Given the day and the time of the year, I feel this is an appropriate time to write the story you’re about to read.
For those of you reading this in Australia, it is now Christmas evening.
Your belly is full of food, and right now you’re probably feeling a little over indulged with turkey, cold meats and chocolate treats. And if you’re reading from the UK/USA, you’ve got all of this to look forward too.
Picture above, next to one of her favourite trees in her beautiful garden, is woman who has had the biggest impact out of anyone in my life.
She is strong, brave, generous, wise, loyal, giving and everything else you would want in a person.
That person, as you may have guessed from the title, is my mum.
For the last 27 years, she has had my (and my siblings’) best interests at heart. No matter what the situation, she is always willing to give up anything to ensure our safety and well being.
She provides the unconditional love that only a mother can give.
The things is, as I grow older, I am starting to feel a much stronger connection with the woman who raised me single handedly.
At the age of 8, my father passed away from cancer, leaving my mum with 2 children under the age of 10. Unfortunately due to the cancer being diagnosed some 10 years beforehand (when my older sister was just 2 weeks old), Life insurance wasn’t available. Which was going to put HUGE financial issues upon what we called our lives.
Being so young, it is hard to describe what it’s like to lose someone in your immediate family at that age. Everyone was telling me how brave I was, but to be honest, I didn’t really grasp the concept. I knew I would never see him again, but I really only have memories from ages 4 onward…so that only gave me 5 years with him
While I certainly do have some positive memories such as going to the football to cheer on the mighty bombers together (who aren’t doing so well at the moment), and going to work with him as his apprentice on building sites, most of my childhood memories are with my mum and my sister.
As a quick side story, I do actually remember one time where I must have been about 7 years old and I went to work with him. I’d been to ‘Toys R Us’ earlier in the week and had my eye on an Essendon Football Club figurine. It was $13.95.
My dad wanted to teach me the value of money. He asked me how much I charged per hour? I calculated I would need $2 an hour for 7 hours work to afford my figurine. So that was my rate. I swept, hung around, cleaned up as we went, packed up some tools, and we did our full day of work. I couldn’t wait to get that money in my hands to go and buy the Essendon toy.
The end of the day came, and I asked if he could drive me to the toy shop. He asked why?
To which I proudly told him how I’ve been working hard with a goal in mind. I was going to buy an Essendon toy. It was $13.95…which is why that was my rate.
What came next, nearly destroyed me (although years on, I would learn what he was teaching me).
He not only denied driving me there, but stated that I wouldn’t be seeing the money. Instead it was going straight into my ‘Dollarmites’ savings account.
At the time, I was crushed, but now I can see where my strong work ethic and ability to save and handle money effective comes from! So thank-you, Dad for that little lesson.
But back to my mum.
After my dad died, we had a lot of flower deliveries, framed art with those wise quotes in them about knowing the difference between what you can and can’t change as well as a ton of friends dropping by for support.
I never really appreciated just how strong my mum was during these times. I never saw her cry during my whole childhood. (except once when I was around 18 and being a prick of a kid).
She worked her job, cooked our food, provided books & school uniforms, an unbelievable 5 week trip to the United States and a ton more.
Every Christmas there were presents under the tree. And every night there was food on the table.
We never went without.
But above all of this. Is the lessons she provided.
The reason I am a good person is owed 99.9% to her and the values she imparted on my during my childhood years (and even now as I continue to grow).
She taught us (my sister and I) how to be strong in tough times, but also be a giving and loving person.
But she also taught us how to stick up for ourselves.
In fact, as another side story, one time my sister, mum and I went to the football together to see my beloved Bombers play. Looking back now, they really did this for solely for me as they both hate football, but wanted me to have some boy-ish style memories…(thanks guys!)
So we had these really great seats…like right on the fence. At quarter time, it is a bit of a tradition in Australia to eat a meat pie. So we got up, shuffled past the people sitting either side (about half a dozen mid twenties aged guys & girls) and made our way to the kiosk.
As you can appreciate, the room between your legs and the seats in front is minimal, so when you try and squeeze past, it is very tight.
Ten minutes later, we returned to our seats and kept watching the game.
Halftime came, and we went to have another leg stretch. So we shuffled past again, grabbed a drink, and once again returned to our seats.
I thought I overheard the young people say something like “God, just sit down and quit moving”, and upon mentioning it to my sister, she said she had also heard it. The comments made us both uncomfortable. We had paid for those seats and it’s not like it was a huge burden to be uncomfortable for 2-3 seconds as someone squeezes past, right?
So I told my mum what they said…..
She didn’t believe me at first, but after my sister backed my up, she went into full protection mode. (but not right away. like a female lion, she bided her time).
3-quarter-time came and we needed to use the toilet. I don’t know if these people had iron bladders, but I don’t think they got up once?!
As we went to shuffle past, I heard my mum tell them directly to their faces :”What smart-ass comments are you going to make this time??”
I tell you what, they SHUT THE HELL UP.
They were stunned.
The look on their faces were priceless.
She wasn’t a pushover and no-one was gonna speak to her babies like that.
It made me feel incredibly safe and secure. She would protect us no matter what.
It’s one of my favourite memories, and I bet she has totally forgotten about this one, so mum, if you’re reading this, you rock!
and this is just one story….I could reel off at least 50 more stories of the love and support she has showed us.
The best thing is, she provided all of this love and support by herself. Sure we have had tremendous help from her close friends such as, Joy (love ya bud) and our dear old neighbors (who are now passed) as well many others, but the bulk was mum on her own.
Homework, life advice, love advice, work advice, and more. If you had a problem, she would be there to help you solve it, or at least listen while you worked your way through it.
An incredible effort.
So today, I want you all to realise just how nice of a person this woman is and share some insight into this amazing individual.
I owe everything I am to her. Without her, you wouldn’t be reading this and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Love ya mum.
But before I go, I want to ask you to share a story of your own below in the comments. I want you to share with us one amazing thing your mum (or dad), has done in your life? How have they helped shape you to become the person you are today?
I look forward to reading them.