barack-obama*President Barack Obama took a moment to remember the past while admitting his regrets over “not having spent more time with my mother.”

Mr. Obama’s reflection came during a recent town hall meeting at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, MSNBC reports. The president’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, passed away in 1995 from uterine cancer just weeks before her 53rd birthday. Four months earlier, Obama had published “Dreams from My Father”; a year later, he won his first election, a seat on the Illinois state Senate.

“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.”

While Obama was growing up, MSNBC noted that Dunham moved the family around the world. She divorced Barack Obama Sr., married Lolo Soetoro, and moved the family from Hawaii to Indonesia when Obama was only six. That marriage ended in divorce.

Obama cited his desire for independence ultimately resulted in the widening space between him and his mother, a regret he shared with the students in Kuala Lumpur.

For more about President Obama’s town hall speech, click over to MSNBC.