What I Learned From My Parents

Sadly, my parents passed away some time ago, but not a day goes by when I don’t think of them and wish they were here with me or at least a phone call away.

It’s hard losing the people we love. But instead of welling in self pity and wishing for something I can’t have, I think about the good times we shared and all the things I learned from them.

My parents had a gift for making people around them feel special. It felt great to be with them, having good conversations and knowing how much they cared. But what really meant, and still means a lot to me, is how loved and special they made me feel. That no matter how my life would turn out, their love and faith in me was, and is, a fact.

They never accepted bad behaviour or unkindness. If someone treated my parents badly they’d let them know about it and stood up for what they believed in. Nothing upset my Mother more than people who treated others with disrespect. She would have given her very last penny ( or krona ) to someone needing it more than her, and always rooted for those worse off than herself. But what really made her stand out from the crowd was her style. She had a unique look that only belonged to her. Long after she passed away people still mention how kind and cultivated she was, and it makes me feel warm inside.

My Father was old fashioned yet also modern. He’d always open doors to women, stand up to offer a seat to a lady or an older person on the bus and other places. Even when getting older he insisted on being polite and wouldn’t take no for an answer. My Father was old school and brought up that way.

Of course everyone has memories of loved ones but my parents did something very special. They gave me the security and strength to be my own person.

Whenever life’s treated me badly, I’m reminded of their kindness and resilience. Nowadays, such traits aren’t considered to be trendy. Instead we’re expected to follow trends, behave and dress like everyone else. Why? Who says we have to conform to others ideas of what is and isn’t right?

My parents biggest gift to me was to be my own person, to never permit anyone to diminish me and, above all, do what I want and what feels right for me. Self respect, taking pride in what I believe in, and caring about people I love, matter as much to me as it did to them.

My Father always told me to be to proud of who I am and where I come from, and my Mother wanted me to be happy, loved and fulfilled. Their motto was to live life to the full and not have regrets. I hope and believe they achieved both.

How about you? Do you live your best life or what others expect of you?
Hélene xx

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