What started out as a birthday wish for you mum, has extended into an expression of words and thoughts.
Thank you for a brilliant childhood. Thank you for being my rock, my tree to lean against. Thank you for being my sunshine on dark days and showing me the way home and remaining my home even as an adult.
Thank you for teaching me and allowing me to grow into the person I am. You watched my wins and you watched my fails and I was always met with the same response, a big hug and oh I love you darlin.
I remember so clearly you walking me to kinder school and to see my teacher Miss Bonny. You would always leave me with a kiss and an “I love you”
Oh how I loved kinder and my teacher, then when you would pick me up, how you would listen to me rattle on about what happened that day. I know I was the ultimate chatterbox. I must have driven you mad, but you never ever told me to be quiet.
Wherever we would walk, it was always so fast because you had to get to work, to earn money to look after us; you were the breadwinner, the handyman, and the cook, the jack-of-all-trades.
I also remember how you always held my hand. Firstly the long walk to kinder, then primary school. We never had a car; we didn’t need it, did we? You would walk me right into the school gates, holding my hand, kissing me goodbye and telling me you loved me
I would see other kids walking to school on their own and I would think to myself why won’t my mum let me do that? I can’t wait to be grown up enough to be allowed to walk to school on my own.
As an adult and a mother, I now think, “Where were the mothers”? Not with the thoughts that they were not looked after or cared about, more the thoughts of, how sad that, whatever the reason, they did not get to cherish those moments, of holding their child’s hands as you walked them to school.
I am so glad that you were the kind of mother you were. I am so glad, you walked me to school, kissed me goodbye, and told me you loved me, daily. I loved that you did that and it has made me the same kind of mother. I always kiss my boys hello and goodbye and tell them I love them and they respond, they have never been embarrassed, because it is what we do and it is our way, our family. I love our family!
Each day our kids leave us for yet another day of learning, each day they walk out of our houses, they are one day older and one day closer to adult hood, then one day in 15 years time, they will no longer want to hold your hand.
If only, back then, if we thought about 15 years down the track, realise that every moment with your children is so special, so sacred.
They grow up so fast.
Is it possible to wish time away? It’s a tough role in life, being a parent, I know.
You are so tired. You are working, you are trying to do house work, trying to read to the children, trying to cook dinner, all the while trying to be a walking encyclopedia or these days Google or Siri. They ask a lot of questions, well mine did, especially my youngest. Why, but why, how?
Then they get a little bit older and the kids start to wish the time away and as a mum we start to wish it would slow down.
When I was 12 I would wish I were 15, because I would be able to go to the pictures on my own. Seventeen to me was a magical age; it seemed to be a romantic age. I have no idea why, but I always remember thinking I can’t wait to be 17. Then I was, and then I wished I were 18 so I could drive a car and go to the pub. Then I wished I was 21 and so it goes.
I was a wisher, I wanted to grow up, and I wanted to live my life. I was impatient I couldn’t wait for the next adventure.
We are always wishing for something. As a teenage, our first kiss, our first drink, our driving license, our first boyfriend, a car and job. Never stop wishing or dreaming, but stop wishing your life away. It goes fast enough as it is.
As a child, you would say don’t grow up too fast. I would think yeah yeah mum.
Our memories, how wonderful they are. We record everything. Our mind is a vault, full of beautiful memories. Then one small event can open up a flood of beautiful memories something that you had forgotten, that was all locked away for many years, and then they are there again. Real, brought back to life and they are all encompassing.
I have a memory, and it depicts you and your parenting skills perfectly.
I can’t remember exactly what I did that was naughty, perhaps I answered you back, and that really was the only naughty thing I did ha ha. You had been brushing my hair and you gave me a smack on the bum with the hairbrush. I cried not because you hurt me but because I hurt you. You cried, because you thought you hurt me, you offered me the hairbrush, and you said you to me” Hit me back, with the brush side” with tears in your eyes. I didn’t take the brush and I couldn’t hit you back.
Thank you for teaching me in the gentlest way
You were not strict but you had a moral expectation of me. How not to fight, do right by people, do not take what is not yours, do not lie, be kind and be gentle with your words. More than being scared of any repercussions for punishment for something I may have done wrong, however re reading the story I have just expressed, you weren’t very good at punishment in any case, my discipline came to me, by way of, I did not want to disappoint you,
If I did something wrong, what hurt me the most, was the look of disappointment on your face.
Memories, they are like a movie of the best times of our lives and the saddest and all of those in between. Are they as we actually remember them, or are they embellished to satisfy our current desires, maybe photo shopped?
