Tuesday, September 09, 2008

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.


jacqui said...

To give credit to the main news here,they have featured several of the American athletes at the Para Olympics but yes its a huge shame that its not featured on the main channels in general.

That is a great pic of the girls and their Grandmother. You look incrediably like her.

Happy birthday to Melissa!

FoxyMoron said...

I don't seem to get time to watch the news or read the papers (Sunday's are on the floor in here still unread) but I had no idea that the Para Olympics were on. I had no interest this year in the Olympic Games but the Para Olympics are what true stamina and courage are all about.
Your girls are just beautiful Therese, hope you have a great time with Melissa. My own daughter is about to become a teenager and you have officially scared the heck out of me.
Your mum had such kind eyes.

Mom said...

What beautiful girls! You are blessed. You look at your girls with a mother's eyes, seeing not just today, but their whole lifetime in one piece.

Anne said...

Your girls are beautiful!! I love the photo of them with your mother.

Yes - I was a child bride as well! Find it hard to believe our eldest is 34 and our twins are now 33. Where did those years go to!!!!

Very little about the para olympics here as well.

greeny said...

Sweet warm memories. You brought a tear to my eyes. I like the way you remember.

I always wonder why important stuff doesn't get recognized as newsworthy when other trash gets pushed under out noses- things like Brittany Spears' awards now that she is pulling herself together after a massive personal dive. Drivel!

greeny said...

I meant to mention - your girls are gorgeous then and now!

Sara said...

The veteran's associations that I receive emails from have sent out a few messages related to the Para Olympics, since unsurprisingly, some of the American contestants are Iraq/Afghanistan vets. I hear it's being shown for free online, though I can't recall the url off the top of my head.

I watched a movie on the Homeless World Cup last night and nearly cried at the end. I love sports, from the cash-infused world of celebrity athletes, to standard Olympic world records, to wheelchair basketball and homeless people playing street soccer in an international tournament.

Sling said...

Well happy birthday to the eldest!
I did see some coverage of the opening of the paralympics,but nothing really after that.
Greeny is right.I guess Brittney is more important in the minds of the media..it's just sad.

rosemary said...

What great pics...happy birthday to your big girl.

Middle Child said...

Jacqui - Yes I do look like mum, more than anyone. Where she had the bluest eyes, I have green. We were very close and I still miss her

Foxymoron - Mum was the kindest person I have ever known and can ever hope to know. She was a giver all her life and the pair of us could talk the hind legs off the dinner table...

Mom - you obviously know that too... they think they are 34 etc, but we see all the ages...

Anne where did those years go...well i have just had a look in the mirror and I have a pretty good idea

greeny - maybe its just human nature to like the titillation of gossip, but now its cvomercialised wheras once it was just in the village or on the street. Thanks the girls are lovely, inside and out.

Sara - of course you would. How different is the world you have inhabited compared to most people your own age. Some your age are still considered kids and expect parents to still do their washing...whereas you...well you deserve all the good stuff that comes your way - for someone twoce your age you have great common sense.

Sling c'est la vie

Rosemary - thanks