Sometimes it’s easy to forget who you were….

When I was 11, my dad passed away because of duodenal cancer.  He was 33 years old.  One night he was complaining of stomach pains, his stomach had become extremely bloated, 2 weeks later, he was dead.

Now – I’m not writing this to make anyone feel sad, or upset, neither am I trying to obtain anyone’s sympathy.  Those were the facts.  Those 2 weeks was the most frightening time of my life.  It’s obvious to say that that event changed my life, and the rest of my family’s life forever….

I was the eldest, my mum was only 30 at the time, I had an 8 year old sister and my brother was only 6 months old.  How we managed – well God only knows.  Being the eldest, a huge amount of responsibility was placed upon my shoulders. Times were extremely hard. By some strange miracle every month, Mum would make ends meet.

Throughout our difficulties growing up, Mum would be adamant about one thing – we had no other options in life, apart from studying hard, getting to university, getting good jobs and becoming financially independent.  Whatever struggles we were going through in our childhood – we would not have to go through in our adulthood.  Obediently, we did as we were told – and discovered that she was right.  Work hard, do your best, you will meet with rewards.

As I mentioned before, whilst I was growing up, a lot of responsibility fell upon my shoulders – I learnt quickly about how to manage a household, the different expenses that were involved and how to put money aside for these things.  Mum would often ask me to phone insurance companies, or phone up other companies over the phone because my English was more fluent than hers.  I’d attend parents evenings for my younger siblings, get myself different part time jobs over the long summers, listen to mum and try to be there for her as much as I could.

Seeing this amazing woman made me determined on many accounts:

a) I would never rely on a man for anything.

b) Always be financially independent.

c) There’s no such thing as a knight in shining armour – unless you’re looking in the mirror and staring right back at yourself…….

And then, many moons later, I met my husband.  It wasn’t easy for him – I was a hard nut to crack.  Not very trusting – especially of men.  Fiercely independent.  Used to doing things my way – because I’d had to since the age of 11.  9 years we’ve known each other, and I’ve mellowed. The hard, mistrusting walls have been broken down and I’m a much mushier, happier person for it.  I have enjoyed having someone to rely on, having someone to help me out, someone who lets me know – don’t worry, I’ve got your back…

Yep – I’ve definitely mellowed and enjoyed not having to be so independent if I don’t want to…until yesterday I discovered something…

I drove my mum and my 2 daughters to Weston Super Mare yesterday.  We had a fantastic time.  My husband wasn’t with us – so I didn’t have him to rely on for the driving, parking, helping out with the children, various toilet runs, pacifying the youngest one when she didn’t want to walk anymore because she was tired and grumpy.  All those things that he instinctively just helps out with, I had to do on my own…the weird thing was I felt that sense of achievement again.  The one I used to feel when I did things that were hard when I was younger – negotiating the best insurance deal at the age to 13, changing plugs, assembling bookcases and computer tables. Carrying my three year old, with a heavy rucksack on my back, whilst making sure that my other daughter and mum were ok – made my feel like my 20 year old self again.

No – I’m not saying that I want to be on my own again.  Nor do I miss having those shields up to protect me from the outside world..but sometimes – just sometimes, you need to reminded of who you used to be….


11 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s easy to forget who you were….

  1. As we grow older, achieve more and develop our character it’s easy to forget who we once were and what (either nuture or adversity) made us that way. What an honest and humble reminder to stop, think and reflect. The world is a busy place. Too often we just accept and move on. How nice to be reminded of the importance of thinking back over our life and rewarding ourselves with a small celebration of achievements.


  2. I remember you being the ‘parent’ at your brothers parents evening and thinking how mature you were, but when you think back, I don’t think we really understood how strong you were having to be. Seeing you now shows just how amazing you, your family and most of all your mother were and still are. I look forward to reading more. Thank you x


  3. Fantastic story, I remember doing the same but not for the same reasons. My mum never went to school, so I did things to help her out as my Dad was at work all hours. Keep writing; can’t wait to read more.


  4. Wow, what an amazing person you were and and still are. This explains so much as I remember this strong, caring and fantastic teacher I had the privilege ( not sure if spell check is correct) to have my TA training with. I loved your approach with the children and that wonderful smile always on your face. Keep being the wonderful and caring person you are xx


    1. Gail, honestly you are such a wonderful, loving person. What a lovely thing to say. Thank you so so so much. Much love. God bless xxx


  5. Anita bhabi just seen your blog wow , well done I can’t wait read more xxx what a great story , you are such a great person so caring and loving I’m so glad you are part my family love you loads bhabi xxx


  6. I found reading that very emotional and inspiring I have tried to teach a similar thing to my children about working hard and always doing your best. I am very proud of them all as I’m sure your mum (and dad) are of you. It hasn’t always been easy for my daughter. She has battled confidence problems all her life and the prejudice of people who judge her without getting to know her, assuming she is either a snob or rude. You might be thinking what is the relation between this and your story. Well like you she has stayed true to herself and become a wonderful strong individual despite her struggles (albeit of a different kind to yours) and doesnt give up without a fight. She has also built up tough walls so that she doesn’t get hurt by anyone and I hope she can find someone one day that will love her in the way she deserves and helps knock down that tough exterior and see the real person inside. Sorry for the ramble. You are an amazing person Anita xx


    1. Sue, good things will without a doubt happen for your daughter. First of all she has your upbringing. Second of all – it’s just a matter of time. The problem with people who have walls – we are so frightened of being let down, hurt or the left alone. The person who she ends up with will help her overcome this. No doubts. You haven’t rambled Sue – you are such an amazing person and a wonderful mum. Lots and lots of love xxx


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