Really does it matter, they are our memory, so what if we make them a little more colorful, beautiful, happier. We own them!
I am middle age now, so have the best times of our lives past?
Not a chance. I speak on behalf of you as well mum. You are still living the most fabulous life.
I open my memory vault regularly, and I have so many cherished memories, from my own life, but also, from our life together too, mum.
You always make me laugh, our boys and the girl’s laugh, you, make people happy.
You did give me a good giggle the other day, when you rang me to tell me that you’d had your fish and chips for your birthday lunch with your friends and you needed to let me know how good they were. Your words “they were so bloody good” I love how the simple things in life bring you so much joy.
Mum you have something special in you that are rare. Your love of the simple things in life, the smallest thing can bring you so much joy. You have never been one to need or want trinkets and jewellery, fancy cars or grand houses, I don’t think I can ever recall you saying I wish I had, because what you had, you were truly grateful for.
If we could bottle that essence that you have, that quality that you have, you would be a millionaire. 10 times over.
We have had some incredible adventures during our friendship and our mother daughter years. Have we finished making memories, no way. There is so many more to come. I can’t wait to make more with you. Every minute with you is treasured, every experience and adventure with you is enshrined.
So we are making a new memory for your 85th birthday, you are coming to my house and your kindness of heart, you’re bigger than yourself heart, wanted to know what I wanted for dinner. We will get that Thai stuff that you like. Ha ha hah because you wanted to please me over yourself.
Well it is not happening today, your 85th birthday is all about you. Our family will be all around you, celebrating you, with you, loving you, laughing with you and just being with you.
They say the proof is in the pudding, I woke up this morning post birthday celebrations and lay there thinking how lucky I was to have this family. How beautiful my boys treat you and treat me, and that is something that has been learned. High-five mum we’ve done a great
I am surrounded by love and my heart is full with love and gratitude for what I have in you and my children.
Our roles in life change many times during our lifetimes.
I have been a child, a friend, a cousin, niece, and a granddaughter. I have been an owner/rescuer of dogs, cats, birds, and one rabbit, one possum. And that was just in the early years.
A teenager, a school leaver, a traveller, an employee and an employer. Then a girlfriend, a wife, a mother and a divorcee, (do we even still use that word)?
I could fill a page. We all could fill a page with our roles in life.
One of my most treasured relationships, besides being a mother to my boys, is the one with my own mum.
We’ve always had a close relationship through the many phases we have walked together.
You have always been my mother, but, sometimes the roles of even a mother can differ in the various phases through our life journey.
Once upon a time when I was a little girl, you were my mother,
Then I grew up, you we’re still my mother but you also became my friend.
That was the perfect period for that time.
Why? Because you could be my mum when I needed you, you could be my friend when I needed a friend, but the one thing, you were always there for me in whatever capacity I needed you to be.
When I had my own kids, you became my mother again, also my adviser.
You were promoted and took on a new role in life and you became a grandmother.
Duties that seemed to be included were babysitter and cleaner.
Whatever role in life I needed you to become you became.
As the years went by, health issues affected you, as you grew older, I grew up. Our roles reversed.
You started to need me, I became your driver, carer when you needed me to be, and I became your ears and your voice.
Oddly I became your mother. Stop bossing me you would often say, my response “it’s only because I care”
Do those words ring true from long ago, another place in time.
When you would scold me when I was young, you would tell me it was only because you cared. I knew this.
See this is where your mothering comes back to haunt you. My learned behaviors.
When I look at you, I see the way you look at me and I know no one in this world loves me more. No one else in this world has my back like you do. No one in this world would fight for me like you would.
I thank you for looking at me the way you do. For loving me the way you do. Thank you for always being there.
Thank you for teaching me to be me and not worry what other people think. Thank you for teaching me to be the strong woman I am. Thank you for teaching me to be independent but it still okay to depend on somebody else.
Then came COVID
When it all started initially I was too scared to see you, too scared I would pass something on to you. I sneezed one day and went into panic and sat out the front of your house chatting to you through the front door. I cried for hours that day. Your words to me were “I’ve got to go somehow and if it means I can cuddle you one more time it’s worth it”. You were always one to put someone or something else before yourself. You always put everything over and above yourself.
We did find our way back to spending time with each other with your medical appointments. It was our excuse. I still needed to be your ears, your voice, your reasoner and your personal assistant.
It was just another role in my life that I have loved because it meant spending time with you.
We still keep our distance, we don’t hug we don’t kiss and we both miss that physical touch. But our hearts will never be empty, they are too full, our hearts know what we mean to each other, our hearts remember what it is for us to cuddle each other, kiss, hold your hand or as I hold your arm gently to guide you to the closest seat.
