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My mother, Myself

On this birthday of my mother I reflect upon the woman she was; and the woman I am. My mother died when I was not yet twenty, hardly a woman, hardly an adult. To say that I knew her as a woman would be an exaggeration; I barely knew her as a mother, for we see our parents as their ‘roles’ first, and individuals later, that is if we really ever ‘see’ them at all.

Humans are essentially selfish in nature. To us our preservation and continuity is all important, it is in our genes, or at least that is how we redeem ourselves and our selfish acts. A child views its mother solely in relation to itself, and realizes at the onset that she is significant for its survival. To say that I did the same would be stating the obvious. When she died, I don’t think I understood what I had lost. I couldn’t have, given how young and self-involved I was as one is at that age; yet I understood that her death was a landmark in the road of my life. A landmark that I would refer to at different points of my journey. What I didn’t realize how often I would revisit this landmark, and how many times I would re-define and re-examine it in order to define my own current situation, my identity, my life, my relationship to others and my place in the scheme of things.

If you haven’t had the luxury of time to know your mother then sadly you have lost the chance of completely knowing yourself. It is through the people that give us life that we must begin our search into our own selves, into the inner recesses of our soul. My mother was the answer to the riddle that I am today, she was the key to the maze of my personality. Now with her gone – I am but lost in my own labyrinth.

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