Tuesday, February 25, 2014

You Are Loved

Despite the anxiety and sleepless nights provoked by the duty of bringing up three children through the perils of infancy, childhood and teenage years, the results are rewarding. As they become adults, reality sets in. More likely than not, they begin to understand the effort it takes to pay rent (or a mortgage if they are lucky); ingest healthy foods (and shop, cook, wash the dishes, pots and pans); transit paper work from the mail box to the "done" pile (and hopefully have paid the bills on time). With ongoing life now part of their burden, they begin to look at their parents with more compassion.

Having had this delicious experience as of late - being viewed by my adult offspring as a human being with feelings and needs - it boils down to one thing. I feel loved.

Yet, one needn't sire another human being to know this feeling. Recently, a Vietnamese refugee told me how she was shunned in Vietnam because her mother married an American soldier. This was not at all cool in the post-war era, when the North Vietnam took over the entire country in an inevitable retaking of the land from Western colonial powers. She couldn't go to school because of the obvious genetic component of a Caucasian father.

Angry, hurt, and humiliated, she chafed at this discrimination until a local priest and nuns took her in. She was taught by clergy and sheltered with compassion. Years later as an American citizen, she remembers what is most important. The love she was shown.

And she reminded me to pass it on.

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