In a heartfelt moment on Sunday before students at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, President Barack Obama shared that he regretted not spending more time with his now-deceased mother, the ABC News reports.
“I regret not having spent more time with my mother,” he said. “She died early. She got cancer right around when she was my age, actually; she was just a year older than I am now. It happened very fast, in about six months.”
Ann Dunham died at age 52—days before her 53rd birthday—in 1995 of ovarian cancer. Obama was in his mid-30s at the time.
“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,” the president added. “I was nice and I’d call and 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. I realized that I didn’t—every single day, or at least more often—just spend time with her and find out what she was thinking and what she was doing, because she had been such an important part of my life.”
Obama is expected back home on Tuesday following his four-nation Asian tour.
Read more at ABC News.