When we're kids we belong to our parents.
We try so hard to be exactly like them.
Then at some point we try so hard to be our own people, who we hope will be nothing like them.
And when we grow up we realize we are equal parts of both.
We are our own, and we are theirs.
I am my mother's smile and her eyes.
I hear her voice when I laugh and when I speak softly.
I am my father's hard headedness and gift for telling a story.
I hear his words come out of my mouth, I find myself telling his tales.
I have the songs they both loved, and the ones I found on my own.
I read the books my dad owned and love the mountains like my mom.
For every second I spend railing against what they did to me, gave to me, taught to me, said to me, there is another moment when I find them somewhere inside myself, mixed in with all the elements of who I am all on my own.
My past beside my future.
Their legacy, my progress.