GLEAN FROM YOUR PARENTS

My Father passed away a little over 4 years ago and Mum went just under a year later.  Dads death was a bit of a shock as it was mum who was in hospital at the time.

Our family was just getting ready to head up to visit them (we live in Victoria and they lived in Brisbane – 1800 kilometres apart and we used to visit once a year in August) and I had rung dad on the Monday to say we would be there around lunch time on the Tuesday to pick him up and then take him to the hospital to see mum.

Dad answered the phone but was unable to speak to me.  I rang a couple of times but it was the same each time.  I rang my brother who lives in Canberra and he thought it probably had something to do with his hearing.  Dad had hearing problems since he was 25 and had worn hearing aids from that time.  I wasn’t convinced that this was the issue but as a friend was going to be there an hour or so later to take him to see mum we weren’t too concerned.

We left to travel to my friends house where we would stay the night before getting on a plane and flying up to visit (this town was 2.5 hours away).  On the way my brother rang and said that dad had a stroke and was now in Hospital.  This was why he couldn’t talk to me when I rang.

There wasn’t much we could do, we couldn’t get new flights so we decided that we would keep our plans the same and leave early the next morning as arranged.

My brother rang again at 4 am the next morning to state that dad had a cerebral hemorrhage and wasn’t going to live too much longer. His family left Canberra (800 kilometres from Brisbane) and flew up early the Tuesday morning and arrived at about 9 am.  They managed to see dad before he passed away (he was unconscious though).  We got on our flight and arrived in Brisbane at 11am.  My brother rang me just as we got off the flight to say that dad has just passed away.

The next week or so was quite hectic what with organising the funeral and seeing to mum who was still in hospital.  We spent quite a bit of time trying to organise a place for Mum as we didn’t think her capable of living alone.

To cut a long story short, mum came home after a couple of weeks and then lived at home until 2 weeks before her death the following year in July.

Once again we were coming up to see her and were told that she would only live 2 weeks.  So the waiting started and we put off our flights home.  Mum lived for just over 2 weeks and it was a pleasure (for want of a better word) to spend one on one time with her at the pallative care unit in the hospital.

My point in telling you all this is that I encourage you to talk to your parents and glean from them the history of your family and their upbringing.  There have been things that I have wanted to know, things that I never thought of before but now there is no one to tell me.

My brother and I were adopted as Mum had a hysterectomy when she was in her 20s, or so we thought, but we found documents that said she was in her late 30s.  Now this isn’t a big issue but it does make me wonder what other stuff we might one day think of and can’t get answers for.

Mum was an only child and dad was the youngest of 3.  Dads siblings have all passed away and because they were in their 40’s before they adopted us, all our cousins are in their 60’s and I don’t even know half their names.

Maybe you could help your parents or grandparents or just encourage them to write down their past, maybe just a bit of a history about their childhood.  I would love to be able to tell our youngest 2 about dad and mums schooling and what they ate for lunch etc, or what it was like to grow up in the pre-war years and then what it was like during and after the war.

Sometimes we can learn and grow so much from what happened in the past that it is a pity not to have a history of it.

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Have you got a history of your parents/grandparents lives??? Have you thought about doing this??

This post is linked up here…

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8 thoughts on “GLEAN FROM YOUR PARENTS”

  1. I’m sorry for your loss and you didn’t have more time with your parents to ask them the things you are now wondering about. I think many times we think that we will ask them tomorrow but we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

    I remember had a gift I was making for my grandmother and I kept putting off finishing it thinking I would do it tomorrow or on the weekend. She passed away and I hadn’t finished the gift and that has stuck with me.

    I do have a lot of history from both my mom and dad but wish I had taken more time with my grandparents. They would have had so much to share that I would truly love to know. I guess when we are young we take tomorrow for granted.

    I do want to have my parents each do a video interview. I thought about doing some recipes from their childhood with some history from that time. Lord willing, that will happen.

    1. Thanks for your comment Stefanie. I think the video interview is a great idea and I hope you get the time to do it, especially with the childhood recipes. Thank you for the reminder to not take tomorrow for granted. Blessings Terri

  2. I have now lost both parents, but Mama lived to 98. Daddy died at age 46 and I was a 12 year old who did not have had a clue then that I would want to know so much now. But Mama was able to answer some of my family questions during her years although dementia got a hold of her mind at age 84 so some of the stories are questionable! But you are so right! Our parents hold keys to parts and pieces of our lives that we may want to know one day. Thank you for encouraging us. And I am sorry for your losses. I understand as I lost Mama just under two years ago after caring for her for 15 years. I miss her so.
    As your neighbor at Equipping Godly Women.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. Thank you Linda for your thoughtful comment. It is hard when we loose our parents, it’s like the end of an era, but there is always the knowledge and comfort of seeing them again in heaven. I am sorry for the loss of your Mama also may God bless you. Terri

  3. I actually did this with both of my parents before they died. And when I did it with my dad I had two purposes in mind. I didn’t have a great relationship with him–he was a workaholic and distant. But when I told him I wanted to interview him and write down the stories of his life we connected in a way that really put that distance in the past. I gained so much more perspective and empathy for him and why he was the way he was. Now I treasure the notebook that I put together shortly after interviewing him. I was able to have that on hand at his funeral and it was something that everyone appreciated. So I agree wholeheartedly, Terri! Great practical wisdom!

  4. Aww… I am so sorry for your loss 🙁 How sad to not know their stories. Of course, I don’t know all of my parents’ stories either. I’ve been meaning to ask, but sometimes I don’t want to pry. Thanks for sharing on Equipping Godly Women Fellowship Fridays.

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