What’s the greatest legacy a parent left/could leave behind?
Let’s keep away from practical things like money, houses, cars, etc. Have you received something which has impacted on your life? Some unforgetable advice shared with you by an elder member of your family?
My mother was an amazing person, but so self effacing. She never realised how much she shared, how much she taught or how much she encouraged me (and my siblings). She had little sayings she’d occasionally drop into conversation when we were young. Here’s a couple of them.
“You’ll never be lonely as long as you have a book.” She was an ardent reader, but didn’t appear to have a favourite genre. She lived alone for the last 40 years of her life. I often worried about her being lonely, but she’d just trot out this little saying. I thank her for sharing that love of books and reading with me.
“Never leave home until you’ve seen your country.” She knew how much NZ had to offer and made sure we saw it all. Well pretty much all of it, before we ventured overseas. I thank her for giving me the urge to travel and experience different places and cultures.
“You do what you have to do.” Widowed when I was two, Mum took on all parenting rolls. A farmer’s daughter she never shirked any task, dealing with the likes of windblown trees or flooded ditches, managing a huge vegetable garden or baking the most delicious cakes in the world. I thank her for showing me that setting your mind to a task is what’s needed to complete it.
What “pearl of wisdom” will you pass on to your children/younger ones?
The world has become so much smaller, who knows when we’ll run into each other again. I hope it will be one day, too
I looked for you both as we sailed home from Vanuatu to thank you for your company. Hope we can meet somewhere, sometime.