This weekend, as I was working on my master’s thesis, I asked my sister a question that popped into my head. This question was: Where did I get my intellect and love for the written word from? We talked about how incredibly smart my mother was (graduated with honors from high school and college). How the love of academics got passed down from her to me as we spent hours together working on my homework at night (I had learning problems when I was younger). By 8th grade, I inherited my mother’s love for academics. In high school, I got inducted into the national honor society and my mother sat beaming in the audience. She gave me a special memory that night. She showed me her honor cords and graduation speech. She told me how proud she was that I got her intelligence and she wanted to see me do great things with it. I will never forget that night. After my mother passed away, succeeding in academics was how I survived and thrived. It was how I carried on her memory. Due to my grief impacting my studies my last two years of high school, I did not graduate with honors. But, I kicked it in gear in college and forced myself to work hard so that I could graduate with honors in memory of my mother. And that I did.
After pondering about all of this, I thought about what other parts of my parents are woven into me. As their child, both of their identities have come together in me to make me the woman I am. I have my mother’s blue eyes and my father’s nose and ears. I talk like my father and have both of their most caring, generous, and kind hearts. I have the wit and humor of my father and the quiet, smart, protectiveness of my mother. My father’s sense of adventure resides in me, as does my mother’s love for nature and travel.
I came to the conclusion that my parents were both two very unique and special people. They had their separate identities that made them who they were. These identities meshed together in me to form their unique daughter. Even though I only had 15 years with my mother and 25 with my father, it was enough time to impact and form my very identity. They may be gone from this earth, but their very spirit and identity lives on in who I am and will continue to live on through my children.