Once upon a time, a doctor and a Master of Home Economics had a child.
Wait, they had two.
The Master did all sorts of things with her degree. She worked in nutrition; she owned a furniture store; she taught at a school.
The doctor…worked a lot. All the time, actually. Two hours after his first daughter was born (me), he was back at work. With the second daughter (my sister), he really waited around…He returned to work four hours after she was born.
My parents, the true inspirations of my life, have saved the day for my sister and me so many times.
But they also had to move halfway around the world, each of them with a complete stranger and living with someone else for the first time. As an American, I only sort of know what that’s like because I lived in the dorms. Even then, though, that person wasn’t my new family and I could move back home if I wanted to (an hour and half commute is nothing compared to a country on the other side of the work).
And my parents did all that, and then raised my sister and me.
They are the kinds of people I wish everyone knew. They speak with grace, stand with strength, and act with love.
For many years, it was tough to define what it was that made our parents actually ours, when it seemed like most of the time, we were not all together.
In Gilmore Girls, Rory describes her mother as the person she most wants to be.
And in our family, that’s what it is. It isn’t that we are always together…For many years growing up, my mother had to represent both parents to concerts, recitals, and events…I’m still embarrassed that my thank yous to her were always delayed, often not sincere, until she and I started growing close.
My parents are not just my guideposts anymore. They are my confidantes, my raison d’être, and my inspiration. They symbolize a world I don’t know, and a world they built. That’s why they are who I want to be.