I’ve been through some pretty rough times in my life, some pretty challenging times and now as we go through this period of social isolation, some of the lessons that my mum instilled in me are coming through.
I remember as a little girl having scarlet fever, this was a very contagious illness. I was probably about nine years old, I remember the doctor coming to visit and diagnosing me, telling my mother that I should be kept in isolation away from my siblings.
I was probably about nine years old, I remember the doctor coming to visit and diagnosing me, telling my mother that I should be kept in isolation away from my siblings.I can’t remember how long I was in isolation Probably for 10 days, however during that time the only person I would see was my mum who brought me breakfast, soups, lots of drinks, and dinner. I wasn’t allowed to see my brothers and sisters, because they were younger than me and probably more susceptible. I missed the companionship of them even though they were annoying at times. 😆
As we were growing up as children if one of us caught chickenpox, then it was more than likely we would all get it sooner or later. I don’t quite remember what it was like in isolation then, but I know that I came through it and my brothers and sisters did not develop scarlet fever.
But I digress, growing up in the 1960s, yes I’m showing my age, wasn’t easy for my parents who had just come over from the Caribbean as part of the Windrush generation.
My father managed to buy his home, and work very hard to try and pay his bills keep a roof over our head and put food on the table. In order to do this he rented out some of the rooms.
My mother on the other hand, was an entrepreneur although I didn’t recognise it then. She used to sew curtains, dresses, and make cushions, and crochet items which she sold to help generate additional income to contribute towards the upkeep of our family. You see my dad did not want my mum to go to work, as back then there was no network to look after us as children, all my parents family where in the carribbean or very far away from where we grew up, so she stayed home to look after myself and my siblings who were all born pretty close together.
My father on the other hand worked two jobs both in factories. One night shift, coming home at five in the morning, having a brief sleep then going off to do a day shift in another place. He made a huge sacrifice of not seen his young children grow up. I remember we often had to be quiet if we were in the house in the daytime because our father was sleeping. He did that for a few years and managed to pay off his mortgage within 10 years. I remember the day he was very very proud.
The lessons that my parents taught me were invaluable and have helped me throughout my adult life.
My father taught me to be an independent person and not to rely on anyone but myself to get things done.
He also taught me a lot about money, he believed in working hard and savings.
He also helped others financially who needed his help, because he was known as being good with his investments and savings.
He taught me to be adventurous, and to be the best that I can be. He was always very supportive and encouraging in any of my ventures no matter how mad they sounded.
My father and my mother taught me about following my heart, and following my dreams, trusting God and being honest and not letting anything get in the way. From a very young age they encouraged all of us to be ambitious with our thinking, and with our talents. As with any great parent, they nurtured and gave us the best they could with what they could afford. They also prepared us for dissappointment. Life is not always about winning and being on top.
When you seem to be losing, look at why and look at how you can do better was the ethos that they both instilled.
If you pulled together as a family, then together you could do great things, but if you did things on your own, you only have limited success.
My Mother taught me to listen to my inner guide. This is something she always did, and said that we are all guided by our spirits, some realise it and others dont. She said to listen and feel what your body and mind speak to you and follow it.
My mother also taught me to look for the good things in a bad situation and learn from it.
There are so many more that they taught, and in various situations, their guidance and lessons continue to show themselves even after they years they have departed from this earth.
I hope I am able to leave such memories, lessons and legacies to my children and grandchildren.