Nothing has made me appreciate these often challenging blessings more than being a father myself. (Being a dad also revealed the constantly changing perspectives that growing and maturing afford you, particularly if you're willing to pay attention. Suddenly I was far more compassionate for my parents than I'd ever been in my pre-parent days.) I never really understood what my Mom and Dad meant when they said "I love you" until I said it to my daughter. It's like having a supernova right below my sternum, an explosion of bittersweet wonder and joy. Coming full circle, round 1.
The puzzle of our identities is indeed more complex than we want to admit, and how much of it is attributable to our folks, to their strengths and failings, we'll probably never know. So here's to you, Mom and Dad!
You can listen to the sermon here.