Obama Says He Regrets Not Spending More Time With Mother

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/28/2014 | 02:45 PM EDT

The president delivers emotional speech to university in Malaysia

President Barack Obama got emotional while doing a little self-reflection on his relationship with his mother.

Speaking to students during a town hall at the University of Malaya in Malaysia, President Obama said that he regrets not having spent more time his mother before she passed away.

“I realized that there was a stretch of time from when I was, let’s say 20 until I was 30 where I was so busy with my own life that I didn’t always reach out and communicate with her and ask her how she was doing and tell her about things,” Obama said. “You know, I was nice and I’d call and I’d write once in a while, but this goes to what I was saying earlier about what you remember in the end, I think, is the people you love.”


Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham died from uterine cancer in 1995 at only 53 years old. According to the president, she had died in six months time since being diagnosed. Four months earlier, Obama had published “Dreams from My Father,” and a year later, he won his first election as an Illinois state Senator.

“I realized that I didn’t every single day or at least more often, spend time with her or find out what she was thinking because she had been such an important part of my life,” Obama said.

“Now that’s natural as young people. You know, As you grow up you become independent. But for those of you who have not called their parents lately, I would just say that that is something that I regret.”

The president’s candid statement is something we all can relate too. Far too often we fail to give our roses to the ones we love while they’re still alive. Hopefully this will be a great reminder of the importance of not taking people for granted.

(Photos from left: Family Photo, Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)

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