I take after my father. I look like him, talk like him, and think like him. I know him, because in many ways, I am him.
My mom is different. Soft-hearted, sensitive, and slightly timid. So different from my father. So different from me. I loved her - she's impossible not to love - but I did not know her.
I did not see the quiet strength that lay underneath that timid exterior. I did not understand her enormous capacity for love. I did not believe she had anything to teach me.
There was no epiphany. The realisation has been slow and gradual. Over the last 10 years, as I find out more about myself, I have begun to understand how much my mom has given me.
It is from her that I get my natural facility with language, and my flair for (melo) drama. It is from her that I get my innate trust in the goodness of other people. She calls it faith.
It is from her that I learnt that the heart can be wise too. That sometimes, backing down is a sign of strength, not weakness. That it's okay to let go, and to ask for help if you need it.
It is from her that I learnt not to be afraid to show affection. To laugh with abandon. To love with every fibre of my being.
I take after my mother. I don't look like her, talk like her, or think like her. But I know her, because in many ways, I am her.