thing, and it took me a while to realize what I should’ve done. So, I decided then and there I’m going to emulate my mom and dad’s character, their faith, and their heart. I remember my dad- he always wanted me to pray. So I did that. My mom- she was always involved in church activities. So I did that as well. I could tell they really wanted me to include God in my life. So, I took steps towards having a stronger relationship with God.
I started absorbing myself into different things, and I ended up becoming a children’s worship service teacher. Where in the children’s worship service, we teach the kids different lessons that teach good morals, different biblical stories, and it’s kind of ironic that I became a children’s worship service teacher because when I was a kid in the children’s worship service, I was not the most behaved. I was kind of a…I was a rascal. I might’ve gotten an award for perfect attendance, but not the most behaved. So as an adult, I think about it now, and I wonder to myself, “Why did my mom always bring me to the worship service? Why did she bring me so early? Why did she make sure I had my offering? Why did she, why did my mom and dad put their time and effort to make sure that my outfit was so proper? Why did she want me to look so handsome?
[picture of Maynard]
[applause and laughter]
So I think about it now, and I found that answer. I remember my parents really valued this a lot. So, it’s something that I value for myself now. So life felt a little bit lighter. I no longer had those bouts of depression. But instead, I found there was a light in me. I found a passion for teaching in the children’s worship service, and it made me realize what I wanted to pursue in college.
Working with kids, you know, you…it’s such a good feeling. And, I want to help the youth. It’s a satisfying feeling to help kids and knowing that you work well with them. So, I’m about to finish college, finally…finally, with a bachelors in earth science and secondary education, so… [applause]. And I think about all these great things I’ve gotten, and I’ve gotten this far, and I’ve got my parents to thank for that. I’ve got my parents to thank especially for teaching me how to pray, for teaching me to work hard, and for teaching me to build that relationship with God. Because, you know, even though they’re gone, even though that they’re no longer with me today, I know that God is watching over me.
Thank you so much, everyone.
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