Did your dad have a big influence on the course your life has taken, whether good or bad? We asked the Audrey community: What’s the most important thing you learnt from your dad – directly or indirectly?

“My Dad was my inspiration for going into design. He was a tailor in Jamaica but when he came to the UK in the 60’s he took a job as a lorry driver. To make ends meet he sewed uniforms for me and my siblings. He taught me about hard work and respect for others”.

“To be fearless”

“Dad had mental health issues all his life, especially in his latter years. He wouldn’t have therapy or consider medication, and really struggled with anxiety and dark thoughts. This had a very negative impact on his relationships. So I learnt to take responsibility for my own mental health and not be afraid to get help”.

“He taught me how to pick up an LP and never to leave it out of its sleeve”.

“My Dad never thought he was good enough, so it taught me to strive to be the best I could be”.

“Sadly, my Dad died at the age of 49 just after my 20th Birthday. He had a debilitating heart attack at 39 just after I had turned 10. The biggest lesson I learned from him was the fragility of life. He told me (and I was painfully aware of it too) that none of the gold or diamonds on Earth were as valuable as your health. I remember him saying ‘If you’ve got your life, you’ve got everything.’ That resonates with me to this day. My dad taught me to swim and to enjoy life. Just after he broke the devastating news to me and my sister that he had lung cancer we sat down for dinner and he cracked open a bottle of bubbly. I said: ‘I like your style!’ He taught me to love classical music – he played the piano wonderfully – every morning and evening before and after work. He died aged 70 but he enjoyed life for as long as he could before he became too sick”.

“To loathe myself; that the most important thing a woman could be was to be beautiful; and that anyone over stick-thin was repulsive”.

“My dad was a real old-fashioned gentleman, he had really bad health so I always worried that he would die young. He did, but not until I was 25 and by then he had given me a lifetime of love, support and life-lasting good advice. He was a true role model. My only regret is that my children never met him”.

“’You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And to be nice to the people on the way up ‘cos you never know who you’ll meet on the way down’”.

“I had no respect whatsoever for my dad when I was a teenager. We clashed constantly, especially over my attitude to money. I lived beyond my means for years and defiantly ignored his (sensible) advice about saving for a rainy day. But when I lost my job in my 40s – coincidentally around the same age as he’d lost his – I understood. I have never gone ‘in the red’ since then”.

“’Always to trust your instinct’”.

“My dad taught me to love words, especially weird and humorous ones. He’d always point out odd word usage. One year in my school report every single teacher used the word ‘pleasing’ (« Her progress is pleasing/she tries hard which is pleasing ») and he thought this was hilarious, reading it out in a funny voice – but also making me aware of words. And that I’m a people pleaser…”

“My Dad was a huge (positive) influence and I adored him. He taught me:
The value of sense of humour
That hard work and commitment pay off
The importance of supporting those less privileged
That integrity is a quality worth aiming for
How to be tolerant of people’s differences and especially to value those most quirky!
To balance a cheque book!
To be grateful for the gift of life
To treat everyone with respect no matter what their status
How to drive!
I could add lots more. He would have been 96 this year – lost him 12 years ago – and still think about him most days. So grateful to have had him as my dad”.

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