My parents part 2

I left home at 15, almost 16. Went away to dance school to have a chance to start reinventing myself and my life, and that was the end of close parenting for them. It must have left a void. My mother told me later that everything all of a sudden got so quiet and although they have never told me so, I know that allowing me to leave home so early was very hard for them.
For many years I didn't really value my parents. My desire was to explore and really stretch my experience of life and since they reminded me of who I was and the insecurities I wanted to leave behind, I withdrew from them and definitely didn't keep in touch as often as they would have liked. After dance school I left for NY and when I came back, I had lost my hair and that last bit of innocence. I created a little gap between us, since sharing my stories of and growing pains felt difficult, too far from what they knew and it was easier for me to pin them down as old fashioned and hide some inconveniences. Trying to give Nice girl the upper hand.
My relationship with Igor in many ways saved and speeded up the process of restoring the bond with my parents. He came from a more dramatically difficult family relation and when he met my gentle folks he saw only good. Their tolerance to my wild ways and the fact that they had set me free even though they were worried for me made them look like saints in his eyes. And he with his wicked sense of humour and irreverent ways, brought a lot of smiles to our family times. And in this warmth, we reconnected and instead of hiding I included them, shared the stories of my life and of course, got only unconditional acceptance and the most heartfelt love in return. They are truly two extraordinary ordinary people.

But still, even though I love them so and truly appreciate them, they can drive me totally crazy and annoy me endlessly in that way that only parents, and daughters, can. My father's inability to talk about his feelings and his grumpy old man tendencies whenever he finds something to complain about. My mother's addiction to books on tape, her sometimes completely absent presence and her inability to recognize her own greatness and take care of herself and her body. There is still that. But if I have learned anything from these two gentle folks and their years of tremendous parenting, it is that true love accepts and embraces regardless of personal opinion.
A week ago my father was hospitalized, nothing serious, just a painful reminder of the fact that my beautiful parents are aging. I wish that I could be closer to them, or actually that they would live here, closer to me in the warmth of the Algarve. I wish I could care for them the way they cared for me. But life is here and now, in circumstances created before these thoughts. Besides, they are always with me, if not physically. They're in the phone calls, the care packages, in my thoughts and in my heart. I feel them and their role model in me when I care for Iomi and Igor. They are still my shining examples of love and I feel so grateful that against many odds, they became and are my parents. Mamma o Pappa, jag älskar er.


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