Below you can find another chapter from the book Thank you, mum. I hope it touches your heart.
(For the Swedish version, scroll down and then select next post.)
I wasn't there, but I heard about the time the doctor made a home visit to you when you lived in the Netherlands. Two doctors arrived because they wanted to talk some sense into you.
When you and Dad moved to the Netherlands you were worried you wouldn't find a job. Who were you if you didn't care for "your children," your students? It didn't take long before you were a teacher once again. You helped Swedish kids living in The Netherlands to keep up their native language. You introduced "home language instruction" in a country, which didn't yet know what that was. As usual, you worked tirelessly for your students. Working without breaks.
There you stood, leaning on a table for support because you could barely stand on your own. This was your third case of pneumonia within a short period of time, and the doctors had to make you see the gravity of the situation. They said that you'd die if you didn't slow down and take care of yourself.
"No worries, I'll be back on my feet in no time." That's how you grew up. You were taught that complaining was bad. You were scared that doctors would look at you and say, "There's nothing wrong with you, it's all in your head." You'd rather die than be accused of being a hypochondriac.
When my godson was to be baptized, we wrote well-wishes. If I remember correctly, I wished him love and health. I knew by then how limiting life can be when your health is failing you. Not from my own experience, but from your experience, Mum. I also remember feeling that our health was out of our control. That's why I wished him health, the rest we can manage ourselves, I thought.
Today, I know that we can definitely affect our health. We can't escape death, but we can try to live as wholesome a life as possible. Most of us know how to take good care of ourselves. You knew it as well, although you skipped over the most important part. The pillar that makes the foundation. You never understood that you were worth taking care of, Mum. You never understood that your health deserved to be taken seriously. You never understood how valuable you were.
We don't learn through theory, no matter how informative it is. We learn from experience, and I learned a whole lot from yours, Mum. Thank you, Mum, for teaching me to value my health. Thanks also to me as I have learned we're all worthy of care and attention.
Psst, reader. The same goes for you. You are valuable, you are worth caring for.
Make sure you look after yourself, respect yourself and give yourself some TLC.
Please share this blogpost if you think it can help someone!
This was a chapter from the book Thank you, mum. A book for those who miss someone.
If you would like to give the book to someone you think can be soothed by it, or to yourself, you can find it on Amazon on any of the links below, or you can search for it on your Amazon of choice.
Amazon in the Netherlands (if the price of the paperback is higher than about 17 euros, choose another market)