This week we’re writing about what life events shaped us into who we are.

1.  Being an only child.

Being an ‘only’ child gave me much time to use my imagination and play alone.  I had an imaginary friend for years!  It also made me self-reliant, independent, and a bit of a loner.

2.  Not having a childminder.

I was further schooled in the art of self-reliance by being left alone in the house during the school holidays from the age of 9 while both my parents worked.  At times I also had to look after my 5 year old cousin.

3.  Winning an inter-schools’ story competition at age 11.

This win and the coveted certificate that came with it gave me the encouragement to write more stories.  I’m still writing them 48 years later!

4.  Early death of father at only 49.

I had to grow up quickly aged only 19 and be the supportive rock for my mother.

5.  Becoming a mother at the age of 24.

Giving birth to Leon and raising him to an adult gave me a gift of patience and tolerance that I never thought I’d ever have, all due to his hyperactivity, petit mal, tantrums, and general pain-in-the-arseness (I love him really!).

6.  Becoming a mother-in-law at the age of 46.

I learned to curb my impulsive nature and keep my mouth shut.  So far it seems to have worked – my daughters-in-law and I get on really well!

7.  Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer 12 years ago.

The three major operations, vocal cord palsy, 4 radioiodine treatments and 30 radiotherapy treatments I’ve had so far to try and beat this disease has taught me how to endure.  I’m very good at it!

8.  Caring for my  92 year old mother in the last years of her life.

This gave me understanding and compassion for elderly people in their day to day trials of just trying to live a normal life and maintain their independence whilst dealing with a body that is deteriorating and virtually immobile.

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