#dosomethingyummy - Link Up - Week 2

Welcome to the #dosomethingyummy Writing Prompt Link Up for Week 2 of our CLIC Sargent Do Something Yummy awareness campaign.

Your writing prompt for Week 2 was "What Family Means To You" and you had a choice of three types of post:
  1. Personal post.  What kind of family did you grow up in?  Why is family important to you?
  2. Yummy post.  What happens to a family when a child is diagnosed with cancer?  How do siblings and parents cope?
  3. Creative writing.  Write about a perfect family moment 
So, what did you write?  I chose the personal prompt and again you can read it by scrolling past the link widget.  If you have written a #dosomethingyummy post please link up below but don't worry if you haven't joined in yet - the linky will be staying open for the whole of February and March.  If you are here to read the entries it would be great if you could share this post, or any of the ones linked up, on your social networks.

Click here to add a new link
(linky will not display after one week but is still open)

Rose-Tinted Glasses

It is up to us, as parents, to protect our children.  But I have gone through the latter part of my adult life questioning a lot of my childhood simply because the truth was outed and people who shaped my life appeared to go against the values that they had taught me.

We all know that when a couple separate or divorce everyone worries how the children are going to react and what provisions will be made for them.  But what if those children are adults, leading their own lives with their own families?  Are they supposed to understand, suck it up and cope?  How do you ask questions without offending anyone or making the atmosphere any more tense?

My childhood was a fabulous one.  I had two loving parents who also loved each other.  We had a comfortable life, living in a beautiful part of the country, surrounded by a close family and fantastic friends.  We went on countless holidays each year thanks to the joys of caravanning and, looking back, it was bliss.  We weren’t without our usual family rows and upsets but they can’t have been that bad or I would have remembered them explicitly, and I don’t. 

Dad worked hard, first in important manual positions in two local factories and then in a white collar position with incredible responsibilities.  Some of his work took him away from home three days a week but he phoned home diligently each evening.  Mum suffered from bronchiectasis all her life but tried not to let it affect normal family life and certainly didn’t let it become a burden for me and my sister.

See, all good!

I left home, as we all know, at the age of 18 in a blaze of glory and started my own family.  I always felt that my parents were judgemental and that caused many arguments between us even when they were trying to help out.   Hindsight (and what I see my own daughter doing with her own family) tells me that they were only trying to advise and support me.  In many ways I wish I could turn the clock back.

Whilst I was pregnant with my third child at the age of 27 the news that dad was leaving mum broke just before they had the chance to celebrate 30 years of marriage.  I was floored, especially when I found out why.  But there was no-one that I could turn to and no-one I could question.  My relationship with my parents was still fractured and in the process of being repaired and this just put more barriers up.  I have never fully recovered from the news.

Mum isn’t with us any more.  She died, aged 55, after deteriorating so badly that she spent the majority of her last couple of years bedridden or in hospital.  I still fully believe that living on her own created this situation.  Sometimes I think I would have had more respect for dad if he’d have waited with mum and then remarried after she died.  Possibly he didn’t want to live with the burden of a sick wife any more.  Maybe he should have left sooner.  The pivotal point of me wondering if my childhood was as happy as it seemed all centres around my father leaving my mother.  I was always a ‘Daddy’s Girl’ but now even that has been lost.  Maybe dad thought he was doing the right thing by waiting until my sister and myself were grown up and making our own way in life but I’ve still never found the right time to ask the questions.  Even in September of last year I mentioned something to him that had upset me and he managed to turn it around and make me feel very guilty for even mentioning it to him in the first place! 

Of course this story doesn’t end here – it doesn’t even begin here.  There’s way too much of it missing and so much that I can’t write about.  But I defined my own parenting path at a very young age in some way from my parent’s example but also determined to do the complete opposite to what my parents did - and from that I created a daughter almost exactly from the same mould as me - determined to forge her own way in life, doing exactly the opposite to what her parents advise!  And I have no shame in telling you that EVERYONE doomed my relationship from the start but we’re still here 22 years later.  I would like to believe that our colourful life has made our relationship strong enough to survive anything.

But who knows?