My eldest turns 34!!!
I am off to Sydney for a few days, first to give a talk to a group interested in what happened to Don and after that to spend Melissa's 34th birthday with her. Its hard to credit that it was 34 years ago... thats getting to be some serious years. She's on the left. In a few weeks after that my youngest, Alison (right) turns 31 and I'll go down to Melbourne for her birthday as well. I was a child bride (blush). There was never one moment when I didn't enjoy being their mum. I had no great ambitions to travel or write war and peace.
And now she's 14 years older than what i was when I had her, and I thought I was so grown up at 20, and I was actually. We didn't have to be, but chose to be.
When I was 34 Melissa was 14 and had sparks in her eyes which had to be watched...she wanted to get out there in the world already. Those years between 14 and 17 were "interesting" as it was with Alison. But we all survived those years and they turned out okay. Sort of gave us grey hairs but kept us young... I think.
The funny thing is that I have no doubt that my own mother who died when I was 39, would have no doubt looked at photos as I do remembering all the years, not just seeing the present. I am sure when she considered all five of us her daughters she must have wondered how we all survived into adult hood and all the near misses we all had...
She was a wonderful mum and the girls remember her with much fondness. So much so that when they went to a concert in Melbourne which celebrated the life of Elvis with different impersonators (good ones) playing the parts of his life as he aged, they both got emotional when "Love Me Tender" came on, because if any song was Mum's that was it.
Mum was happy to have pictures of the sacred heart of Jesus and Mary (which I still have) hanging large right next to equal size ones of Elvis. She was a gently spoken woman, shy with outsiders, but full of fun and mimicry when she was among us.
This is a favourite photo taken of my Mum with Melissa and Alison about 2 years before she died. She's in my head today for whatever reason, but it feels good.
As an aside...seen any publicity about the fact that the Para Olympics is on at present? No front page news of medals won and lost? Apparently the Chinese put on a spectacular display at the beginning... seen any pictures in your papers, television coverage?
I haven't. Shows what matters to people. The efforts these people put in far outweighs the efforts of the some of the able bodied athletes...no slur on them. Try playing wheelchair basket ball for a challenge, using your shoulders to get you there. I guarantee that in about two minutes you'd be exhausted. And along with that there are many other issues to do with the injury which affect the body that unaffected people never consider. Most people seem to imagine you just get up in the morning and sit all day in comfort with no bodily functions and no pain...what an easy life???
So three big cheers for the athletes that few of the media are interested in and few of the people, because these guys have real courage and true spirit.