when the student is ready, the teacher will appear…….

Mel, the gorgeously dressed owner of Anouck at Mason in Williamstown had become my teacher!!

After a heartbreaking visit to my father in aged care I ventured into Anouck for a little retail therapy, sensing my despair  we struck up a heartfelt conversation and she offered some simple yet powerful words of wisdom  that were to support me over the months to come.

“ask your father about his life,  take time to talk to him and to listen to his answers and always tell him that you love him”.

So I began the healing journey of getting to know the man who was also my father.  His stories peppered with his dry sense of humour that stayed with him till the end.

I can never re-call saying the words ” i sound just  like my father”  for I am encoded with my mothers DNA but I inherited from him the need to sometimes be silent, his dry sense of humour,  his love of movies and harmonica, solid build and the need to a success in business.

Bruce & Bette

My mother also shared stories of their previous relationships, their dating days, marriage and finally parenthood.    The 3 of us sitting together holding hands as the bonds between a mother and her adult child deepened as the bond between a husband and wife of 58 years was slowly fading.

It was a powerful experience to reclaim the forgotten history of my parents  bloodlines.  I found belief systems, patterns and health issues that had been carried down through the generations.

By gathering information from the family tree it is a non threatening first step in the healing journey.

I found forgiveness in the most unexpected places.  I understood for the first time my fathers desire for wealth and I forgave him for all the times he seemed to put that before me.  I  sought his forgiveness for the stress I had caused him in my wild child days.   I re-discovered my long lost uncles and now am in weekly contact to record their stories before they are forgotten.
I have a deep sense of pride of my paternal history and the forgiveness both given and received bought about deep healing at a core level.

Dad passed away surrounded by the nurses who had cared for him, he died how he lived quiet and without a fuss.

Only two questions will be displayed because those answers are the ones that meant the most to me….


What was your best life achievement? my daughter
What were you most proud of?
my marriage, my daughter, grandchildren & great grandson

Bruce Susanne & Bette

After his passing I practised 4 months of extreme self care and am feeling brighter within myself.  I have had a birthday and soon a Christmas without my father and today I voted and  saw his name was no longer on the register and I felt the tears surface.
The healing of grief cannot be  rushed it must be allowed to surface when its ready

Can I inspire you from this moment on to:

  • Begin to discover your family his story and her story.
  • Take time to talk to your parents and discover them for who they are – not who you perceive them to be
  • Acknowledge all the good things you inherited from them
  • Tell them you love them, but also show them that you do.

To all my teachers – I give thanks



Bruce Combe Calman
4th March 1925 – 15th July 2010

4 thoughts on “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear…….

  1. I am enjoying my morning ritual of reading my favourite blogs whilst enjoying a cup of tea. I now have added my friend Susanne’s beautiful blog to my long list
    Sus, I read your entry about Bruce which truely moved me and made me think about my own relationship with my parents. Thank you for sharing your story on your healing process. You are my teacher today. xSilvia

    1. Thank You Silvia………
      What a lovely way to start your day!!!
      Blessings my beautiful friend

  2. How beautiful that you spent time to listen and reflect with your father during his last months and enabled him to acknowledge his great pride in you and his family.
    Now that is a wealthy man! 🙂
    S xxx

    1. thanks Sofia
      It was a time of great sadness but on the other hand I got to get closer to both parents – as an adult rather than their child.

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