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Sunday 7 December 2014

A Man Is Not A Man.....

Well, I've been looking through some of those old note books, mentioned in my last post.

They certainly make fascinating reading, as they go back quite a few years. I can see some themes among the many jottings and notes within the pages and some very interesting thoughts and ideas too. I've no doubt I'll be using at least some of them here, over time.

There was one note that jumped out at me though and it was one that I'd completely forgotten about too. It was a comment on an old YouTube video of mine, which I'd made a note of. I have no idea which video it was, but the comment said, "A man is not a man until his father dies".

I've just Googled that quote to see if it may have been an old saying, but I can't find any suggestion of it being so. It does sound like an old quotation doesn't it and the kind of thing you'd find in a book?

I'm guessing that the comment was on a video I may have made when my own father died, back in January 2010. I may just have to go back and check.
I'm not sure that I would agree with the comment particularly, but I can certainly understand the meaning behind it.

I was already in my early 50's when my father died, when he was 92, so whether his death had any major impact on my life I'm not that sure, that's apart from the obvious grief and emotional impact that is.

One thing I would say though, is that that event was just the start of a pretty momentous year for me and one that has changed and influenced my life ever since. The whole year was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

As mentioned my father died in January 2010. My mother-in-law then died suddenly, just over a month later. My father's death was not a shock, due to his age and the fact that he'd not been well for a while. But my mother-in-laws death certainly was, so you can probably imagine the impact that had on the extended family, especially the grandchildren, to whom she was very close.

One aside from this is that, at my fathers funeral service, I gave a speech about his life and one that was very well received as it happens. Strangely enough, I didn't find that anywhere near as hard as I thought I would.
This was one area where my past experience of vlogging and talking into a video camera was a help. I treated the speech as a kind of vlog and, in an ironic twist of fate, the person I concentrated on most of the time during that speech was my mother-in-law. I have no idea why, but her's was the face that I found myself using as a form of video camera lens (I hope that makes some kind of sense?)

Part three of my annus horribilis was losing my job and being made redundant in June of 2010. Once again this was a shock, as although I knew changes were afoot, nobody expected staff members to lose their jobs, least of all me. I wasn't the only one by the way.

Naturally, this had a huge impact on my life both then and since. I was lucky in that I came out the other side in a fairly good state and am happier doing what I do now, than I ever was at work back then.
I was also lucky in that I had other interests and potential projects to fall back on, some of which were in the pages of those old note books.
So, in many ways, I am better off now than then, although not financially. But, I have learned that money isn't everything.
One possible regret though, is that I've never had the chance to go back and thank them for getting rid of me.

In September of 2010 my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully that was detected early and the subsequent treatment has meant that she is now back to full health. But, once again, this was another of those episodes that makes you stop and think about life, the universe and everything.

Since that year, my life has changed in many ways and it has also been a lot less traumatic too, thankfully. But it has changed my whole outlook on life, work, pleasure and passions. I've made many changes and I suspect there will be more to come.
I'm looking forward to it.

Change may not always come in the ways that you want it to, or would like it to. It can creep up on you when you least expect it and often there's nothing you can do about it.

Sometimes, it's not the changes themselves that affect your life, it's how you react to them. I've always tried to have a 'glass half full' mentality and I think that helped me through that year and beyond.

So, although I'm not sure that the death of my father was quite the event that made me a man, that whole year may well have been, at least, part of the reason that I am now the man I am?

PS: I've checked and I made a whole series of videos about my father's illness and subsequent death.
This is the first one: A Matter of Life and Death the 2nd is: Life is a Rollercoaster and then are a few more on the Rollercoaster theme, if you're interested. As to why I made and shared those videos? Well, maybe that's a topic for another post?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting quote. Like you, I'm not sure I really agree, but I do get the idea and germ of truth behind it. Whether or not it "makes you a man," the death of one's father (or mother, for that matter), is certainly a dividing line in time, and in one's life.