I have just heard a programme piece on the radio which asked, Did your Dad influence your choices on relationships!
I guess the first off reaction is to say/ No Way! But listening to the people taking part in the programme it did seem, even subconsciously, that the relationship with your father is very defining. I know that there are a lot of poor girls who have a terrible relationship with their parents, but luckily I was not one of them. I cannot imagine how much heartbreak they have gone through in surviving all sorts of hardships and difficulties.
My father was a school teacher who taught French to children all his life. He loved being a teacher and had a special rapport with Kids and Animals.. babies would reach out to him and sit on his lap quietly for hours. He was always smiling and had a very positive attitude to life. He also believed in sharing what he had with others..
As we grew up he was friendly but we always knew not to overpass the mark. He could be a disciplinarian when called for, but most of the time he was just Dad who listened and was happy to share time with us.
He used to brush my long hair as my mother dressed my younger brother. I would stand on a step on the stairs whilst he brushed away then tied it up in a ponytail. I had worn it in plaits, but at school they always came undone when he did them, so now we chose a pony tail that would stay all day and look tidy!
My mother worked in dress shops and during the summer holidays we would travel up to London and visit the sites and museums and then go to fetch my mother when she finished working. To save her cooking we would invariably eat our evening meal whilst on the way home, stopping at a coffee shop to do so.
My dad had the job of looking after us after school was out and during the long summer holidays.
We would also go to France in August, when he took a troupe of young school boys with us and visited Normandy each summer for two weeks. It was a magical time as we returned time after time to the same hotel with the same lady proprietor who made a big fuss of my brother and myself.
As I grew older he would drive me to the places where I joined my friends for the evening and then come back to collect me when the night grew late. He would be sitting in his big car waiting patiently for me to come out into the night, and always was there... of course that used to bug me that I could 'nt travel home with friends on the bus, but he took his parenting seriously and would have died himself if any harm had come to me. He had a very positive attitude to life, had many friends, loved to entertain at home and adored going on holiday.
When my mother met my first husband she said to me.. 'oh Jeannine, he is a romantic just like your father*' Of course I didn't know what this actually meant, but now I do. It was because he didn't really actually cope with reality well..
My first husband did try to live a good life, but found his past experiences living at home, so hard and difficult he was a real mess below the surface. However although that would prove to have awful consequences later, I loved him because he was kind, and clever and made me feel good about myself. The same could be applied to my Dad, he always made me feel good about myself and loved me deeply.
If I really do keep thinking about things that happened all those years ago, I do realise that he had a tremendous impression on my choices. I chose men who were brainy and intellectually interesting. Who were capable of achieving a lot, who had an optimistic view on life.. but who really never got the money thing right...
My dad loved to spend and would come back from holidays broke but happy.. I never managed to find a husband that made a lot of money.. My husbands made just enough to keep us going, but without extras like holidays!!!
My darling Dad I would never have changed in a million years, but money was always tight and made my mother very nervous all her life with him.
I guess its also why I am no good at money, having the attitude that something will always come along and things will be ok.. well, my life has been up and down with a lot of great happiness at times, and I am always optimistic that just around the corner, there is a whole new adventure waiting, which is the best thing that my dad gave me, this feeling of good and positivity..
So yes, my Dad has influenced a great deal in my choices in life, and I would not change anything, except to have him back with me in life..