Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Parents, Ourselves

So I am privileged to be part of a wonderful volunteer organization, Rotary. By being involved, I get to interact with some of the most amazing people. Tonight I had a conversation with one of my favorites; he helped me remember that a big part of who we are is directly due to our parents. To embrace and love our parents is to embrace and love a part of ourselves.

This conversation came to pass as I talked about my dad, who is battling cancer. My dad is a wonderful man and I've been fortunate enough to have shared my high opinion of him with him over the years. Meaning that I feel comfortable that he knows how much I love him. As weird as it is to say, if he were to die tomorrow, I would rest easy knowing that he knew how much I loved him. Crazy and sad to think that way, but true. I remember a radio show I heard once that interviewed Oncology (cancer) nurses and they were polled as to how they would want to die, if given the choice. Some of the choices were to die in an accident, to die in your sleep, to die of cancer, etc. The poll showed that they chose cancer by an overwhelming majority. The reason given was that cancer gives you time to say good-bye. One of my former employees lost her husband to cancer. While he was alive, he was able to video tape sessions of himself talking to his sons (who were only 4 and 7 at the time) and tell them things he wasn't going to get to tell them since he had only 6 months to live.

My dad will have surgery in the next 1 - 3 months. My understanding is that his chance of survival is 50%.

But this blog isn't all about dad. It's about my mom too and how I've learned to embrace her and all of her beauties, flaws and weaknesses. My mom is part of me and as I grow into womanhood, I see how I act like her and am like her. Instead of rejecting it, I'm trying to learn how to embrace it. Like my dad, she is wonderful, in her own way. Like my dad, she made me. Like my dad, I love her.

As I learn to love my parents even more, and as I learn to forgive their shortcomings, I learn to love and accept myself.

1 comment:

yertle said...

Interestingly, I just went through a similar thought process to this a few weeks ago. I realized that the difficulties I had with my parents gave me gifts in terms of who I am now, and I know they did everything they did out of love. Since I have had children, my relationship with my parents has improved -- largely because I see them more regularly. I appreciate them a lot now and always take the time to tell them.