Whilst I helped you through this phase, you helped me back. I asked you many times to come and live with me. “No I want to be with my friends”, “but mum you are not allowed to see your friends”.
This went on, you always had an excuse until, and finally, you wrote me a letter. Explaining that whilst you appreciate and love me for wanting you to live with me, you don’t want to lose your independence. You don’t want to lose your own flat where all your friends are.
Apparently you don’t want me to cook for you either. Your words “you do all the cooking and you don’t let me cook”. Here I was thinking I was doing something good for you, and then I remembered we have totally different taste in food.
What you did for me though, you became my mother again. You started ringing me “can I come and stay at your place for the weekend”, I have an appointment. That was just an excuse, you knew I needed you and you were there for me again.
As we both continue to grow in this life, I find myself adopting or growing into some of your quirky little habits. That’s fabulous because as a little girl I always said, I wanted to grow up to be just like you! Does that mean I’ve finally grown up?
There is a lot of disharmony due to the Covid virus, there are definitely some things that are good that are coming out of it. Such as our planet resetting itself renewing it self and if we give it a chance it will be a much more beautiful world to live in. But it also gave my mother the opportunity to be my mother again. Thank you
So I’ll leave you with this from me and from all children, no matter how old we are, we always need our mums.
In the tradition of Mother’s Day, I always write my mum a poem. This year I just wrote what I wanted to say right now, at this moment.
Happy Mother’s Day to one of the most inspirational, kindhearted, funny, sweet women I have ever met. I love you infinity.
Are we falling out of ourselves. Losing what was? Perhaps? Perhaps not!
Please remember this is just a chapter of our current story, the one of survival and growth, from when this story began.
Every day you have a task, that task is to find laughter, joy and happiness in everything you do.
With every new dawn i awake and I think about something great that is going to happen in my day.
With every opening of my eyes, of every morning, I see a sweet little face looking into mine and there is the first of many smiles for my day.
I have talked to so many people, who are struggling with anxiety. You worry about your endurance through COVID, about what will be, worry that you are not doing something right. You along with everyone else. We all have our doubts and insecurities. You are doing it perfectly! You are ALL rocking this thing called life!
You are not broken, you are not a mess, you are not your tears, you are a person who feels deeply, you are feeling what is going on in our slightly fractured world right now. In our global pause you are unbroken, you are flawless!
This is but a moment in our life. Many of you know that you will get through this and make real life changing choices in your lives, some will need a little help to get back on their feet. Let’s be their encouragement and their cushion if they fall.
Remember we are all in this together, whilst all having extremely different experiences. It is something that the whole world is united in. That touches my heart that what we are going through everyone on this planet is going through it in their own way. Some tougher than others.
We need to connect with ourselves firstly, we need to connect with our families.
We need more love, we need more kindness and we need to make everyone feel more visible, like you are really seeing them and hearing them.
Through this reset of our planet, take the time and reset your own family space and your marriages, reset the intimacy and the energy in your home. Re-establish your relationships with your parents and your children and your friends if needed.
Be the laughter that bellows through your world, be an ear when someone needs it, be the one to shares your woes, when you need to share. Share a joke to hear the laughter of someone you love, or just someone who needs some cheer in their life. Be the rainbow that cascades light throughout a storm, shine brightly on the gloomiest day. It may even be a stranger, be their sunshine. Be the dancer when the music plays. Embrace the peace, for right now, during this period of pause we are growing. Bury the unrest and be ready for your next chapter, it is waiting to be written. I cannot wait to read it!
Friday night in isolation, what did you do? I spent it with one of my favourite people in the whole wide world. We sat in the kitchen and ate a bag of deli sea salt chips while drinking a red wine. Displaying my culinary talents, how to make a vegetarian pizza à la Janette. . Ooooh that looks good she ooohs aaahs and drools!!!
Snuggling in for Netflix, another wine and chocolate! Two cheeky chicks were content! Until 9.15pm, I got the urge, not one to do things at regular times, I decided to do my own hair.
Am I hairdresser? No, far from it. However, for one night yes, I can do this!
I donned my Batman cape parted my hair, evenly ? Haha well, I did the best I could and I painted my hair like an artist paints on his canvas. Delicately blending, smoothing and staying within the lines..
Job done, I had a bit left, so what did I do next? I yell “Mum” do you want to go a little bit blonder? Excitedly she’s says “why not!” Do you think I will look beautiful, you always look beautiful.