Today in Australia is Father’s Day.
Twelve months ago today, it was also my mum’s birthday.
My dad was back in hospital because his kidneys were failing and he was deteriorating rapidly.
Twelve months ago today, my mum received a call none of us wanted to hear. None of the treatments were working, he was going down-hill, and the Doctor called to ask my mum what her and my dad’s beliefs were on resuscitation. They wanted to take him off the medications because they believed they were potentially making him worse.
Twelve months ago, whilst most others were celebrating their dad’s, I was grieving what we all knew was to come. Dad fought on another 11 day’s post Father’s Day and passed away peacefully in his sleep.
This past week, I was speaking to my mum to see how she was going (it was also their wedding anniversary on 1st September), and she said “I’m doing great, I am really happy”.
This was NOT the response I was expecting!
Shortly after dad passed, a long term hip problem flared up for mum and she had hip replacement surgery in June.
When I was speaking to her, she was telling me about how she was now going to the gym twice a week, and that her personal trainer had moved her out of the “rehabilitation” group into the main training group at the gym and how proud she was of herself. She then told me about how they all go and have coffee and morning tea after their session, and how she had started catching up with the locals regularly. She lives in a country coastal town, and was telling me proudly how welcoming they had been genuinely interested in her. She said to me “I really feel strong”, and I said it was great that the exercise was helping, and she said “no, strong mentally, I have never felt so strong mentally”.
I love my mum immensely, and I have to be honest and say, I am extremely proud of who she has become since dad passed away. I honestly think she has coped better these past 12 months than us three children!
The purpose of this blog post, the title, Hope, is because what this demonstrates, that even in the darkest of times, losing your partner of just over 55 years, when you feel lost, alone, that life is “being unfair”, a situation or person is challenging you, always, always have hope.
My mum has had a complete new beginning in the past 12 months. Whilst I know the first couple of months were really hard, she has grown stronger and more positive than I ever remember in my entire life.
She has never given up hope, has always remained positive, and has faced everything life has thrown at her. When she had the hip surgery, she was up standing the same day!
No matter what you are facing today, tomorrow, this week, this year, always have hope that there will be a better day to come.
In Buddhism, there is the Law of Impermanence. Meaning, nothing is permanent. Nothing good, nothing bad, is ever permanent, so do not wish away the bad or wish for only the good, because for certain, it will change.
Having hope, remaining positive and at peace with what is, in the moment, is such a powerful mindset to remain in, and such a powerful way to improve your self-care and self-love.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, including mine!