Have you caught the “Ancestry.com” bug? At this time in my life I have but in a different way. I want to know about my parents. Do you ever wonder who your parents were before you were born? I’ve known mine literally all of my life, of course, but do I know who they were before me? I’ve always wanted a glimpse of who my parents were before I met them, like from a time travel machine but to see inside, who they were privately or maybe just to see who they were as people and not my parents.
Yes, I know basics like where they were born, grew up. What colleges they attended, that sort of thing. I know my grandparents names. I know what my parents looked like in photos from their youth, but who were they on the inside, the part no one else sees? I always wondered if or how they would be different if I met them back then. That “missing” information intrigues me. How does it differ, if at all, from who they are now as my parents?
|AP "Pat" Buie, Jr.|
|Sue F. Wight|
I’ve recently been lucky enough to read some letters to my mother when she was a young girl from her parents and friends. I also read letters she wrote to them and found that yes, she was younger, but I recognize her in her letters. I recognize my mother in that young girl/woman. I know I am a bit different now than I was when young and that maybe some of the things I did, the choices I made as that youth would surprise my kids. I’m sure if I could actually look into my mother’s memories I would find things there that would surprise me, too. But it felt comforting to find that I did actually recognize her in her letters. The “she” I know was there all along.
|Sue before she was my mom|
|Pat before he was my dad|
So I’ve come to two conclusions. One, that though I didn’t know my parents before my birth, I know them now and I’m glad they were whoever they were before me, because that’s what influenced them in who they are (or were) now. And two, though I love the two people who brought me in no matter who they were before, I still wish, even so, that I could travel back in time and meet their younger selves…