I had planned to blog about writing today but changed my mind…sort of. I am still talking about writing. Just not exclusively mine.

Over the years my mind and heart have started understanding my parents. Both passed away long before I was able to sit down and visit adult to adult. We had a tough childhood, and though I never stopped loving them, I was angry for many years. I wrote my heart out, my anger out, and my pain out. As I got older, I learned to forgive them, but that isn’t where it ends.

One day I received a folder from my sister that contained many of my mother’s poems. I knew my mother wrote poetry but had not seen them until that day. I sat down on the couch and began to read her heart, mind, and soul in those pages. I saw my father as a man my mother loved so deeply.

Through every tear I shed, I began to understand her not as my parent, but as a person. It was if I had stepped outside the box and was watching her life unfold…completely disconnected. With this view, I changed my perspective. I cried for my parents, and for me, but I also learned to love them more. I felt their hearts through my discovery.

I was able to capture who she was through her words. Now looking back at a young woman, divorced, 36 years old with six little girls attached to her…I felt her fear. I was able to see her for the life she had, not the life she should have had…and I felt her broken heart through my discovery.

It is knowing my parent’s story that helped see them as individuals. It was reading my mother’s writings that taught me a part of her I hadn’t been able to see before…I was clouded by my own needs, my own anger, my own sadness.

If nothing else, here is what I hope you get from this blog – to look at your parents. Now step away and really look at them. See them as the person they are, not who they are to you, but who they are to themselves. How did they become the person they are today? If they are no longer living, still do this. Then write about them…write their story.