My gentle and soulful mother taught me to be graceful, which is also to say, not to say, anything, even when one is hurt or despairing or furious. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This, she learned from her own mother; and so, they drank to muffle their pain, while I turned mine into migraines.
My charismatic and successful father taught me to persist past personal limits, to ignore boundaries, to transcend all feelings–temperature, hunger, sadness. To be devoid of them, in fact. Except for anger. Which was his alone. And when life couldn’t be avoided, to work. To work. To work. Like his father and his father before him. And so, I lost touch with myself, and became solely a figment of my mind, unaware of needs beyond thought, of identity beyond work, of living beyond performance.
It took me years to unlearn what my parents bestowed. Years with a gentle husband. A talented therapist. Loving children. Good friends.
It took my mother’s grace and my father’s persistence for me to finally find my way to…
And for that, I thank them, dearly.