I am permanently and notably different after the loss of both my parents. Over the course of five years, I learned how to cry, how to bend, how to allow the emotions in front of me to matter. As an Army brat that moved around, I had a built and worn a shell that made me unapologetically gruff to some, while others just felt I was incredibly aloof and detached.
For those that made it into my friend zone, they saw that I had those thoughts and emotions, but it was not often that they were on display. For the inner-sanctum, they have found pure entertainment in my gruff reactions to the smallest of matters.
There is no turning back now. Some days I am frustrated by my new-found humanity. I can’t believe why something as simple as a comment about “nana or pop-pop” will bring tears to my eyes. I miss them, I wish things would have gone better for us all, and I want to make sure I do a better job for the sake of me, my husband, and my kids.
I knew my parents as an adult, so I had many opportunities to talk about many things that mattered. But I do recognize how their loss permanently etched some details on me that will remain.
The headline of the the post came from a story I saved in a blog draft from 2015. This son didn’t really get to know his mom until the final days of her life. But he did a wonderful job of honoring her memory.
I needed to change to be a better care partner to my parents. I’m still adapting to figure out to use all those lessons to be a better person. Humbled.