Role Models – Episode 1

I am very lucky to have known a number of very lovely people through out my life. Generous, empathetic people. People who cared about others. Before I was born my parents took in a couple of youngsters who had problems at home. I know who they were, I know very few other details. I know my parents did the right thing for the right reasons.

My father cared about other people, he would cry (and I’m very proud of him for that) whenever he heard or saw anything about a child suffering. He was over-protective of his family, but we forgave him, because we knew he loved us.

He couldn’t bear to hear of any kind of injustice, and would get furiously angry about all sorts of things. But I can’t remember a single occasion when he got angry with me.

He was lovely, difficult, but lovely. He has been dead for 30 years now. I still miss him every day.

My first mother-in-law was also lovely. She was smart and generous and would always give people the benefit of the doubt. And if they proved they didn’t deserve it she wouldn’t bad mouth them, she just wouldn’t have anything to do with them.

She was good to me, she stood up for me when I left her son. She understood that I respected her for having made choices I couldn’t make, and I believe that she respected me for having made choices she couldn’t.

She had an understanding of human nature that more people should share. She was tolerant and that which should be tolerated (we’re none of us perfect) and angry at that which was wrong, though she was more likely to be angry at the behaviour than the person.

She’s been dead for 15 years now, and I still miss her too.

The other person I want to talk about was my great grand mother. She was 80 when I was born. She was bloody minded, awkward, and delightful.

My favourite memory of her, is visiting her with my mum when I was very small. She had a big, old fashioned, wooden, adjustable armchair. She was under 5 feet tall, she had a hunched back from osteoporosis, and she was quite frail. I can remember her picking up the wooden armchair, turning it through 90 degrees and collapsing into it. She then said to my mother “… dear, do you think you could make the tea? Because I don’t think I can manage it.”

She lived until she was 100 years old. She was always a sharp as a knife and knew her own mind. In her own way she was as tough as they come. I have many happy memories of her. I said when I was a child that if I was going to take after any member of my family I wanted to be like her.

I don’t dare ask… 🙂

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