Bloganuary: What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?

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Day 15. Life lesson? Don’t ask me. I’m not the one who can give advice. But I can give you my opinion. Don’t compare yourself to others. Dare to be different. Your life doesn’t need to follow the same pattern as other people. So what if you’re friends already have a steady job and a family before they’re 30. It doesn’t mean anything. Be happy for other people but also focus on your own life. Enjoy your freedom. You can do what you feel, and no one can tell you how to be. If you don’t know what you want when you’re a teenager, then try different things. You will find your path sooner or later. People can judge you if you’re not the way they want you to be. It’s your life, and you can do what you want with it. You’re not on this planet to please other people. I believe things happen for a reason, and if nothing happens, then it isn’t meant to be. Accept the way things are. Some things you can’t do anything about. Do things that make you feel good. If other people don’t appreciate you the way you are, they’re not worth having around. Don’t let other people control you, and change for no one. Who knows you better than you. Respect other people’s opinions, and don’t start an argument because you don’t agree. Save money for a rainy day if you can. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. Never judge a person by their appearance because it’s the inside that counts.

Maybe they are life lessons to live by. At least I do, but it doesn’t mean others need to follow them. Sometimes I forget my own life lessons, so I have to remind myself. They are more guidelines than lessons anyway.

Advent calendar Box 15

advent calendar 15

Today it’s been 4 years since my mother passed away. Grieving is a personal thing. You can imagine how someone feels when a loved one has lost their lives but you can’t know exactly how that person feels. What you do have in common is the sadness you feel. Being sad isn’t fun. It feels like it will never go away. Like everything else, nothing lasts forever. It might feel impossible at first but then it gets better as time passes.

The worst thing about it all is when the person that is very important to you gets diagnosed with a disease that can’t be cured. Or that person gets into an accident and doesn’t make it. Is the people who used to be in your life, suddenly stops keeping in touch. I’ve heard a lot of stories about that and I’ve been there myself. Maybe some people don’t want to bother you or maybe they’re afraid they say something wrong. It’s also because they don’t know how to handle if their friend gets ill or their friends family members.
All you really need to do is to be there. For the sick friend and the family. Someone who is sick or lost their loved ones need someone who cares. Real friends don’t leave when things are tough. The same goes for relatives.

When my sister died in 1983, most relatives stopped having any contact with us. The only one that did was my grandmothers. Even my sister’s friends didn’t keep in touch. I doubt they even remembered her after her death. But those are things that just happen. I don’t think I would have any contact with them today anyway. People have their own lives. It’s different for a person who’s gone through a sickness or death. They have lived in that world and only they know how it really is.

I remember the day when my mother told me her cancer couldn’t be cured. After all the treatments and some hope for the better, nothing could be done. I’m not very religious but I did pray when she got sick and hoped she would win the fight. When nothing of that helps, you begin to think there is no point in praying. But it does make you feel better. I guess that’s the point.
You never think your parents get sick and when they do, part of you dies. It’s usually someone else’s parents and not your own. I was devasted when she told me she would die. Seeing her fade away slowly broke my heart. This strong person who was always there for you was now getting weaker. In a way, she was lucky she didn’t have to suffer for long. It was only about a week when she was gone. It was so close to Christmas and believe me that Christmas was the worse ever. I still feel sad when I think about it.

Cancer is a disease that anyone can get. It doesn’t matter if that person is good or bad. Some cancers can be prevented. Like lung cancer. I can’t understand how some people want cancer voluntarily by smoking. Passive smoking is even worse. It’s not a fun disease. It’s painful and uncomfortable. Some people think they won’t get it but nothing is certain. If cancer doesn’t kill smokers, some other disease will. I rather live a healthy life. These smokers are everywhere spreading cancer to innocent people. I feel sorry for the kids who parents smoke in front of them. I’ve seen those and it’s disgusting. It’s telling them they rather get or give cancer than stop the habit. Cancer of any kind is something I wouldn’t want anyone to have. It’s hard to the person and it’s hard for family members.

So now when 4 years have passed since my mother left this earth, things have been better. I still miss the conversations we had in Swedish and the advice she gave me. I don’t have anyone to do that with anymore. No long walks or bike trips. There will never be anyone like her and no one can replace her. People might come and go but it will never have the same comfortable surroundings. It’s strange that things only come to mind when a person is gone. You start to appreciate things you used to have. They felt like nagging and pampering at the time but in the end, it was only a worry that a parent usually has. My mother still worried about my future when she was sick. She was worried how I will get by. So far I’ve managed. I haven’t fallen apart yet and I don’t think I will. Her death made me a stronger and confident in myself. I’ve had the courage to move on and try new things. I’m still uncertain about some things but I’m not that scared little girl who still needed her mother. It took some time and maybe it wouldn’t have happened if she was still around. I still miss her though and wish she was here when I feel down. I look at photos where she appears and I smile. I’m glad she was my mother and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Advent Calendar, Day 15, 3 years ago

woman slalom skiing
Mother skiing in Lapland

Today it’s been 3 years since my mother died. It was one of the hardest things I ever been through. She wasn’t only my mother, she was also a friend. We had our ups and down but who hasn’t. When I had problems I could ask her for help. She had been through a lot in her life so she knew a lot of things. She was also very caring and helpful. She lost her father when she was a child. He also had cancer. She lost her first child (my sister) and it was really hard on all of us. That was the reason why we travelled to Europe. I was only 6 so I don’t remember much of that time.

I only want to remember the good times which is something we all should do if we lost a family member. We travelled quite a lot and when we did, it was fun. Of course some conflict came but nothing is perfect. Travelling hasn’t been the same again. Actually nothing has been the same. We went to ski trips to Lapland almost every year. I was only 2 months old when I was there the first time. We used to have a cabin there that my father shared with a few other owners. But when he sold his share, we rented a cabin or a hotel room somewhere else. Slalom was a family hobby of ours. He taught us both so we’ve never been to a lesson. I was 6 when I first started but I wouldn’t say I’m good at it. Me and mother skied a lot there. My father used to compete in alpine slalom when he was younger but I guess he got old and wasn’t as keen anymore.  Last time we were skiing was in 2011. Who knew that a year later, it would all change and our ski trips as a family would be history. (she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012)

Things change and sometimes it hurts but we have to move on. That’s what my mother would have wanted. Even if she was ill, she was still worried about me. She was a worrier and sometimes she worried too much. There were things that I left unsaid. I’ll regret it forever. It probably wouldn’t have changed anything. She would still have passed away. She was the one who cooked food for Christmas when we celebrated it at home. I always helped her in the kitchen so I learned how to cook. Making Christmas dinner is hard work so it’s not something you want to do by yourself. I don’t have anyone who could help so I don’t make it. We haven’t celebrated Christmas at home for a while and this time we won’t either. Last time was when she died and then Christmas wasn’t a celebration as you understand. It’s easier to go to a trip where everything is done for you. I think we would still go if my mother was still alive.

What I miss the most was the time we spent together. Going on cycling trips, going to the store, telling her about my day, baking and everything that we used to do. Doing those things now is not the same. Even though I had a good relationship with both parents, she was the one who I was closest to. She remembered things about the past that my father didn’t. I also miss when I could ask her about something from my childhood or if I needed help in daily things. Now I have to find out things on my own which is sometimes difficult. Those are times I wish she was still around. She was the one who went to the meetings in school and cared the most about my education. Both of my parents have always supported me in everything I do and I’m grateful for that. Everyone has their flaws but I’m lucky that I had parents that cared. That’s something not everyone have.

To mother. Till mor.  Äidille.

It’s been 3 years since you’ve been gone. I wish it wasn’t so. I wanted you to stick around and see how I’m doing. I didn’t want you to worry. I’m doing fine. Maybe there was a reason why you had to go. Why you were the one who got sick. I’m been wondering that many times. But what’s done is done. I still think about you. It was better to see you leave than seeing you go through pain. Suffering is the worse and no one should be in that place. It could have been better if you could grow older. But maybe then I wouldn’t be as strong and independent as I am now. Sometimes there are times I think about what if you wouldn’t have gotten sick and how things would be. You could see what I’m doing now and I could tell how things are going. Your advice and encouraging is what I miss on times like these.
Even though I miss the times when you were still here, it encourages me to know you’re in a better place. Maybe we meet again or maybe we’re not. I’ll shed a tear or two when I think about you because you meant a lot to me. One thing is certain, life goes on and that’s what you wanted me to do. Like you said once, I’m still young and have a life to live. That’s what I’m doing, moving on. I’ll never forget you and will always remember you. RIP.