What would my parents think?

I’ve been thinking about my parents a lot, which isn’t unusual. I’m often triggered by memories, lovely happy ones. This is a different kind of thinking about them though. I wonder what they’d make of the times we’re living in and how they’d cope.

My dad passed away first, many years ago, in 1987 so I think the adjustment to this world would be more shocking for him. My mom is just gone 14 years and although the last five or six years have seen massive change, she’d be less surprised than my dad.

First I think of COVID, and how that would have affected them. Personality wise they were both very different from each other. My mom was a complete extrovert and talked to everyone, total strangers became friends in the blink of an eye. My father was quieter, not quite as out going. But both were people persons, both loved to entertain — formally and informally — and our house was always full.

If it wasn’t my friends, it was theirs or it was family or it was a melange of all of the above. Everyone was always welcome and last-minute invitations were never a problem because there was always enough food for at least 10 people.

I honestly can’t remember a weekend throughout my entire life when we didn’t have a houseful of people. And even on weeknights it was hardly ever just the three of us sitting at the dining room table.

My mother was a fabulous cook — as were her sisters and her mother and aunts — and so were my dad’s mother, aunts and his sister. So even more formal parties — where there could be upwards of 20, 30 people crammed into every nook and cranny of our house — were self-catered.

So I think the isolation of the past year and a half would have been very hard on them both. But having said that, they both had such grace. They accepted whatever life handed out and got on with it. They both had such a wonderful life philosophy. I remember when my mother was told she’d have to go on dialysis and immediately — without a moment’s hesitation — said “well, it’s not what I would have chosen for myself, but if that’s what I have to do to stay alive, then that’s what I’ll do, because I’m not done yet. I’m going nowhere.”

And at 84 years old she’d get home after four hours of dialysis — which is not easy on the body — and ask if I felt like going to a movie.

I’m pretty sure they’d both be shaking their heads, not understanding why people are refusing to get vaccinated or wear a mask. My dad would probably try to reason with them and I can hear my mother getting pissed off and swearing a lot. And then I am positive my father would be out shopping for all kinds of food so my mother could cook up all kinds of meals and treats and they’d be taking car loads of food to hospitals for the doctors and nurses and other front line workers. And knowing my father, he’d have his mother and aunts doing the same and he’d be doing food runs from their house too.

I’m sitting here laughing as I write this, because I’m sure I’m right. I actually feel like I’m watching a movie at the moment, that’s how clearly I’m seeing them and hearing the conversations between them and the plans being made. A part of me is waiting for the phone to ring, with my dad asking what I think of the menu.

They also both loved helping people. Which is why I think the Trump years would have done them in. They’d never understand that — the disdain, the disrespect, the racism, the anger — and omg, the lies. My father would have lost his mind over the lies and the corruption.

As I think about it, as difficult and challenging as the pandemic would have been for them — as its been for everyone — they would have risen to the challenge and come through it fine. But I think the callousness and ugliness and the way people have been treated, and continue to be treated, would have just disgusted them and hurt them at their very core. And made them angry and sad at the same time.

My dad would have tried to make up for it, by being even kinder, more compassionate and more generous than he already was. My mother, given the chance, would have thought nothing of staring Trump and his followers straight in the eye (after someone picked her up because she was five foot nothing and wouldn’t have even reached his chin) and telling him exactly what she thought of him — and cussing wouldn’t have been out of the question either. She taught me every swear word I know and my vocabulary is pretty extensive.

She did do that once to René Levesque, Quebec’s separatist premier from 1968 to 1985. His car was double parked while he went into a grocery store to buy an apple and when he sauntered out, after quite a long while, she screamed at him at the top of her lungs that he was “screwing up the traffic the way he was screwing up the province.” Her language was more colourful.

Much as I hate to think of them going through everything we’ve been through over the last several years, there is a part of me that wishes they were still around so I could test out my theories. I have a feeling I’d be right on the money.

Do you ever wonder what your loved ones who are no longer around would make of these troubled times?

22 thoughts on “What would my parents think?

  1. How wonderful it is to see you back inking again Franci, glad you are keeping well considering all that’s gone on during your time away, I don’t visit here too often these days moved house if you like to Instagram @purpleandgoldpoetry. Your thoughts are as ever inspirational.

  2. Who is Goldie, Georgina? At some point you must have followed my blog because followers automatically get email notifications every time I post something new. You can unfollow easily.

  3. Having had the honour and privilege of knowing both your parents, I too think your assessment is right on the money for their feelings were based not on righteousness but fairness, which made them so loved. I think they would be appalled but mostly so very disappointed.

    • Yes, of course, you and Leo spent a lot of time with my parents and so you know them so well. And you’re absolutely right — as appalled as they definitely would have been, the disappointment would have been much more significant.

  4. Good post Fransi. Like you, I wonder what my parents would make of it all.
    Dad’s been gone over 25 years now and I reckon he’d be angry and frustrated at those who chose not to be vaccinated (unless medical reasons depict otherwise), just like he used to be at the ref in a football match and swear at the telly. He was a patient and kind man though, and many took advantage of that. Mum passed away in 2018 and was kind and cared about everyone. She always put family first, and sometimes she too was taken advantage of. I think she would be confused and possibly afraid because she wouldn’t understand what is going on in the world these days and what a mess it has become.
    I miss them both, but glad they are not here to face this current nightmare. Mum would be 99 and Dad 92, so they would be vulnerable and probably isolated in their home. Sadly I could not see my sister checking in on them as it would be an inconvenience to her, and I learned a long time ago she only did something for somebody else when it benefited her. However, maybe if they were still with us, they would be living with Hubby and me anyway and so wouldn’t be alone.

    • Oh yes, my parents were also taken advantage of sometimes, but they never were changed by it. They stayed true to who they were and stuck to their principles and they would not have liked what’s going on one bit. I am grateful they don’t have to experience it, much as I miss them.

    • Thank you so much Maggie. I have mo doubt you would have loved them if you’d known them. And my mother would not have let you down, trust me. She was small but feisty and Trump wouldn’t have forgotten her any time soon. That is a video that would definitely have gone viral 🤣

  5. I do wonder what my parents would have made of these tumultuous times, Fransi. My dad died shortly after President Kennedy was assassinated and it had shaken him to the core—even though he was a Republican (horrors!). He would have been appalled by Trump and perhaps even more so by these conservatives who are willing to sacrifice our democracy to get their way, and to continue widening inequality while advancing their own privilege. My mom would have expressed her disgust using much the same language as yours did. We need a world where more people are like your parents; what a lovely example they set. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  6. Thank you Donna. I think your parents and mine would have set similar examples, regardless of their political affiliations. Decency and honesty were character traits, and had nothing to do with politics. Our parents would not recognize this world. For that matter, John Kennedy and Robert and Ted Kennedy must be spinning in their graves.

  7. My parents lived through the great depression, and the 2nd WW, and I think they were terribly tough times … they just did their best, and got on with it …

  8. Hi Fransi, I know we haven’t talked in years but what a wonderful story. You were always so wonderful with words. I hope you are keeping well.

    • Wow, Deb! How wonderful to hear from you!!! How are YOU and your family? Thank you so much for reading my blog, for taking the time to comment and for the kind words. I am ok thanks and I hope you are too!!

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