My oldest friend’s mother passed away recently. She is the first in my group of friends to have lost a parent. At the funeral, although it was very sad, all her siblings shared very touching words in her memory. They were so intimate, warm and loving, and celebrated each part of her life. Although I have fond memories of her wonderful Mum; it was very special to witness and hear about her life.
I am lucky to have both my parents still with me. It struck me that perhaps I don’t know a huge deal about their lives before all of us arrived; me, my sister and brother. My own Mum is going into hospital for an operation shortly, it has got me thinking about her, as a person. I feel I have not appreciated that recently, let’s be fair probably not for a while. I have taken for granted my special Mum. Grown impatient, and sometimes reacted unkindly. I am a good daughter I know that, and I am hard on myself, but I want to be better.
Part of learning how to love yourself is understanding your roots and appreciating where you came from also. Your parents are part of you, they made you. Some of the traits I love about myself were learned from them, along with the ones I may not be so fond of, but am learning to accept.
I am dedicating some time and positive energy into being more understanding and caring, especially with my Mum. She is a special person. When I see how she fought and turned things around for herself and us, much later in her life, it inspires me. She stayed home to take care of us growing up. When we were old enough, she went out into the work force. She tried her hand a Waitressing, which didn’t work out. She ended up getting a job in the local kindergarten. This is where everything started. She made the decision to go back to college at night, completing her Degree in Fine Art, going on to do her H Dip and began teaching Art at Second Level. Although Mum could be a shy, anxious person, her confidence grew as a teacher and soon she feel in love with teaching, and her students loved her. I know this from the endless cards and gifts they bestowed upon her year in year out.
This is where I get my determination from, she has taught me not to be scared to try things on my own, or make new connections with like-minded people at any point in life. She has taught me it is important to have your own interests and to pursue the things that make you happy in order to be true to yourself. My Dad has always supported her in this. These lessons are invaluable to me.
Now she is retired. It’s a new chapter of her/their life, and I need to remember that. She is just a girl inside too, she has to find her way again, and I have to treat her with kindness and support at this time in her life, both her and my Dad. They have supported me though my life, now it’s my turn to start repaying the favour and not be inpatient or unkind. It’s a chance to get to know them more, and I look forward to doing that.
It’s one thing to say you are grateful, this time I want to feel actually take time to feel it. I will spend time with these two wonderful people who I love dearly, enjoy their spirit and energy fully, learning and growing from them with new valour and fresh eyes, a new perspective.