Friday, November 04, 2005

Eras gone by

In the last 2 weeks I have visited the hometowns of both my parents - towns that I will probably not visit very often anymore, if ever, as none of my grandparents live there anymore (two of my three grandparents have recently died and the last one lives in Waco now). I hadn't been to my mom's hometown in 10 years and it was a little emotional going back, since the last time I was there my grandfather was living.

I admit I am probably odd in that I like to dwell on these things more than most people. I am way too sentimental about eras gone by. And since the death of these two grandparents I really have turned into a family history freak. I love hearing stories and reading old letters and seeing old pictures of family members. I can't help it... since I lost my grandfather (mom's dad) and grandmother (dad's mom), these places where my parents grew up and were nurtured are alot more special to me than ever before. Kind of in the same way it is that sometimes you don't realize how much you love someone until they're gone.

They are places that I used to visit as a kid, but no longer have a reason to anymore. I am sad to close this chaper in both my life and that of my parents', but I think instead of dwelling on memories and the past that I have tried to learn so much about, I should instead share a little something which I have only started to grasp in the last year.

These places have shown me something important. They are part of who my parents are. My parents are people independent of me. My mom is not just my mom, she is her own person and she existed before me. I know this sounds silly, but how many of us think of our parents as individuals in their own right without thinking about them in relation to ourselves? I mean, just in referring to them as Mom & Dad, we can easily forget that they too have names, feelings, dreams and desires, disappointments, and a past that does not include us at all. I'm not advocating children calling their parents by their real names, and I'm not saying we should stop viewing our parents in relation to ourselves. All I wanted to say is that it's very easy to forget that they're real people too, just like you and me.

I hope this post is not cheesy. I tried hard to leave out the cheese and just share what I was thinking. So thanks for reading. And here's to Mom and Dad. You are both beautiful people and I'm so blessed to be a part of your lives.

PS This is a picture of my parents at the front of the church where they were married 32 years ago.