I wish I could listen to my Dad for real, but I can’t. In May 2019, nearly 12 months ago, he passed away at the veritable old age of 87, very sad, but it was time for him to go and in his words, he had had a good innings.
He was one of life’s kind and gentle people, always wanting to do the right thing, never quick to make a judgement and grateful for what he had rather than what he didn’t. He was always there if I needed him, no matter what and very proud of everything I achieved and did.
I miss his gentle counsel and being there for me, but now often find myself listening for his words and advice, “what would Dad say or do?” in a particular instance or situation and that includes this nightmare one of COVID-19 that we are in right now.
For the record, if he was still here, he would most certainly still be getting up for breakfast, whilst also thinking about what he would be having for lunch and dinner! He would be worrying about his family, and also fretting about his shopping – but would know that we would do it for him and see him OK. He would accept the 12-week isolation policy with no hesitation, only fretting about his regular Doctor appointments, but overall, he would quietly say “there’s always someone worse off than me Jo”.
The COVID-19 situation or not, these are my Dad’s guiding principles, his unwritten values that he brought me up by and I find myself using to support my resilience levels and guide me in no particular order on a daily basis:
- There is always someone worse off than you
- Nobody likes a miserable person
- Work hard
- Be kind and interested in others
- Think before you speak
They aren’t complicated, rocket science or fancy. They aren’t groundbreaking, different or new. But, they are “my Dad” and how he bought me up and I am grateful to have them as my guide and True North for when I am at a loss for what do or find myself not being the person I want to be.