Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Special Memory of my Mum

I wrote recently about my Dad, and it got me thinking about some of my great memories of my Mum who had passed away in 2005. She was an original, and when I wrote my contribution to her memorial service, I tried to reflect her personality and humour in my writing. She would have liked that--in fact, she would have probably laughed with that stretched, somewhat crooked lip action, and then exclaimed "Oh, J a n!" in her drawn out way, while wiping a laughter tear from the corner of her eye.

However, here is a somewhat edited excerpt from my contribution to her memorial - I thought it really reflected in the best way, her compassion and caring nature towards others:

'Christmas Giving'

When I was growing up and was about 9, one of my fondest memories at Christmas time was occasionally helping Mum to gather some of her special Christmas baked goods, additional grocery items, such as tinned ham or sometimes some special tinned vegetables. We would also gather some good hand-me-down clothing items that I may have outgrown, a couple of toys which I would contribute, and put all of this in a box.

Mum and I, under the cover of darkness would then walk to another area of our neighbourhood, which was made up of a diverse population. There were many families that at the time were less fortunate people, and Mum would usually pick one family, knowing their needs and we would design our 'surprise' for them. Under the cover of darkness, we would quietly leave our parcel on their doorstep, and if we thought we could run away fast enough, we would knock on their door, and escape into the night.

We never stayed to see what reaction, if any, our secret parcel gave to our 'chosen family'. We just hoped that it was a good reaction, and then we would walk home in the cold, snowy night, knowing that at least we had tried to help someone who may have needed it.

One year, after the Christmas holidays, I was back at school and I noticed a small dark haired girl who had lived in the home where we had left the special parcel. She was wearing one of my smaller dresses which had been put in the parcel, and tucked in her arms was a soft baby doll that I had outgrown, but that had always held a special place in my heart---now she was maybe sharing that space again with this special little girl!

I made a mental note to tell Mum what I had noticed, and then smiled a quiet, peaceful smile to myself as I walked into my classroom.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Early mornings

One of the best feelings in the world is to be the only one awake early in the morning, and know that you have the day stretching out in front of you. I have already fed the wild birds from my front deck, checked my email, planned my morning, and am about to start today.

You may not associate with this, but, when I had my babies, I would love the 5:00/6:00 am feedings, because after I settled my babe, I could then sit quietly and watch the early dawn and animal activities on the farm (at that stage). In the warmer weather mornings, I would walk outside with Bronwyn in my arms, and exchange looks and Mother's stories, with my horse, Gypsy and her new foal, Brandy. We compared development issues a lot---while Brandy was so much taller--Bron was definitely the winner in the beauty stakes!

This morning I checked on Squirt, my pet lorrikeet, who lives in a large aviary in my sunny hallway area. She laid an egg yesterday, and when I noticed, she replied. "Hello!" (in that surprised somewhat Monty Python accent she uses occasionally). Our border collies are still asleep outside the backdoor, and I've opened the windows here in the main living/kitchen area, to welcome in the sunny morning warmth, and enjoy the day.

Hope you have a good morning too!

My Dad--almost 93 years young

Tonight my Dad phoned me.. He said he had strained his back a bit, as he had to repair a piece of the gym equipment that he uses, in the gym that he helped to design. My Dad will turn 93 in July, and we are already planning his 95th birthday, at which time Chris and I will fly back to Traverse City from Australia, to help him celebrate!

He is an amazing man--I will probably talk about him a lot in later posts--but suffice it to say that if a man strains his back because he was trying to repair a piece of gym equipment at the age of 92+ then, in my thoughts, he deserves reverance.

He recently had complete knee replacement surgery and broke two records according to his surgeon:

  • Dad was the eldest patient his doctor had performed that type of surgery upon, and
  • His bones were so strong that while during the operation, the tenacity of his bones managed to break not one, but two surgery blades, according to his doctor. That's my Dad!

May I follow in his footsteps--someone who is so strong, determined, and still full of life.

I celebrate you, Dad!

A Beginning

This is something I haven't done before--but I think it might be fun.. A chance to talk about what is going on in my mind and life, and a chance to celebrate---not just me--but life, my family and my special friends--probably have to let them know that I am talking about them---but what a wonderful way to let them know their impact upon my life.

So the first step of the journey begins!