People Share An Offhanded Remark From A Parent That Has Stuck With Them For Life
There are those lessons we learn that are intentional, and there are those that are taught in passing, without any thought at all. Here, people share offhanded remarks their parents have said that actually stuck with them forever. Enjoy!
Thanks to everyone who contributed their stories. If you would like to check out more, be sure to check out the sources at the end of this article. Comments have been edited for clarity.
My mom was dying from cancer and had had a few strokes, which left her unable to talk, and only move her left arm. When I got to the hospital the last words she ever said were "My baby!" So loud and audible. She won't know the impact it has on me now, but it was probably a big deal to her.
Our next door neighbors were going through a bitter divorce. We often heard them yelling and fighting leading up to it, so it was no surprise.
One day, I saw Mom and Dad embracing, very affectionately, and I said, "I sure hope that you two never become like them next door."
Dad looked at me, and said: "We don't yell, we discuss. We don't fight, we disagree, then find a way to work it out so it's good for both of us."
Thanks, Dad, for words to live by.
"Unless someone is in imminent danger, never make a decision in the heat of the moment. There is always time to think."
He was talking about sales pressure, but I've found it to be true for every situation.
Growing up, our house was always disgusting. To this day, when my mom is finished with a plate of food, she will set it on the counter and leave it there. By the weekend, our counters were piled full of rotting food and spoiled milk. Every weekend, I was tasked with cleaning the kitchen, while my sister cleaned the living room, (she was way smarter than me and did a poor job, so she didn't have to do it), my brother played, (too young), and my mom yelled that she had cleaned two rooms, (the bathroom and her bedroom), and why couldn't I just shut up and clean one? We tried a hundred different ways to keep everything clean, but short of following my mom around and waiting on her hand and foot, nothing worked.
One day, we busted our arses to get ready for a Birthday party. As soon as all the guests arrived, my mother loudly announced, "I don't know if my kids are stupid or just lazy, but they can't keep the house clean."
And now she wonders why I won't speak to her.
Not something he said but something he did: I lost my father when I was 15, on December 16. When they were cleaning out his apartment after all his affairs were settled, they found a Christmas present with my name on it a putting green and putter.
It may not seem like much to anyone else, but at the time I was just starting to get into Golf and I never thought my father really paid attention to what I was into. When I was handed that putting green, I instantly realized he did, in fact, care, and had been listening to me all those times I thought he wasn't paying attention. I cried then just like I'm crying now remembering it.
I miss him.
My dad is a very calm person. He went through a lot of garbage in his life but turned out to be an amazing man. He spent a lot of time weight training and was a big guy when I was young. My brother was 10 years older than me and a good 5" (12.7 cm) taller than my dad. One day, when I was nine, my brother, whose birth mother would just randomly drop him and my sister off and disappear for months at a time, decided it would be fun to beat me with a garden hose. He was really laying into me when we heard the screen door slam shut. My dad was standing on the porch, glistening and shirtless in the Houston sun.
While I laid curled on the ground, whimpering, he strode up to my brother and said, with absolutely no hint of anger, "Would you care to pick on someone your own size?"
My brother, who's actually an okay guy, but was going through a lot of crap, as discussed previously, said in a snide tone, "Sure, tell me when you find him."
My dad gave my brother a left hook he never saw coming, which laid him on the lawn instantly.
He then picked me up and carried me into the house. I'd never seen my father be violent or even raise his voice. I was terrified. He could tell, and he said, "Do you know why I was upset with your brother?" to which I replied, "He was hurting me."
"Yes, that's right." my father said. "It made me angry that he hurt you, and what was worse, when I caught him he didn't care that he was hurting you. He was mean and disrespectful to me and you."
"You hit him because he disrespected you?" I asked.
"No, I hit him because I was angry, and he needed to know that there are consequences for your actions. He's an adult now and he was acting like a child."
"So if someone makes you angry it's okay to hit them?"
What he said next is the part that shaped my worldview to this day. "That depends more on you than them. If you let everything make you angry then it's almost never going to be right to hit someone. If you save your anger for when it's needed then sometimes it might be right to hit someone. Today I hit your brother because he was hurting someone who is weaker than him and wasn't ashamed when he got caught. That should always make you angry, and you should always help if you can, even if it means hitting the person."
The exchange made me realize that I'm in control of my emotions to a large degree and that I could make the decision, in advance, of how I would let situations affect me.
My dad has never hit someone since, and neither have I.
I love you dad.
I was NOT a good kid. Lots of rage, terrible behavior, constantly trying the patience of my parents at every turn. I do not blame my parents one bit for their frustration on a daily basis.
Probably around age 6 or 7, I did something and my mom was at the end of her rope & told me:
"I love you. But right now, I don't like you."
As a kid, this made zero sense to me, because like and love with family are the same thing, right? It just sort of confused me and made me a bit sad for a while.
Years and years later, (late teens?), this memory came back to me and kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because my mom didn't like me at that moment, but the realization that having a strong relationship means loving or respecting, even through the more temporary moments where you're angry and don't particularly like the person.
This has guided every relationship I've had as an adult. Family. Friends. Coworkers. My wife. It really helps me keep perspective in the rough moments, and remember that the anger is temporary and will pass. And that the person will still be there at the end.
