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The Hickman Resiidents reflect on parental guidence

Shared Memories, Timeless Teachings: The Hickman Residents Reflect on Parental Guidance

August 8, 2023

We’re all familiar with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but did you know there’s actually a day dedicated to honoring both parents (or guardians) together? National Respect for Parents Day is recognized each year on August 1st. It is a reminder to keep our parents and guardians and show appreciation for the love, dedication, and sacrifices they demonstrated in raising us.

To mark the occasion, I sat down with some of our residents at The Hickman to find out what they remember about their parents. What did they respect about them? What life lessons do they remember their parents imparting, and how did those lessons shape who they are? These conversations invited an unexpected trip down memory lane for the residents, bringing laughter and reminiscing about things they hadn’t thought about in years. Perhaps as you read the stories below, you’ll be reminded of your memories from years gone by.

Life Skills

Lessons that would serve them as adults were a common theme in the stories shared by the residents. Josie L. remembered her father teaching her about the importance of punctuality. “Whenever you have to be somewhere, plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early. You never know if you’ll hit traffic or if something else will come up, and you never want to be late,” she said. Her father’s timeliness value has stuck with her to this day, as she believes that only when you’re early are you on time. Josie also shared how her mother taught her to sew on a button and mend clothing, an often overlooked life skill.

Donna A. remembered how her parents instilled a strong work ethic in her and her siblings. “My parents worked hard, and we saw how hard they worked.” Seeing that quality in her parents later shaped her approach to work as an adult.

And on a more humorous—yet no less important—note, our residents remember their parents imploring them to stop wasting electricity. “My father would drive down the street on his way home from work, and he’d see our house all lit up on the corner because we’d all go into all the rooms and leave the lights on,” said Pat B. “He’d say, ‘Why is our house all lit up like a park?!’’

Josie recounted how her father constantly told his children, “You go out of that room; you turn out that light!” I had to chuckle at our residents’ recollection of their parents—it’s just such a timeless battle of parents through the ages. I recall my father incredulously inquiring why we were air conditioning the great outdoors when my siblings and I constantly left the doors open behind us as we ran in and out all summer long. As a parent, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reminded my kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room.

Parental Authority

Our residents shared a mutual respect for their parents’ authority. “My mother was the boss,” recounted Anne O. “Whatever she said, we listened. If she said she’d ground us for a few days if we did something we weren’t supposed to, we knew she would.” Yet, Anne recalled, she was incredibly nurturing. She kept her and her siblings in line and did it with love.

Donna shared a similar memory of her relationship with her parents, which extended to other adults watching over her and her sisters. “We didn’t dare talk back to the babysitter while our mom and dad were working,” she shared, “We knew it would get back to them!”

Love and Support

Residents expressed that they respected their parents for demonstrating love and support for each other and their children. “My parents were always behind me no matter what,” Bonnie W. remembered. Anne respected that her parents always got along and never contradicted one another.

Have you considered the parental figures in your life and their impact on you? After listening to the residents reflect upon what they learned from their parents many decades ago and how it shaped who they are today, I am reminded of what matters in bringing up children both now and in the future. And when it comes to raising my kids, I have hope that one day they, too, will finally be turning out the lights when they leave a room—and keeping alive the age-old tradition of harping on their children to do the same.

Thank you to the wonderful residents who gave of their time to share their memories with me for this blog post—it was a pleasure getting a glimpse into your past. Your recollections will inspire others to reflect upon their memories of their parents, guardians, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, and any other adults who have had a meaningful impact on their lives!