Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life
— Maya Angelou
I believe that one of the strongest predictors of your identity is your parents.
Who they are.
What they teach you through their actions, whether they are present in your life or not.
I have a present mother, and I had an absent father.
I learned from both.
I taught myself certain things about who I am based on their proximity. Through their parenting, I learned self-love alongside self-loathing. I learned that I was valuable, and at the same time, I was not enough.
I learned the kind of parent I would and would not be.
I know that if my mother were gone, I would miss her presence. She has been a solid and loving force in my life. I would miss our grown-up conversations.
The ways she loves through deeds, such as cooking my favorite meals.
Her youthfulness and beauty. Her sense of humor. How we can burst into song at the drop of a hat.
But, guess what?
I can sum up my relationship with my father in four awkward hugs and one meaningful conversation. Yet, I miss him. I miss the possibilities of our relationship. I miss the opportunity to see what kind of daddy or granddaddy he could be. I miss the glimpses into who he was as a young man. I miss the chance to look deeply into his face to see if I can find myself there.
I believe that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when they are gone. Still, you will also carry them in your face; in the way you hold your head just so; in your passion for music; in the way you love.
As an adult, you get to choose the best parts of you that you get from them, and you get to be the parent that your children will miss someday.
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