When I was small, my mom and I would read together every night before bed. One night when I was maybe 5, we read a new book: I'll Love You Forever. It's written from the mom's point of view, as her kid grows up and does exasperating things, (ruins her favorite watch, stays out late with friends, etc). Each time, the mom says, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." The last page is written from the adult son's point of view, as he gently takes care of his senior mother, and he says the same thing his mom always said, but says "mommy" instead of "baby". My mom cried reading it to me, and I didn't understand why, until I got older and realized she was imagining all the stages of life she would go through with me and my brothers. I'm an adult now, and thinking of it still makes me teary-eyed.
My mother said something to me when we were getting her passport renewed. This was in June 2016. The option was for a 5 or a 10 year renewal. I checked off 10 years and she just chuckled and told me not to waste my money. I asked her why? She said... "I'm 77 years old".
She passed away 4 months later.
"Never underestimate how much a dollar can buy, so be careful with your money."
Now I'm the type of person that even frugal people make fun of.
When I was like four years old, my mum told me that if you don't pull out a splinter it travels in and pierces your organs and you die. Whenever I went near splintery wood I got terrified I was going to get a splinter and not find out until my organs explode.
When I was young, I would only go pee outside. Obviously, this wasn't sustainable, so my parents had to find a way to get me out of the habit. They told me that if my willy was out for too long then a bird would think it was a worm and eat it. To this day, if I'm peeing outside I still push out as fast as possible and check my surroundings for possible predators.
When I was pretty young, my mom once told me, "Never feel embarrassed about asking for a ride home" in regards to not being sober enough to drive. Years later, I'm leaving a friend's house and I make it about 1 block before I can literally hear my mom's voice in my head as I'm driving and thinking to myself, "Man I don't want to call my BF to come get me after I told him I wouldn't need a ride." I immediately pulled over and called him. 10/10 would do it again.
"Don't compare yourself to your sister. You two are both amazing in your own right."
I struggled with living in the shadow of my sister's academic prowess. All the teachers knew who she was and expected me to be the carbon copy of her. I put so much pressure on myself to be just as good and my mom saw me struggling and said this to me one day. It took a while, but I finally realized that I am my own person with qualities that are unique to me and make me a good person.
There is comething my Dad told me that's always stuck with me.
Once we were driving to pick up my stepmom, I was around eleven or twelve. For reference my Dad used to be a bank manager before he retired. He told me about a customer he had a few year back that had immigrated to Canada and, after working several different jobs, he decided he wanted to open his own business. Now, according to my Dad this guys credit wasn't super stellar and it wasn't awful, but his business idea was considered high risk. My Dad told the man the bank couldn't give him a loan and the guy was distraught. He begged and pleaded, swearing up and down he would be successful and pay back the money. Now, this was back before everything was done with computers and your loan was actually accepted or denied by a person. So my Dad told the man he'd do what he could. A couple days later, my Dad called the man and told him he approved the loan and the man was ecstatic. Fast forward a few years and the man's business is booming, as well as several others he started up. He's one of the bank's best customers.
After telling me this story he pulls the car over and looks me in eyes and says, "I approved that man because I saw something in him. He had what you call good character, and having good character is more important than money."
When I was little, I was mad at my mom. One morning when we were fighting for whatever stupid reason, she was dropping me off for school. She said she loved me and I told her I hated her, (I was young). Then she told me I shouldn't say that to her because she could go and get in a car accident or something and I may never see her again and "I hate you" would be the last thing I had said to her.
To this day that has stuck with me and I try to never leave things on bad terms with people. You never know if it's the last time you'll see someone.
Astronomer here! When I was ten years old, one night my dad was abuzz at dinner because the great comet Hyakutake was out in the sky and after dinner we were going to drive out into the country to see it. I remember the excitement of doing something so different on a school night, then seeing this fuzzy thing in the sky, which was neat but not mind shattering.
The next part was, though. My dad was still describing what a comet was to us, and how they had wild orbits where they spend most of their time, past Pluto, and this one, in fact, would take 70,000 years before it passed Earth again. "Think of me when you see it," he joked, and that left me in awe. As a kid I guess you think you'll see life forever, or at least long enough to do everything you want, but this was the first time I truly realized something would outlast me, even if I lived a really long time, and I'd never see Hyakutake again.
That memory stayed with me a long time. I'm not sure I would be an astronomer without it. And I feel very lucky to be the daughter of a man who would get excited enough about stuff like a comet to take us out to see one.
"I might not have given birth to you, but you are mine. You were mine from the day I met you. I loved you the second I saw you. Nobody can change that." This came from my stepmother a couple years ago. I met her when I was 13, and I'm almost 21 now.
It meant a lot because she was the first strong, consistent mother figure I ever had. She knows that was a nice thing to say, but I don't think she knows quite how much it meant to me. I don't think she will ever know how much I love and respect her for who she is.
In most situations, when you're hurt by someone, it can be best to just forgive and forget. However, there are some people that can't help but hold grudges. Sometimes it can just be petty, but other times, it can be for very valid reasons.
HeySistaBrutus asked: What are you STILL mad about?