ARE YOU A MOMMA’S BOY? DADDY’S GIRL? SON OF A GUN? JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER? Topic #292:Who is your favorite parent? And why? I love my father because for years I was his curly-headed cow girl…even when I was bald and my hair stick straight. He was my hero, my savior. My earliest memory was sitting being alone with him on our front lawn while he painted the picket fence. It was warm, the sun was shining and my mother and two brothers were somewhere else. I remember very distinctly being utterly happy having him all to my self. I was probably two or three. He stayed hero and favorite parent for years.
Another of my golden memories was hearing his laughter at my College’s Junior Musical. I had written it and when the curtain opened and the first joke was sent out, his laughter lead the crowd. He was too honest to send out a false laugh, so I knew in that moment, the play was a hit and yes the reviews affirmed my father’s opinion. The memory fills me still.
Everyone loved my father. He was kind, loyal, funny, hard-working, probably the most moral person I have ever met, but never judged others without understanding and love. He adored my mother. She probably was a bit less loving, but their marriage lasted and was far better than most.
Here is the last picture I have of the two of them together. This was taken in Central Park probably the year before I married and when they had come to meet David. Dad died before the wedding.
My mother and I had a more complicated relationship. From Dad I was given unconditional love. From my mother I was given other gifts. She nourished my love of nature. Our house overflowed with animals and birds, a day rarely went by that she did call us to watch the sunset. We ran in the rain, walked in the woods, watched the stars, smelled the roses and collected rocks, sea glass and sea shells.
She embedded four messages in my head:
- “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
- “Take pride in standing apart from the crowd.”
- “Enjoy what you have.”
- “Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow.” (This was said if the sunset for that day was blotted out with rain.”)
She was a care-taker, so off and on throughout my childhood one or another needy relative lived with us. She had a gift for making all the nieces, nephews, and grandchildren feel special. She sent little “Just becaause I love you gifts” and always looked on them with love shining from her eyes and heart. Several credit her with their emotional survival.
Living with her was a bit different, she had a temper, and I never felt I pleased her. Then she died. I am not one who is at all certain we live beyond this world. But when my mother died, her spirit hovered around me like a soft blanket, telling me of her love, asking forgiveness that she had not been able to show how she cared during our time on this earth together.
So I loved them both and in different ways, just as they loved me in their different ways. Love is love. Of my 366 foster children, there were some I came to love and that was when I realized love is love, it cannot be separated into loving someone more than someone else. That does not mean you even like all those you love, or approve of them, or would rush into a burning building to save them, or continuing living with them. Still love is love and I loved both my parents and am grateful they were mine and loved me.