It is so incredibly strange to think of all that came before you, of who the people that you love were before they were yours.

My mother and I are very similar people. What I am facing right now, where I am in my life right now, at this very moment, is very similar to where she was 34 years ago—mainly because we were beginning to find ourselves for the first time in the same place. Cottey. But my Cottey is very different from her Cottey and in many ways, so are our lives. Panama was my first moment away from all that I knew before. I am not sure what hers was.

But as I just read the pages of one of my mother’s journals’ that she shared with me, my heart twisted and turned. I wish I could comfort the young woman who existed years ago, who in many ways was me, is me and will be me. Of course, her feelings were not exactly what I feel in this moment. We are very similar but we are not the same. The building blocks of our lives are sisters but they are not twins.

My mother and I are very similar. Perhaps everyone goes through what she went through—the words I just read—the things I am facing today. Perhaps not. How could anyone ever know?

I am writing these words simply because it is very strange. It is all very strange. It is so incredibly strange: life is, and I can’t seem to get over that fact. Who will be important to me in 5 year? 10? 50? Who will be there by my side when my eyes close for the final time?

We all think we will never be like our parents. We wonder what it is like for them to face the things we watch them deal with on a daily basis. But someday, I will be my parents and my children will be me. My parents are where I come from, no matter how hard I try to fight that sometimes. I owe them everything. I am grateful for them each and every day. Without them, I would not be who I am today.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that. I write these words so I can remember, even in the midst of a grey cloud.


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