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Author Topic: grieving getting older  (Read 1850 times)


  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 3036
Re: grieving getting older
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2017, 10:34:05 AM »
Styyna, I can see some similarities between your parents and my parents-in-law. My father-in-law was captured by the Germans during WWII, and he was on his way to a POW camp on a train; as they went over a bridge they were bombed by the Americans. The bridge was a legitimate target but it was the worst case of friendly fire on record, more than 400 American, British and South African POWs died. He managed to escape and he was on the run in occupied Italy for about 6 months. I am convinced that he suffered from post-traumatic disorder, but in those days this was not very well understood. My mother-in-law suffered from depression; the causes were both environmental and genetic. My father- in- law was violent to his wife and to my husband (his sisters escaped the physical violence, although they had to witness it). My mother-in-law, apparently, would go for weeks without talking to her husband, which must have been hell. By comparison, my highly volatile mother with her epic fits of temper was quite easy going; and the nice thing was, my father could always make her laugh, even when she was fuming, he just had this way, I cannot explain… I am laughing as I write this! My parents’ worries were all financial. Both my parents were intelligent and talented individuals who started working aged 11 (can you imagine this?); my mother was apprenticed to a dress-maker and my father started as an errand boy in a jeweller’s, then went to work in a factory. He enrolled in a technical college when he was 20 and attended evening classes after work. Eventually he became a telecommunications engineer. But for the first 10 years of their marriage they struggled. My father did not praise us openly,  his praise was quite subtle; but he had a way of making us feel special. When I was 11 and my primary school teacher suggested that I could take the entry exam for a grammar school, my father was delighted, although he knew that he would have to find the money for the uniform and books. This was quite unusual at the time: girls’ education was not seen as a priority and many of my contemporaries had the same fate as my mother.
Another thing that my father never did was tell us he loved us. But the last time I saw him, in hospital, a few weeks before he died, he held my hand and kissed it; and in that kiss he put all the unsaid words and a whole lifetime of caring and loving…
Anyway. I am going to the south of Spain tomorrow, and the weather forecast is quite promising. I will see you ladies when I return on May 2nd. God bless you.


  • Ageless Beauty
  • Posts: 3729
  • "steena"
Re: grieving getting older
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2017, 08:30:54 AM »
Milla, you probably won't see this until your return in May but I wanted to say it anyway. Your father sounds like he was a very loving father, even if he didn't say the words. I love the way you describe both your parents and the interactions between them. Laughter is so wonderful.

One thing about my parents that I never doubted was their love for one another. My mother worshipped the ground on which my father walked and my father returned her love ten-fold. I guess perhaps I had some doubts as a young teen when I overheard them arguing and my mother was crying but that was mostly due to teenage flights of fancy. Everything was dramatic that year!

Dad took care of Mom during her last 10 years. She wasn't able to do even the most basic of tasks around the house due to undiagnosed COPD (lung disease). Dad took on the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and caring for her without so much as a single complaint. When he was given two years to live due to prostate cancer he rapidly sold their home and a lot of their possessions and moved the two of them to Minnesota where my brother and I lived so that she would be close to us after he passed. Sadly, she was the one with only two years and we lost her a couple of years after they moved back. Dad lived another four years after - four years during which I had the opportunity to form a very strong bond with him. It was my privilege and honor to provide most of his hospice care in his final months. So, while my mother and I never became close, my father and I had a great relationship once I became an adult and it was greatly strengthened in those last years. I don't miss him greatly because I feel like he's with me most of the time.

Anyway, I hope your sojourn to the south of Spain is all that you hope it will be, glorious weather and all!
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart