|Posted by Gwen Williams on June 24, 2015 at 8:25 AM|
I miss my father still even though he passed away a long time ago. He was from the older generation where children were "meant to be seen and not heard" as he would say. He also did not allow anyone to talk about "politics, money, sex or religion" because that is what they did in the Navy. He also told me to "never rock the boat". As a result, our house was very quiet.
My father never backed down from a problem and when things were not working out he just used some "ingenuity" to see it through. Every job or task not matter how small had to be done properly. He was all about "whatever you do, do well" and "always do the right thing".
My father never said much but I knew he always approved of me and was proud of me. He told me I “could be anything I wanted to”. I just had to work hard. My father was my cheerleader and fan club all rolled together in his own quiet way. Sometimes he would remind me "you know you come from royalty, never forget that". A puzzling statement because my father never boasted but it made me feel proud.
I had lived a sheltered childhood and youth. I knew nothing about "politics, money, sex or religion". It wasn't until my 6th year of university that I knew about sexism. At the age of 26 I was shocked when I encountered it. "I can't do what...because I am a woman! You have got to be kidding!” That was just the beginning of the huge awakening and learning curve called life, where I made all sorts of uniformed choices that wrecked havoc but taught me so much.
My father shaped my life and inspired me to always be a good student, a lifelong learner and to never give up in the pursuit of my dreams. I have always been self-confident to the extent of naivety. As a result I feel I have accomplished things that, if I had given it more examination, I would not have attempted and would have listen to the nay-sayers that said it couldn't be done.
I have fought long and hard every step of the way and have won. I even learned (a bit of rebellion in me) to "always rock the boat" when it is the "right thing to do" that has carried me through every rough spot in life. I have my father to thank for making my life wonderful and rich. He gave the best gift anyone could give a child, a healthy sense of "self-worth" and an over the top "self-confidence” that is badly needed in a world that is not kind or fair, especially for women.