Jane and I were unlucky that we were never blessed with children but quite often I wonder what it would have been like to have had a son or a daughter. I do think having good role models must help somebody to be a good parent and I think both my parents always did their best.
My Father's health was ruined serving his country but when he came home he didn't, or so my Mother told me, even complain or say that what happened "wasn't fair". He didn't want charity and he used to force himself to go to work even when not feeling well. It is sad that I don't remember him but I do know that my Mother loved him dearly and that his early death was a terrible blow to her.
My Mother worked hard to provide for me. She worked long hours is not very exciting jobs so that the two of us had somewhere reasonable to live and enough food to live on. I think she sometimes only gave herself tiny portions saying she wasn't hungry so that I had enough to eat. She always put me first. When her mental health got worse she needed help that just wasn't available. She coped for as long as she possibly could before eventually having to go as an in-patient at the mental hospital. In the months before her memory went completely she would ask how I was managing on my own, she didn't realise that because I was only 14 I had been put into foster care. I think that would have really upset her so I am glad she never realised.
My foster parents were not such good role models. They were never nasty to me it is just that they never seemed interested in what I was doing or how I was feeling. It is quite hard to put into words without seeming too ungrateful but it was all rather like living with strangers rather than with somebody who cared about you. Perhaps if they had cared a bit more they could have helped me pay for the new school uniform I would have needed if I had gone into the 6th form at school. I got the grades but I just didn't have the money.
Mrs H who became my landlady would have made a wonderful parent. She was a widow but she treated me just like I was her own child. She was one of the nicest and most caring people that I have ever met and I would love to think that some of her niceness rubbed off on me.
Jane's parents (Jane was my wife, she is dead now) were very kind to both of us especially in the early years of our marriage when money was in short supply. They treated both of their girls equally and they only offered advice when it was asked for. They never interfered.
So overall I think I did quite well for role models and I think Jane and I would have been good parents so it is sad that we were never given the opportunity to prove it.