A generation of lost men? | Rebecca Jane column

My Father has developed one epic plan to get out of cooking the turkey this Christmas!

Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 3:45 pm
Rebecca Jane with her mum and dad

Eighteen months ago, Dad developed a lump in his stomach and decided not to tell anyone.

The classic old school male motto of ‘I don’t want to bother anyone’. Whilst on a regular trip to the doctor about his shoulder, he dropped said lump into conversation.

The doctor sent him for an emergency scan this weekend, and now he is residing in hospital!

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The scan revealed a rather significant embolism. Should it burst, he won’t be with us. He now requires surgery, and as I write this, we don’t know which surgery he will be having.

One option involves a 10 day stay in intensive care at the end of it (and a whole lot of graphic detail not fit for this fine publication). Meaning, Daddy will certainly NOT be cooking the turkey this year.

We joke, because frankly, we have no option. We’ve worried ourselves senseless and a small river of tears have been cried. I am ridiculously close to my parents and the thought of being without one of them is just too close for comfort right now. I just wish he had told a doctor 18 months ago!

My dad is not alone. He belongs to that generation of hard working, somewhat hard exterior men with a stiff upper lip that never show when they may be vulnerable. Namely, the baby boomer generation.

I belong in the pesky millennials, and I truly wish there were more people with baby booming qualities today. Don’t get me wrong, millennials and all generations certainly have some epic qualities… but my dads era were a generation of far more loyal men, family orientated, dependable, safe, trustworthy and stable.

The generations coming through the ranks today have fast lives, we want it all now, we have little patience and we’re always searching for something better! (Well, most of them!)

Don’t get me wrong, I love how radically and ethically diverse our generation is… but we also saw the rise of woke snowflakes. The breed who are offended by the sky being blue and struggle to apply a definition to the word ‘resilience’.

The baby booming generation didn’t expect preferential treatment or have an unwarranted sense of entitlement. They cracked on, got the job done, went home and didn’t whine along the way. They lived within their means and stayed in their own lane (irony not lost on me, given I stray out of my lane weekly!)

The current generations are technology obsessed. Ready, willing and able to learn whatever artificial intelligence pops up next.

My question is, why don’t we all stop a second, and learn human qualities from the generations gone before us before they disappear into oblivion forever?! Resilience, loyalty, dedication and tenacity.

One pretty major downside to our baby booming generation, like my dad, they still don’t really open up and talk. Not just about their physical state, but their mental state too. Us millennials and younger generations have got one thing very right. We’re opening more doors to conversations and acceptance, long may that continue.

Resilience is a quality that is largely missing from today’s society, but generations before us took it too far and to the extreme. We have SO much to learn from our elders, and our elders have so much to learn from us too.

For anyone reading this, like my Dad, one of those men who doesn’t want to ‘bother anyone’.

Please do! Speak up, we want to hear you. It doesn’t matter what it is, a physical problem, they’re there to be fixed. A mental problem, it’s ok to not be ok. All you have to do is let others help you, at times, we all need a bit of that.

And to my Daddy...please don’t do this again (for crying out loud). You’ve far too many people who love you and need you around a lot longer than this - me being the first. I promise, I’ll never ask you to cook a turkey again!