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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Quotes make you think

I have always been intrigued by Maya Angelou and her brilliant mind. This morning I was flipping through a book I just ordered, that shares 101 of her quotes. I found one that really made me think. It stated in part that "we are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot- it's all there".

It started me thinking about my family and where everyone is right now. My three adult children were born several years apart. The first two five years apart and the last one 18 years after her oldest sibling. The birth of these three also involved my relationship with their two different fathers.

Thinking about all the experiences these simple facts brought to my children is overwhelming to me as their mother. I'm sure each child has a different view of the facts. This was brought to my attention at my ex-husband's recent memorial service as I listened to my youngest child share memories. All three children lived in the same house, but I am quite sure no two shared the same memories of the deceased.

As their mother,  I know my memories are certainly different then theirs. A fairly recent memory of something that one of my grandchildren (now an adult) said to me also got my attention. He said, "I remember you yelling at my grandpa". I wonder if he ever gave any thought as to why that was.Odd that I don't yell anymore.

No matter how close the family, children only get part of the whole picture. They are too young to understand that parents are the sum total of everything that has ever touched them, internally and externally.

Think about it.


  1. I think about this all the time, Barbara. I only had one child but I had six different marriages, to five different men, and my son's remembrances of those relationships is far different than mine. These days when I jokingly kid about having another relationship, guess what his response is? He says to his partner of 10+ years: "Hey! We're gonna get a new dad!"

    That said, I've remained friends with all my ex-husbands; after all, there was something about us that we liked once upon a time and it seems like a waste of a friendship to be angry over a marriage that didn't work out. With that example, my son has also remained friends with his exes as well. Life is too short to carry grudges and resentments around with us.

    Nice post! I like Maya Angelou's work, too. She was quite the wise woman, wasn't she?

  2. I agree with the friendship part. My last ex and I got along better after the divorce then before, but his relatives all cut me out of his life. I am friends with my son's ex and send gifts to her children from another marriage. They could have been my grandchildren.