By: Sekinah Brodie
It’s the one thing that very few people ever want to face or talk about. The something that most of us will inevitably face one day. With all of the chaos of COVID-19, the quarantine, and the overall vulnerability of the world I’ve had plenty of time to think. Whether those have been good or bad thoughts, I’ve been able to gain clarity about a lot of things.
I never had the opportunity to meet my birth parents or even the majority of my birth siblings. The closest I’ve come to knowing who they are is by reading letters. Followed up with countless hours of internet searching, and the one picture I have of all my family members. With that said, I am one of the lucky ones. The ones who ended up getting out of the foster care system and adopted into a great family. As a bonus, I was adopted alongside two of my birth siblings which rarely ever happens. Many children are often left in the system to fend for themselves or separated from other family members.
My parents have always been a lighthouse of guidance for me. They are also a support system to rely on if things ever go wrong. I’m so blessed to have two of the strongest, loving and most generous people support me for so much of my life – mistakes and all. Within the past couple of years I’ve made some huge mistakes. From those mistakes, I have learned to wean myself away from the safety net I call home.
I believe that one can truly never conquer the real world if you do not fall on your face a few times. Not only have these pitfalls helped me build strength and character, they have also helped me build a mutual respect with my parents. They’ve had the ability to watch me grow into a woman, take the good with the bad, and have supported me whether they were disappointed in me or not.
“Though I strongly dislike showing vulnerability I can admit, I’m afraid to lose my parents.”
During this last month of quarantine, I’ve been contemplating what life would look like without them. It’s almost impossible to imagine because they have always been around. My mom and dad are getting older, time is moving faster, and no matter how much we would like I am realizing they aren’t invincible. This is dreadful for me because the health scare known as the coronavirus is reportedly much harsher on people who are older or have compromised immune systems. Of course, this can apply to young people as well, but people over the age of 60 seem to be more at risk. I’m now finding myself trying to cherish even the most mundane conversations I have with my very stubborn father now. I look forward to my mom sending me home remedies and bible verses every morning.
On the other hand, I feel immense guilt that I haven’t made them the proudest parents that they could have been over my lifetime. There are so many things I’ve always wanted to do for them that I thought I had time for, like giving them more grandkids or having my dad walk me down the aisle. Don’t get me wrong, I still have time for all of these things, but certain events just force you to slow down and think.
“I’m anti-society rules at the core, but like most people I want to make my parents proud at the end of the day.”
Though I strongly dislike showing vulnerability I can admit, I’m afraid to lose my parents. However, the more I contemplate the negative side, there are so many positives to this next phase of our lives. It is important that one day I get to pass down all of the incredible life lessons to my own children. I still have time to get to know exactly who they are! Showing them that the person they raised has morals, integrity, ambition, but most importantly has a great head on her shoulders.
There are millions of people my age right now who may be losing sleep over these thoughts and I challenge you all to adjust your thinking.
Times may be scary at the moment, but take advantage of all the time you have left. Not just with your parents but with your family and friends in general. Don’t let small disagreements break the bond you have. Talk to your parents even when you might not feel like it. Stop by unannounced! Ask them how they’re doing, and most of all show them that you’re proud to be their child.
You never know how much a small gesture can change someone’s outlook on life.