1/20/2010

Missing Puzzle Pieces


Some of us grew up never knowing one of our parents. This is particularly hard on a child when so much of their identity is tied up into their parents. I think this is particularly common in today’s world where divorce is rampant. Often times, a missing parent moves away and the child is left being raised by one parent. If the divorce is ugly, which most are, the impression children get of the missing parent is often negative, distorted by a relationship that went sour.

Negative comments made about one’s natural parents are hurtful to children. It makes them feel as if they are somehow not quite right themselves. They are innately associated with both parents in their minds and in their genes. This connection, this bond, only serves to create confusion and frustration in a child’s mind when one is out of the picture of their lives. It is particularly hard when they are bombarded with negative degrading comments about the missing parent.

Over the years, I have met so many adults who, once on their own, have reconnected with a missing parent. What they find, after many years, is their parent is not perfect by any means, but usually is one who never stopped loving them. Knowing this, that love was present in the heart of absent parent makes a huge difference. Knowing too that days went by with the missing child on their mind is soothing to the soul of the adult child. Even if the absent parent has issues, as we all do, it is still a completed circle to many adults to reconnect to their biological roots.

I recently reconnected with my mother. I have not seen her since I was thirteen years old on a brief Saturday visitation day. We still have not had a chance to meet in person again. But, I am grateful, even from afar, for the opportunity to get to know her. We live in different states making visits not easily done. I so enjoy now forming my own opinions of her. Too often in my past, it was based on everyone else’s impressions of her and not my own.

The more we talk, I see many similarities with us, and I hear it in our laughter. Many pieces of me that didn’t quite fit or make sense to me growing up now seem to mesh together quite well as I understand where those traits came from.

No, she will never be the mother many of my friends have, but, she is mine. I am a part of her life now and she is a part of mine. She does love me and she is sorry for all that she was not in my life. For me, yes, I think that is enough. As we are on a journey of discovery, I indeed feel blessed. She has been forgiven and we have moved past the past, as it should be.

May you find it in your heart to forgive those that have deserted you. If it is the right thing to do, in your situation, then perhaps, seek them out, that missing parent. Be open and honest with them too and ask for nothing less from them. May you find, in doing so, there were reasons for their desertion. Don't go into it with high expectations, accept what is as is.

Life is too short to walk around with pieces of the puzzle, the puzzle that is you, missing. It is good to go full circle with your life and put together the missing parts. You are worth it!
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