Mandela Day

Today is Nelson Mandela day and it would have been his 100th birthday. Mandela was a hero of mine. He wasn’t perfect but to me he was a hero in his fight against apartheid and prejudice and how he tried to reconcile the people of South Africa after apartheid finally fell. I still recall very vividly how extremely happy I was when he was released from jail in 1990. I still can see my 20 year old self dancing wildly around my attic bedroom in utter joy, playing this song really loudly…

I still love this song! I also love these Nelson Mandela quotes…

Mandela quoteMandela quote2

Choosing love over hate and fear, now that would be something if everyone really did that, wouldn’t it?

Oedipus complex

I have one. Not of the son-mother kind but of the daughter-father kind. My dad is not tall, but he is dark and handsome and has a human and moral integrity that is almost unparalleled. I find that I married a man not unlike my father and I find that I fall for men that remind me of my father. It is why I fell for Richard Armitage. The minute I saw him on screen for the first time in North and South, I knew this man was ‘dangerous’ and there was a real possibility I could be hooked. He reminded me of my dad instantly and not in a subconscious way either…

ns1-001 1960 Coos and Ellen wedding

“Even his nose looks like my dad’s nose!” was almost the first thing I exclaimed to myself. The first actor I knew that had a similar nose to my dad’s.

Even as a teen, I think I fell for Gregory Peck for the same reason – he also reminded me of my dad.  And Colin Firth. And Richard, in looks he reminds me most of my dad.

Yesterday we heard that the end is nearing for my dad. He is 81 and has Parkinson’s disease and that has now entered the final stage. He has led a full life, he was a pioneer in improving Jewish-Christian relations after WWII and later trying to help improve the attitudes of Jews and Muslims to each other by developing a religious teaching program for schools in Israel. He did his work in the most ego-free way possible, which is probably why he never became world-famous. 😉 He was the dad of a remarkable family: we are 8 kids, 4 of whom were adopted (2 of Palestinian descent and 2 of Ethiopian descent). Even in his personal life he truly lived the message of diversity, understanding and tolerance. Of course, this was also all made possible by my mom, who is just as remarkable, but this post is about my dad now. To me, he has done things in his life that equal him to a Nelson Mandela!

So, yes, at almost 45, I still hero-worship my father and I find that I have never outgrown the Oedipus complex I have…