WOW Word-Of-the-Week #316: Proud

August 18, 2010 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #316: Proud 

Proud – how children want their parents to feel about them.

Would you agree that you wanted your parents to be proud of you? Do you remember the first time your mother or father told you they were proud of you? Do you tell your children, grand children or staff that you are proud of them?

When Mary Marcdante, one of my speaker buddies, was writing her book, “My Mother, My Friend” back in the 90’s she asked me, “When was the first time your mother told you she was proud of you?”

Embarrassing to say, there was a long silence and then I replied, “My mother has never told me she was proud of me.” I remember feeling kind of sad because I could not answer her question. Is it assumed that all parents tell their children they are proud of them?

The good news is, my mother did tell me she was proud of me in 1999. I remember the day vividly. My biological father was diagnosed with liver cancer on Friday and was dead the following Thursday. Fortunately I was there to handle all the last minute details with banking and all. We had gone to lunch that day and that is when she said, “I am so proud of you for taking care of your father. (We had been estranged at one point for seven years, but that’s another story.) I just jumped in and did what had to be done.

On Our Panama Canal Trip

On Our Panama Canal Trip

What made me choose the word proud this week? The man who has been “my father” for the last 44 years. As you know, he broke his foot July 4th weekend, and the good news he healed very quickly. Last week we took him out for dinner and he announced, “I am no longer going to drive.” I can’t imagine giving up my car! It’s total freedom. I am so proud of him for being smart enough to know that it’s time to stop driving and not putting us in the position of “taking it away from him.”

This week I want you to think about what proud means to you. Who are you proud of? When is the last time you told them?

Reader Responses

“Family is so important in everyone’s life, it is hard for me to imagine being estranged, but understand how it happens. My mother abandoned our family when I was a teenager, but we (my brother, sister & me) hung in there with her when she finally reappeared. Today she is 90 years old, lives in an assistance care facility, but is able to take care of herself.  She is such a pain to all & just doesn’t realize what we went through growing up under those conditions….I am so proud of my siblings because of the character & strength they showed in the past and continue to show in spite of my mother’s best efforts to make life miserable.” – Dick

“You have a ‘real gift’ when writing personal stories; this one is a good illustrated example. You took your readers back to your biological father and then advanced to the man who has actually been your father for four decades. But, the art behind your sentence structure was your careful ‘gift’. You bridged the years by letting us know you were proud of his decision to give up driving. Good heart-warming story.” – pc